The theory that men don't care as much as women about celebrating Valentine's Day may finally be laid to rest following a new survey on gender spending habits for the annual "day of love".

According to Mastercard's latest Consumer Purchasing Priorities Survey on Valentine's Day it's Kiwi men that are gearing up to spend a third more on their significant others than women.

That's right, men are expected to spend $157 on average, compared to $103 for women.

While more than a third of people overall plan to treat their partner to something special on Valentine's Day, the survey found that throughout the Asia-Pacific region, men are more likely to splurge than women.


The annual "Mastercard Love Index", created by analysing credit, debit and prepaid card transactions in a three-year period, has revealed that Kiwis' sentimental spending has increased by 17 per cent since 2014, with the overall number of transactions going up by 59 per cent.

For Kiwi men, flowers are the gift of choice for their partner, with almost half of men surveyed planning to treat their significant other to a bouquet.

For Kiwi women, a card is the most popular gift at 35 per cent, followed by sweets for their sweetheart at 26 per cent.

While flowers are on the cards for men, women are hesitant to follow suit, with only one in 10 looking to buy bouquets for their partners.

"When it comes to Valentine's Day, Kiwis are sticking to traditional favourites including flowers and going out for a meal. The popularity of these gifts shows that Kiwis appreciate classic gestures," says Peter Chisnall, Country manager for Mastercard New Zealand and Pacific Islands.

Overall, most people surveyed would rather spend time at home due to the special day falling in the middle of the week (61 per cent).

However, don't make any last-minute bookings for a romantic meal just yet, a third of Kiwis said they would celebrate being single with a meal out (33 per cent).

The data also showed that most Valentine's purchases happen during the last-minute dash on February 13.


"Valentine's Day is an opportunity for both young and old to show their loved ones they care," Chisnall says.

However, a diamond ring isn't on the wish list this Valentine's Day as 86 per cent of Kiwis said they didn't think the day for lovers was the best day for a proposal.

However, the opposite is true for most consumers in Vietnam, China and Taiwan, coming in at 76 per cent, 68 per cent and 51, respectively, who think it's the best day to show their love.