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    Credit card holders are increasingly likely to use them as protection against businesses going bust, new findings suggest.

    Research from Saga finds 46 per cent of the population are aiming to ensure their purchases are secure, which will enable them to claim a refund if a purchase is over £100.

    "The credit crunch has affected people in a number of ways and as a result [people have] become more wary; choosing brands they trust and using credit cards as they provide added protection in uncertain times," says Andrew Goodsell, chief executive of the Saga Group.

    Using credit cards needs to be done carefully, the government warns, with interest charged on the whole month’s bill if it cannot be paid off completely.

    People are also using their cards for a variety of other reasons, the research shows, with 46 per cent of respondents saying it is more convenient than carrying cash and 22 per cent say it helps them pay for more items they cannot afford in one go.

    There is also a spiralling trend of people using their credit cards abroad, the statistics suggest.

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