Have Cards, Will Travel

Paper credit card bills? OK. Mail back payments? Nah

Sabrina Karl
Personal Finance Writer
Data whiz and visual storyteller


A majority of Americans’ monthly credit card bills still get printed on paper and delivered through the mail. But only 1 out of 6 cardholders in turn pay them with paper checks, envelopes and stamps.

Research firm Aite Group found that 37 percent of major credit card bills are being sent by paper delivery only, and another 23 percent are being delivered both electronically and by mail, for a total of 60 percent of bills involving a paper delivery.

Not surprisingly, older cardholders are most likely to get a mailed statement, with 71 percent of seniors receiving their bill by mail. The percent drops with each generation, with paper deliveries going to only 54 percent of millennials.

But the preference between electronic and traditional methods shifts considerably when it comes to paying those bills. Among payment options, the biller’s website is the runaway favorite among all generations, cited by 46 percent of major credit cardholders. Paying via a bank’s website was a distant second at 22 percent and mailed payments came in third with 16 percent.

Although a majority of all generations favor electronic payment methods for their credit card bills, the share of those who still pay by mail increases with age. Among millennials, only 10 percent are sending in a check, compared to 31 percent for seniors.

Aite Group’s  survey was conducted online among 1,862 adults who hold a major credit card, with results weighted to represent U.S. Census demographics. Data were collected in the third quarter of 2016, with findings released July 27, 2017.

We still like getting paper credit card bills, but won't mail payments back

See related: Poll: Pay with cash or card for $5 purchase?, More infographics

To use the graphic on your site, use the following code:

<center><a href=””><img alt=” Infographic: Plenty of paper credit card bills, but few paper payments” border=”0″ src=”” /></a> </center>

What’s up next?

In Have Cards, Will Travel

ID thieves covet SSNs over credit card data

Social Security number breaches are outnumbering credit card data breaches 4 to 1

Published: September 22, 2017

See more stories
Credit Card Rate Report Updated: April 21st, 2019
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more

Join the Discussion

We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company’s business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.