Press Release

24 June 2022


  • Less than one in ten people will choose to send a handwritten letter to say thank you
  • Despite this, the traditional letter is seen as one of the most meaningful ways to show gratitude
  • While six in ten believe that it’s more important than ever to say thank you, 30 per cent admit to not saying thank you as often as they would like
  • More than a third have used loyalty points earnt through reward schemes to share treats with others – as a way of thanking them

M&S Club Rewards research has revealed that the traditional handwritten thank you letter is no longer the most popular way to express gratitude - with digital methods like instant messages and emails now favoured instead.

A poll of 2,000 adults found just nine per cent of people send a letter of thanks nowadays – a drop of 11 per cent compared to 10 years ago – whilst messages via WhatsApp, SMS text, email and Facebook have become some of the most common ways to show appreciation.

Despite this, handwritten notes of gratitude are in fact considered to be among the most meaningful ways to say thank you – close behind heartfelt phone calls and visiting someone to show appreciation in-person. Further highlighting the significance of the personal touch, the M&S Club Rewards research found hand-delivering flowers or treating someone to a coffee were also among the most genuine ways to show thanks.

The research went on to show nearly six in 10 (58 per cent) agree it is more important “than ever” to say thank you to loved ones – for 28 per cent this is because the last couple of years have helped them appreciate the “little things”.

A further 29 per cent also think it’s important to show others just how much they mean to them – so they realise how loved they are. However, three in 10 admitted they don’t tend to say thank you in a meaningful way as often as they would like.

Etiquette expert, William Hanson, said: “Gratitude will never fall out of fashion and while how we say thank you may have changed, simple good manners are timeless and priceless, and saying thank you has never been easier.

“However, in our digital age - and with all these new and simple ways to communicate and show our gratitude – saying a quick thank you via instant message has become the default for many. But if you really want to share a meaningful thank you, giving someone your time or adding an element of a personal or more human touch, will go a long way and have a much bigger impact.

The study found that we say thank you to loved ones seven times a week on average – with one in 10 expressing their gratitude 21 times or more. Seven in 10 also agree a meaningful ‘thank you’ can be very powerful – with those polled stating they feel appreciated’ (46 per cent), ‘happy’ (38 per cent), and ‘positive’ (31 per cent) following one.

Interestingly, more than a third of people (35 per cent) have used loyalty points earnt through reward schemes to share treats with others – as a way of thanking them. Almost four in 10 (38 per cent) do this because they like having small treats to look forward to throughout the year which they can enjoy with friends and family and 43 per cent like to thank others in this way because it makes both loved ones and themselves feel good.

Paul Stokes, M&S Club Rewards, said: “Our research shows that while the art of saying thank you may have evolved over the years, the importance of showing our gratitude has never been higher. Over the last few years, we have had to come together and support each other perhaps more than ever, so it’s great to see that, as a nation, so many of us are taking the time to share a thank you.

“While some of the more traditional ways of saying thank you are still around today, our research found that people are showing their thanks in many different ways. Using loyalty points and rewards vouchers earnt throughout the year is a great way to show your gratitude and treat others.”

To make M&S shopping even more rewarding, M&S Credit Card customers have the option of joining M&S Club Rewards, offering an enhanced range of M&S treats and rewards that can be enjoyed by themselves or used to treat others.

The M&S shopping vouchers (worth almost £80) and M&S hot drinks vouchers (worth c. £88 per year) provide customers with a combined £168 to spend in M&S – plus next-day online delivery at no extra cost for M&S purchases* - and three M&S points for every £1 spent on M&S shopping and on overseas spend using the M&S Credit Card - all for a fee of £10 per month.

Club Rewards benefits include:

  • Unlimited next day delivery on M& at no extra cost (exclusions apply)
  • £65 Clothing & Home vouchers throughout the year
  • 3 Rewards Points for every £1 spent at M&S
  • 1 Reward Point for every £5 spent anywhere else
  • A Birthday Treat (£12 M&S food voucher)
  • 32 Hot Drinks Vouchers – worth c.£88
  • 3 Rewards Points for every £1 spend abroad on purchases made in the local currency using the M&S Credit Card (fees apply)

For more details and information, visit:



  1. A phone call
  2. WhatsApp message
  3. SMS text message
  4. Email
  5. Facebook message
  6. A hug
  7. A visit to somebody’s home to say thank you in person
  8. Handwritten letter
  9. Hand delivering flowers
  10. A small gift
  11. Arranging for flowers to be delivered
  12. With chocolates
  13. Treating someone to a coffee
  14. Taking someone out for a meal
  15. A FaceTime call
  16. Offering someone help in the future/offer of support
  17. With cake
  18. E-card
  19. Instagram message
  20. Video message

*M& delivery is usually charged at £4.99 each order. This will not apply to food, hampers, wine, flowers, furniture and items described as on sale or as part of any offer.

About M&S Bank

M&S Bank (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services plc) launched in 2012 on the foundations of M&S Money, which was established in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer plc. In November 2004, HSBC bought 100 per cent of the share capital of Marks and Spencer Retail Financial Services Holdings Limited.

Today, M&S Bank operates as a joint venture arrangement between HSBC and Marks & Spencer, however, M&S Bank has its own banking licence and its own Board.

M&S Bank offers a broad range of financial products, including the M&S Credit Card, and a range of loans, savings and general insurance products, while its travel money service offers one of the widest ranges of currencies available on the high street. 


HSBC UK serves around 15 million customers across the UK, supported by 26,000 colleagues. HSBC UK offers a complete range of retail banking and wealth management to personal and private banking customers, as well as commercial banking for small to medium businesses and large corporates.

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