RETAIL NEWS

Credit cards have become consumers preferred payment source

BY Marianne Wilson

Americans love credit cards — particularly when shopping in stores.

That’s according to a report from Mercator Advisory Group which found that, when consumers were asked to choose their single most preferred payment type in stores, 36% said they preferred credit cards, followed by debit cards (33%) and cash (18%). Three percent said they preferred private-label revolving store cards, and 2% preferred checks.

The survey also found that that U.S. consumers are now more likely to prefer using credit cards rather than debit cards or any other payment type at online retailers for online travel, digital content, and even online bill payments than since Mercator started tracking usage preference in 2015. Sixty-two percent of U.S. households used credit cards in 2018, up from 60% of U.S. households in 2017.

Debit cards, however, are often preferred for small purchases and everyday in-store spending such as groceries, according to Mercator’s “U.S. Consumers and Credit: Rising Usage” study. The report presents the findings from Mercator Advisory Group’s CustomerMonitor Survey Series online panel of 3,002 U.S. adult consumers surveyed in June 2018.

“In 2018, credit cards rewards and online shopping appear to be driving stronger use of general purpose network branded credit cards, especially since three in 10 credit cardholders say they use premium credit cards that have an annual fee,” said Karen Augustine, manager of Primary Data Services, including CustomerMonitor Survey Series, at Mercator Advisory Group, and the author of the report.

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