What’s love got to do with it?

Australian couples who have debit and credit accounts with ANZ appear to be celebrating their love through everything from takeaway food to a weekend away rather than the traditional Valentine’s Day flowers and jewellery, ANZ customer spending data shows.

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In 2023, there was a total spending increase of 9 per cent for the fortnight leading up to Valentine’s Day, compared to the previous year.

"Experiences were ‘in’, with spending in the “entertainment” category – everything from movies to concerts – up 12 per cent to $172.9 million.”

This increase in spending happened in the face of a cost-of-living crunch which saw inflation hit 7.8 per cent in December 2022 amid hikes by the Reserve Bank which started in May 2022.

Couples love experiences

It appears the reduction of Covid fears could have propelled a greater desire to get out and about to celebrate love.

Last Valentine’s, customers nationwide splashed out $337.1 million (domestic spend) on takeaway and restaurants in the lead up to Valentine’s Day – an 11 per cent increase on the year before.

Experiences were ‘in’, with spending in the “entertainment” category – everything from movies to concerts – up 12 per cent to $172.9 million. Spending in wineries and bottle shops was up 19 per cent to $136 million.

Couples appear to be embracing travel together as well – with airline spending up 120 per cent, airports up 168 per cent, and duty free up more than 200 per cent. Hotels, inns and resorts were up 11 per cent to $89.2 million.

More traditional Valentine’s gifts trended down, with ANZ customers spending less on florists, nursery supplies, and other flower businesses, down 9 per cent to $16.8 million. Precious stones and jewelry spending was down 3 per cent to $25.8 million.

Romance state of mind

Which was the most romantic Australian state according to spending data?

Victorian customers spent the most overall in the two weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day, spending $1.12 billion, also spending the most on eating out ($98.3 million) during that period.

They were closely followed in overall spending by New South Wales ($1.06 billion) and Queensland ($0.78 billion).

The biggest increases in spending however were in Western Australia, shooting up 12 per cent year-on-year and South Australia, up 11 per cent year on year.

I can buy myself flowers

First coined by the US television show Parks and Recreation in 2010, and celebrated by Amy Poehler’s character Leslie Knope, thesocial phenomenon knowns as “Galentines Day” is an empowering alternative to Valentine’s Day in which women celebrate their friendships.

In 2023, women who bank with ANZ spent $136.5 million over February 13 and 14, which was up 28 per cent over the prior year. They spent $6.4 million on travel (up 138 per cent), hotels $3.3 million (up 31 per cent), $5.5 million on entertainment (up 104 per cent) and $2 million on pets (up 48 per cent).

Saving for the big things together

Reflecting that love is not just a Valentine’s Day thing, ANZ data shows how couples are setting large life goals together in their joint accounts.

The top goal category is, not surprisingly, a house (29 per cent), followed by holiday (19 per cent).

The top holiday destinations being planned for are Japan, Europe and Bali.

Whatever couples are or singles might be saving for, we are here to support them in improving their financial wellbeing.

Tips to protect your heart against scams

Romance scammers are cyber criminals who use dating or relationships online to gain your trust and exploit that trust for money. Don't let love blind you this Valentine's Day, check out ANZ's top tips on staying safe against love scams.

  1. Check first impressions before swiping right

When you receive the first message from a suitor to connect, don't dive in head first but instead have eyes wide open. Always be on the lookout for simple things like whether they have limited personal information on their profile and have few connections, comments, likes and shares on social channels, if they exist. 

For more tips visit 6 tips to protect yourself against romance scams on

Sweta Mehra is Managing Director of Everyday Banking at ANZ

What to do if you get scammed

  • Call us immediately on 13 33 50 / +61 3 9683 8833
  • Think you've been scammed on your ANZ card or account? Follow the steps on the ANZ Report bank fraud page

The views and opinions expressed in this communication are those of the author and may not necessarily state or reflect those of ANZ.

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