Sure enough, the pandemic is changing how Americans are using credit cards. It makes sense. The coronavirus has impacted many people financially it’s natural that the way we use plastic has been affected, too.
A report from Money found that many Americans about 30 percent are using their credit cards more frequently during the pandemic. Tied to that usage is the dedication to current cards. Seventy percent of Americans said they had no plans to close any of their accounts. Of those who had at least one credit card account open, 38 percent said credit cards are the sole method they used for purchasing items.
The Money report also showed that despite the uptick in credit card usage, credit card debt is declining. At the beginning of the year, Americans owed an all-time high of $1.09 trillion in total credit card debt. However, in July, Americans owed $99.5 billion, marking the first time since 2017 that total credit card debt dipped below $1 trillion.
Ironically, the pandemic is one major reason why credit card debt has declined. Yes, Americans are taking advantage of payment aid from lenders, but the Money study found they’ve also taken this time to revise their debt payment strategies. The payment deferrals and other programs gave Americans breathing room, and they took advantage of that and started to pay down debt more aggressively.