Preferred payment method differs by income, age

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Debit or credit card? Income and age affect payment choice, TSYS' 2015 Consumer Payment Choice Survey found.

Debit cards are the preferred payment method for individuals making up to $50,000 a year. Credit races ahead for people with incomes between $75,000 and $100,000 and beyond. 

By age group, debit cards are the preferred choice with two exceptions: people 35-44 and 65 or older, the study of 1,000 consumers who owned a debit and credit card found.

Why the differences?  People with higher incomes may prefer credit because they have more buying power. And younger consumers preferring debit cards may not have had a chance to build much credit. 

"We have found that while younger consumers and those in lower income brackets generally tend to use debit more than credit, in the middle and higher income brackets, usage is driven by a combination of age and income," says Sarah Hartman, senior director of Consumer Payment Solutions for TSYS. 

Income, age affect payment preference


See related: Payment preference also varies by location, 2013 TSYS study finds, More infographics

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Published: October 6, 2015

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