Travel bucked the overall trend in the month, which saw consumer-spending growth slow to 3% year-on-year.
Spending growth fell below the 4% mark for only the second time this year, as the country was hit by above-average rainfall and below-average temperatures that made it the coldest August for three years.
The strong growth in travel spend continued an above-average performance with growth of 8.1% this summer, more than double the 3.2% seen over the same period last year.
British Airways’ owner International Airlines Group, Ryanair and easyJet have all reported strong results for the year to date.
Chris Wood, chief operating officer at Barclaycard said: “Even accounting for seasonal fluctuations August saw weaker than expected growth in consumer spending at home, as households countered another typically wet and cold British August by heading abroad.
“The number of travel transactions jumped 28% last month – a record for August – helping drive a 7% increase in spending on holidays and family trips. This is being driven by shorter, cheaper trips, which is shown in the lower average spend.
“Restaurants, supermarkets, clothing stores and household stores all saw lower levels of transactions compared to last year, though department stores and pubs benefitted as consumers retreated indoors to avoid getting wet.
“With the country forecast to experience an Indian Summer this month, it’ll be interesting to see whether spending levels recover.”
Barclaycard process nearly half of all credit and debit card transactions in the UK.