Debit passes credit cards as preferred payment method

This holiday season, consumers will spend spend an average of $715 on gifts, according to a recent Gallup poll.

However, they may not be using their credit cards as frequently as before. A new report suggests debit may pass credit as consumer’s preferred payment option this holiday season, as shoppers look to rein in their credit card debt.

“A lot of people don’t use their credit card because they don’t want to get over their head into debt, which is a good concern,” Josh Frank, a senior researcher with the Center for Responsible Lending, told ABC News.

Recent polls indicate debit cards have been more prevalent than credit cards in supermarkets, as 53 percent of shoppers report using debit more frequently. The polls also show that 48 percent of respondents use debit as their primary payment method, the news source says.

In 2005, the volume of transactions completed with debit outpaced credit purchases, although the amount of total spending with credit cards was still greater. Despite the recent shift to debit use, credit card debt remains high in the U.S., totaling nearly $900 billion in March.

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