Home is where the heart is this Valentine's Day

February 10, 2021 | By Nila Moloney

– Sentimental spending up 180 per cent over the past ten years 

– Flowers blooming and booming with spend up 242 per cent over past decade 

– Home-cooked meals, indoor picnics and home spa days amongst this year’s top romantic experiences 

– 45 per cent will shop online for Valentine’s Day gifts this year 

– Europeans show love for local, with one in two shopping at the small businesses

closer to home 


10 February 2021, London – Sentimental shoppers are investing more than ever before around Valentine’s Day as spending is up 180 per cent over the past decade, according to the annual Mastercard Love Index. However, this year home is where the heart is as couples are planning to spend the day — and their money — differently.

The report offers a deep dive into spending habits and trends around the most romantic day of the year by analysing card sales across the globe. Europe is purchasing seven times (up 648 per cent) the amount of gifts and experiences than they were ten years ago — including more traditional items and outings such as flowers (272 per cent) and restaurants (242 per cent). Across Europe, Russia spent the most on their bouquets last year, followed by Sweden and the UK.

Spend on jewellery has also increased year-on-year over the past decade, with overall growth of 119 per cent since 2011. Italy spent the most on jewellery gifts last year, followed by the UK and Russia.

However, as most of Europe still faces lockdown limitations, takeaways and restaurant DIY kits, park walks, home-cooked meals, movie marathons and home spa days are amongst the top ways couples will bring romantic experiences home this year.

Online shopping has grown steadily over the past decade and is at an all time high – with a 572 per cent increase in the number of online transactions in the Valentine’s Day period over the past ten years. Almost half (45 per cent) say they will shop online for Valentine’s Day gifts this year, whilst many will show their love for local, with one in two purchasing bouquets and gifts from neighbourhood businesses.

The pandemic may have stopped people seeing loved ones in real life, but it hasn’t stopped people finding love. One in five (19 per cent) have found a relationship online in the past year and 19 per cent have been on a Zoom or video date. Almost one in three (30 per cent) have enjoyed a socially distanced walk date and 21 per cent have signed up to online dating sites and apps in the last year.

The report also shows how attitudes to relationships have evolved over the past year, and how Valentine’s Day 2021 may be the most meaningful yet, with 45 per cent of romantics across the globe putting more thought into into Valentine’s Day this year – and 46 per cent being more creative with their plans.

“The Mastercard Love Index has been providing insights into global buying behaviours and spending trends around the most romantic day of the year for nearly a decade. Of course, this year has been unlike any other, but we’re still seeing spending around Valentine’s Day at an all-time high as Europe turns to online and local shops for gifts and at-home experiences.” said Mark Barnett, President, Mastercard Europe. “It has undoubtedly been a catalyst for the surge in e-commerce activity, and as a result, we have been able to quickly help more people embrace the digital shift by delivering an online shopping experience that is safe, secure and convenient.”

Top ten romantic experiences for Valentine’s Day 2021:

  1. A home-cooked meal 49%
  2. A takeaway 27%
  3. A walk in the park 21%
  4. A movie marathon 20%
  5. A walk around your home town 19%
  6. A home spa day 13%
  7. A game night 12%
  8. An indoor picnic 11%
  9. A pop-up picnic outside 6%
  10. A virtual date (Zoom, Facetime etc.) 5%

– Ends –

For more information and imagery please contact Nila Moloney / nila.moloney@mastercard.com

Notes To Editors

Mastercard spending data in more than 53 territories around the globe.

Independent research company Fly Research questioned 19,000 adults across 19 countries in January 2021.

Nila Moloney, Director, Communications, Mastercard

Media Contacts

Nila Moloney, Mastercard
+44 (20) 75575328 | nila.moloney@mastercard.com