Survey: More People Are Using Credit Cards For Small Purchases

More People Use Credit Cards For Small Purchases

At one time credit cards were only used for large purchases, but not anymore. More people seem to be relying on plastic for smaller purchases.

A new survey from CreditCards.com found 17 percent of cardholders use their credit cards for purchases under $5. That’s up from just 11 percent last year.

“That’s a significant increase,” the website’s senior industry analyst, Matt Schulz, said. “People tend to use their credit cards when they feel a little more confident about their financial situation.”

Credit card users have several reasons for using their card.

“It helps me keep track of what I’m buying cause I can see in my statement,” said Megan Supina, who spoke to CBS2 right after using her card to buy a coffee and a doughtnut from a Gregory’s Coffee in Manhattan.

Jay Deitcher said he uses his card to take advantage of travel rewards.

“You get points for travel,” Deitcher said. “It adds up, I’d rather get a tiny bit than nothing.”

Schulz said some people are motivated by safety since most credit card companies will reimburse any fraudulent charges.

“Credit cards are really a safe way to go,” Schulz said. “Whereas with a debit card if a bad guy gets a hold of it that can be real money coming out of a real account.”

But those reasons are good enough for Richard Slade. He prefers cash. 

“I’m old, I’m used to using cash,” Slade said.

Experts believe credit card use will continue to rise. The survey found younger people are more likely to use a credit card. Many users have it synced to their phone with Apple Pay or Google Wallet.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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