Online Spending Higher With Credit Than Debit

Want to spend less? One way might be to trade in your credit card for a debit card.

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A greater number of people are now shopping online, and new research shows they’re spending more when paying with a credit card.

Consumers spend an average of $82.10 on a single online transaction with a credit card payment, compared to $58.29 by those using a debit card, according to Javelin Strategy & Research’s latest Online Retail Payments Forecast report. The study was based on more than 2,300 respondents.

Javelin predicts this trend will continue long beyond this holiday season. U.S. consumer payments volume from online use of credit cards will climb 63 percent from 2011 to 2016, but debit card online payment volume will only grow by 2 percent.

This research follows a recent study by the Journal of Consumer Research – entitled “Do Payment Mechanisms Change the Way Consumers View Products?” – that explains how the perception and evaluation of products differ with cash compared to a credit card payment.

Consumers paying with a credit card focus on the benefits of the product, which increases the natural desire to spend. Consumers who pay with cash are more likely to choose an option based on cost, even if that option offers inferior benefits.

“Both studies provide more evidence that consumers must be wise when it comes to shopping with a credit card,” says Bill Hardekopf, CEO of “This is especially true during Christmas when it is so easy to get caught up in the spirit of giving and buy that extra gift or two. That’s why over 14 million people are still paying off credit card purchases from the 2010 holiday season. We all need to make a holiday budget and stick to it.”

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