Nearly one-third of consumers believe the economic downturn has not yet hit bottom, according to research by First Command Financial Services.
In a report the Fort Worth financial services provider released last week, 32% of consumers said they think the U.S. economy will fall deeper into recession.
As a result, 67% said they plan to use cash to pay for holiday purchases this year, compared with 49% who plan to use credit. Of those who plan to use cards, 25% say they will use their cards "somewhat less" than last year.
When asked about general spending intentions for next year, 40% of respondents said they plan to cut back on "excessive spending," 35% plan to get out of debt, 29% intend to use cash or debit cards instead of credit cards and 25% will try to live within their means.
"Americans have taken the lessons of this recession to heart," Scott Spiker, First Command's chief executive, said in a press release. "They are looking to curb their spending and get out of debt."
The company's online survey of 1,000 consumers 25 to 70 years old and with household incomes of at least $50,000 was done in November by Sentient Decision Science.
Meanwhile, Cardline reported yesterday that half of U.S. consumers believe the overhaul of the credit card industry will have no impact on them, according to Maritz.
The St. Louis market research firm found that 75% of U.S. households were familiar with the regulations President Obama signed into law this year, but they were divided on the impact the rules would have.
Maritz surveyed 2,666 adults online from Oct. 8 to Oct. 14 to measure awareness of the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act, which will restrict many practices when it goes into full effect Feb. 22.
Fifty percent said they expected to feel no impact, 17% said they expected a negative impact and another 17% expected a positive impact. Roughly 6% expected a "significant positive impact" and 4% expected a "significant negative impact."
Six percent were unsure what impact the new rules would have. Around 42% of respondents reported seeing recent interest rate increases on their cards, while 29% reported the recent notification of higher minimum payments, 28% reported recent credit-line reductions, 22% reported the recent imposition of new or higher annual fees, and another 22% reported recent rewards-benefit reductions.
Forty percent said they usually pay their credit card bill in full each month and 60% said they tend to carry a balance.
"I was surprised that consumers' familiarity with the new regulations was so high, given the fact that many credit card issuers are still contemplating changes they will make in response to the law," said Rich Brose, the senior director of strategic consulting for Maritz's financial services group.