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Research and Statistics

Baby boomers big on credit cards for holiday shopping, study shows

More than 40% of boomers plan to put their holiday spending on credit, compared to only a third of millennials who said the same


According to TransUnion, baby boomers are the most inclined to putting holiday purchases on a credit card, with more than 42% saying it’s their favorite payment method. They’re also the only generation to say they prefer credit over debit, with just 35% favoring a debit card for holiday shopping.

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Three-quarters of American consumers expect to conduct at least half their holiday shopping online this year, and 1 in 3 say a credit card is their preferred method of payment. But some generations prefer shopping with credit cards more than others.

According to new survey data from TransUnion, baby boomers (age 55-73) are the most inclined to putting holiday purchases on a credit card, with a total of 42.4% saying it’s their favorite payment method. That total is made up of 35.2% who prefer a bank-issued card and 7.2% who lean toward a store card.

Not only are baby boomers more drawn to credit cards than other generations, but they’re also the only generation to say they prefer credit over debit, with just 35% favoring a debit card for their holiday shopping.

See related:  Holiday shopping and credit card guide 2019

The youngest group, Generation Z (age 18-24), has by far the least affinity to credit cards this season, with just 9.5% saying they’ll put holiday purchases on credit. In stark contrast, 51% of Gen Z adults say debit is their go-to payment method.

Millennials (age 25-39) were representative of the population average, with one-third (33.2%) preferring to holiday shop with credit cards, while Generation X (age 40-54) was less likely to prefer credit purchases (29.6%).

TransUnion’s 2019 Holiday Retail Fraud survey was conducted among 2,593 U.S. adults in October 2019. Its findings were released Nov. 19.

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 23rd, 2020
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