Debit cards most popular option for holiday shopping

Despite the potential to earn rewards when shopping with a credit card, most Americans plan to shop with a debit card this holiday season.

That’s according to TD Bank’s “Holiday Retail Report,” which found that 36% Americans will use debit card to pay for holiday purchases, followed by a credit card (34%), check (17%), store-branded credit card (7%) and in-store financing options (4%).

Those who plan to finance all or some of their holiday shopping will do so with a bank-offered credit card (71%), a store credit card (57%) or a store-backed payment plan (39%), TD Bank found. And 96% who financed holiday shopping in the past paid it off within a year, including 33% who paid it off immediately and 24% who paid it off within the first month after making a purchase.

In other survey findings:

• Respondents were most likely to pursue financing for their holiday shopping if doing so offered them significant savings (61%).

• Millennials are more likely than Gen-X to stay loyal to the brands they favor year round during holiday time (45% vs. 21%, respectively). The two most important features when deciding where to shop were variety of products (46%), discounts offered (41%).

• The trends most likely to pique shoppers' interests are customized coupons (37%), discounts via geotargeting (35%) and enhanced shopping atmospheres (22%).

• Thirty-nine percent of shoppers have purchased an item from social media advertising.

“Our data shows that holiday shoppers have financed responsibly in the past, which has led retailers to offer increasingly innovative financing options that provide consumers with an enticing combination of savings and rewards on their holiday purchases,” said Matt Boss, head of credit cards and unsecured lending at TD Bank. “It's a win-win from the customer point of view. Rewards programs enhance a customer's overall experience and increase their likelihood to shop at a retailer again and again, long after the holiday shopping season has ended."