Discover: Holiday Spending (Mostly on Credit) to Jump This Season After Dip in 2014

After an 11 percent drop in expected holiday spending from $1,014 per consumer in 2013 to $900 in 2014, holiday shoppers plan to spend 3 percent more in 2015, according to Discover’s annual holiday survey.

Compared to five years ago, when holiday shoppers planned on spending $730 on average, this year’s anticipated spend of $927 represents a 27 percent increase.
The preferred method of payment for holiday shopping will be with a credit card,with about 41 percent of those surveyed saying they will pay with credit, followed by 27 percent using a debit card and 18 percent spending cash.
Credit card usage is up 18 percent compared to five years ago when only 23 percent of those surveyed planned on using their credit card most often for holiday shopping, Discover’s survey found.
Millennials are expected to outpace non-millennials — more than 2-to-1 this year — when it comes to shopping on mobile devices. The survey found that 73 percent of millennials said they will use a smartphone or tablet for holiday shopping, compared to 32 percent of non-millennials.
Similarly, 52 percent of millennials say they’ll do most of their holiday shopping online, compared to 42 percent of non-millennials.

Additional survey findings include:

  • While millennials plan to spend slightly more this season than non-millennials, 66 percent of millennials say they will set a budget for holiday spending, compared to 52 percent of non-millennials.
  • Consumers identified sales/discounts (57 percent), convenience (19 percent) and customer service (13 percent) as the most important factors when shopping at retail stores this holiday season.
  • Consumers are split when asked what type of shopping they plan to do most this year, with 45 percent planning to shop in-store and 46 percent shopping online.
  • Credit card rewards continue to be a factor in choosing credit as the preferred method of spending. Of those using credit cards the most this season, 42 percent are doing so in order to earn rewards points

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