A survey by American Express has revealed New Zealanders would rather travel than go shopping.

The credit card company surveyed more than 1000 Kiwis asking them what they would choose to spend $1000 on; 31 per cent said they would put it toward a travel experience.

This was the most popular response and was significantly higher than the 10 per cent of respondents who said they would use the money for a shopping spree.

Former Reserve Bank adviser and economic commentator Michael Reddell, said the findings follow a growing global trend for spending on "experiences over stuff.


"Reasons are likely to include the fact the people already have a lot of possessions and technology is much cheaper than it was 30 years ago. For example, the most innovative product of the last decade has been the smartphone and almost anyone who wants one, has one," he said.

"Plus the ever-increasing difficulty of buying a house might also mean people who stay renting spend on, say, holidays rather than filling a house with knick-knacks."

The independent consumer research polled 1053 credit card holding Kiwis asking them what they would spend $1000 on. Spending on travel was the most popular response, 31 per cent; followed by paying off bills, 25 per cent; save, 17 per cent; go on a shopping spree, 10 per cent; carry out DIY, 7 per cent.

Statistics New Zealand figures show Kiwis departed on 2.55 million trips overseas in the 12 months to the end of October, 7 per cent more than in the October 2015 year. Cheap air fares and a growing range of travel destinations have been luring Kiwis overseas.

American Expresss said that in the last five years, the percentage growth in offshore credit and charge card spend by New Zealand cardholders has been double that of growth in domestic card spend.

"At American Express we've noticed a change in the way our members use their card; they're buying more trips, more flights and more experiences," said Rob Bourne, head of card services New Zealand at American Express.

American Express ambassador, Amber Peebles. Amber, who has recently returned from a trip to Tokyo, had her own theory on why people are choosing to spend their money on experiences over stuff.

"My greatest moments and memories are made up with people and places not possessions, and in a world that's so visually connected through social media, we are constantly inspired by other peoples amazing travels shots. So to shield myself from a life of FOMO (fear of missing out) I love to focus my spending on creating experiences of my own"