More Shoppers Using Debit Instead of Credit This Holiday Season

By Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The stumbling economy is turning more people into savvy shoppers, and stores and shoppers say the days of paying interest for gifts are in the past.

But the days of plastic aren't over, customers are just choosing to use debit instead of credit cards.

"Debit seems to be where everybody's at, people like to use the debit option rather than charging it," Cavender's Store Manager, Jason LeMond, said. "We still see a high volume of credit cards being used but everything's usually cash or debit. Who wants to pay interest when you don't have to?"

Stores say people are watching their budgets and buying gifts with their own money instead of borrowing.

Alesia Brewer and hordes of other shoppers say the reason why is simple.

"It's just easier, it's easier for me," Brewer said. "I don't have to worry about spending so much cash. You know when you have cash in hand you tend spend more. As far as my debit card, I only spend what's on there so I know how much I'm going to spend."

She says only using credit cards for emergencies and traveling helps a lot.

"Since the economy has gotten bad, I'd rather do it that way," she said. "It works for my household."

While most credit card use is down, stores say people are willing to finance some big ticket items if there's a deal involved.

Now, many stores are offering zero financing deals for certain purchases.

Best Buy's General Manager says he sees more people using his stores credit card because of it.

"We always had 18 month no interest and 36 month no interest, but we recently lowered the cap on that to trying and make it easier on people," Best Buy General Manager, Mike Williams said.

But for the most part cash and debit are king this holiday season.