Consumers say they’ll increase spending through holidays; 2 in 10 will use cash

 In News

One-quarter of consumers plan to spend more this holiday season than they did last year. Somewhat surprisingly, younger generations are leading the trend, with 35 percent of millennials and 33 percent of Gen Z saying they expect to increase their spending, compared with 26 percent of Gen X and 16 percent of baby boomers.

The data, from an annual holiday shopping survey by Discover, found that the increase results from a variety of factors:

  • 51 percent of Gen Z and 40 percent of millennials said that higher wages would drive their spending increase.
  • 38 percent of Gen X and 36 percent of boomers said their spending will grow because they have more people on their shopping list.

In terms of primary payment methods used in holiday spending:

  • 38 percent said they expect to use credit cards, up from 32 percent last year.
  • 24 percent said they expect to use debit cards.
  • 20 percent said they expect to use cash.

Among those who favor credit cards when making holiday purchases, 54 percent said that earning rewards is the driving factor, up from 42 percent last year, according to Discover.

More than half of respondents (55 percent) said they are “very” or “moderately” concerned about identity theft or fraud during the holidays, down from 62 percent last year.

The degree of concern declines with age, as the study found:

  • 60 percent among baby boomers were very or moderately concerned.
  • 56 percent among Gen X were very or moderately concerned.
  • 49 percent of Gen Z were very or moderately concerned.
  • 48 percent of millennials were very or moderately concerned.

Nine in 10 survey respondents said they take some measure to protect themselves from identity theft or fraud:

  • 62 percent said they monitor their financial statements.
  • 41 percent monitor their credit reports.
  • 39 percent use a credit card with built-in security features.
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