While Americans ran more than $2 trillion through general purpose credit cards and $1.4 trillion through general purpose debit cards in the U.S. last year, the stage is set for a major roll-back in payment card usage this year. A recent online survey of 3,000 consumers has found that 64% of consumers said they will reduce overall credit card usage in 2008. A surprising 19% indicated in the CardTrak survey they intend to cut-up all credit cards this year and more than 44% said they intend to switch to a lower APR credit card. Apart from card usage, 65% of Americans said they plan to reduce restaurant spending. Travel is also on the hit list. Nearly 46% say reducing travel expenses is a major priority and 45% expect to cut-back on automobile fuel consumption. Cutting-back on cable is also on the hit list as 24% of Americans say they are reviewing their TV habits.
CONSUMER CUT-BACK TARGETS 2008 Reduce Restaurant Spending: 65% Reduce Overall Credit Card Usage: 64% Cut-Up All Credit Cards: 19% Reduce Cable TV Service: 24% Switch to Lower Cost Phone Service: 23% Reduce Food Spending: 27% Reduce Automobile Gas Usage: 45% Cut Back Heating Thermostat: 35% Switch to a Lower Rate Credit Card: 44% Reduce Travel Expenses: 46% Source: CardTrak (www.cardtrakcomstg.wpengine.com)