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Survey: Credit cards, debit cards most popular for holiday shopping

Many consumers are still financially better off today than they were in 2019 due to all the stimulus efforts.
Only 10% of 2023 holiday shoppers plan to use a buy-now, pay-later service.

Rising interest rates and inflation are expected to impact holiday shopping habits.

Credit cards are expected to be the most popular payment method for holiday shopping, according to a survey by consumer financial services company Bankrate. More than half (53%) of holiday shoppers say they expect to pay for at least some of their purchases with a credit card, including 19% who say they will take on credit card debt for their holiday purchases. 

Debit cards are a close second, with 52% of shoppers planning to use a debit card.  Only 10% of holiday shoppers plan to use a buy-now, pay-later service, and 5%  to plan to pay with checks.

The survey also found that  one of consumers’ hottest holiday activities in 2023 will be looking for ways to save money.  Eighty-seven percent  of holiday shoppers plan to use at least one money-saving strategy: 42% plan to buy fewer items; 41% plan to seek out more coupons, discounts or sales; and 30% plan to begin their holiday shopping earlier.

The survey revealed that holiday shoppers are still concerned about inflation, but not as much as last year. Thirty-three percent of holiday shoppers say inflation will change the way they shop, down from 40% in last year’ survey.  

At the same time, holiday shoppers are still concerned about costs. Two in five (40%) holiday shoppers say they expect to feel some financial burden in the upcoming holiday season. 

Most commonly, 25% say they’re stressed over costs, 23% believe the spending will strain their budgets and 13% anticipate being pressured to spend more than they’re comfortable.

Other survey findings are below.

Nearly four in five (79% ) Americans plan to shop for the holidays this year, purchasing gifts, decorations and other goods, according to the survey. Of those, 50% planned to begin shopping by Halloween. Only 37% are planning to start in November and 13% plan to hold off until December.

•Around two in five (39% holiday shoppers will do most of their shopping online, compared to 23% who will do most of their shopping in person.

•Shoppers of all generations prefer shopping online, but baby boomers (41%%) and Gen X (41%)  are more likely to prefer it than millennials (26%) and Gen Z (33%).


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