When it comes to credit cards, Americans are big spenders on plastic. According to a finder.com study of of 6,838 American adults conducted in May 2016 by global research provider pureprofile, the majority of American credit cardholders – 64 percent or approximately 158.6 million people – make unplanned purchases with their credit cards each month. On average, they make over seven per month.
Which age group is the biggest impulse spenders?
Perhaps unsurprisingly to some, Millennials (aged 18-34) are the biggest impulse spenders, making 14 unplanned purchases per month, compared to eight for Generation Y (aged 35-54) and four for Baby Boomers (55+).
How impulsive spending impacts relationships
The most concerning results from the study was that one in five American cardholders (20 percent) admit their credit card spending has led to an argument with their partner or a family member, and 21 percent make secret credit card purchases that their partner doesn’t know about.
State by state at a glance…
New Yorkers are the worst spenders according to the survey, making the highest number of impulsive purchases than any other state, of 13 per month. This was followed by credit cardholders in New Mexico and Texas, both with an average of 11 impulsive purchases per month. Cardholders in Georgia and Iowa make 10 impulsive purchases on average per month, while California, Washington and Mississippi cardholders make an average of nine impulse buys per month.
The least impulsive shoppers were from Arkansas, Connecticut, Minnesota and Oregon, where cardholders make on average three impulsive purchases per month.
Is credit card spending out of control?
America’s credit card debt is collectively sitting at $960.8 billion (as of June 2016. Source: U.S. Federal Reserve). There are about 247.8 million cardholders in the United States, with 435.6 million cards in circulation. That’s 1.76 cards per cardholder on average (source: New York Fed Consumer Credit Panel/Equifax). Based on current growth rates, finder.com expects the total number of credit card accounts to be back at pre-financial crisis levels (496.1 million cards in 2008) by the second quarter of 2018.
Note: There were 11 states excluded from the study due to sample size under 40 respondents, including Alaska, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, North and South Dakota, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont and Wyoming.