Plastic staying home alone this holiday shopping season

12/03/2009 5:25 pm EST


Jim Jubak

Founder and Editor,

Shoppers are leaving home without it this year.

An estimated 28.3% of consumers will use credit cards to pay for holiday gifts this year, according to a survey by the National Retail Federation and BIGresearch. That would be a drop from the 31.5% of consumers who paid with credit cards during the 2008 holiday season.

A story in today’s Wall Street Journal reported that more people are leaving their cards at home because of climbing interest rates on cards, lower spending limits, and canceled accounts.

Today American Express (AXP) was down 5.3%, Discover Financial Services (DFS) was down 2.9%, Visa (V) down 2.7%, and MasterCard (MA) down 2.6% as part of a general retreat among financials.  All these, however, did fall more on the day than the 2.1% drop in the Financial Select Sector SPDR (XLF).

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