As U.S. consumers recover from the excitement of securing those extended Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, their thoughts turn toward the rest of their shopping for this holiday season.

A recent Discover survey identified several trends among holiday shoppers — relating both to credit card usage and to an increasing reliance on online shopping, especially from mobile devices.

38% Will Make Most Holiday Purchases With a Credit Card

According to Discover’s annual holiday shopping survey, U.S. consumers plan to spend an average of $1,159 this holiday season, and 38% of those surveyed say they’ll be using a credit card for most of their holiday purchases. Another 28% will use debit for most purchases, 19% will pay cash, and 8% will be redeeming gift cards or rewards/points.

The biggest reason cited — by 46% of the respondents — for using credit cards for their holiday shopping is the desire to earn rewards. Another 27% will choose credit cards for convenience, while 16% like being able to track their spending.

For one-third (33%) of those who use credit cards, earning rewards actually is a priority for their holiday shopping. And when the time comes to receive those rewards, 67% prefer receiving cash back, compared to 16% who prefer travel rewards.

It’s Fun to Gift Yourself While Gifting Others

Perhaps the only thing better than holiday shopping for friends and family is managing to sneak in a gift or two for yourself. With the right credit card, you can receive rewards like cash back on all or most of your purchases — with additional credits for special categories of purchases — or you can receive reward miles that you can enjoy for travel later.

For example, with the Discover it® Cash Credit Card, you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants,*, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Cardmembers get 1% cash back on all other purchases. **

If you prefer travel rewards to cash, the Discover it® Miles Credit Card rewards you with 1.5x Miles on every dollar spent on purchases. There are no blackout dates or airline restrictions.*** You can redeem your Miles for any amount to credit travel purchases from your statement.

That Smartphone’s Not Just for Taking Photos, You Know

Whether you want to earn credit card rewards by shopping from home, in-store or somewhere in between is a matter of personal preference: In the survey, online shopping was seen as being much more convenient and offering better prices. Although in-store shopping was seen as being much more stressful, in-store was valued as being much more secure, as well as more fun and satisfying.

If you feel as if you spend more time on your mobile device than at your desktop these days, you’re not alone: This holiday season, 43% of those surveyed plan to do most of their shopping online, and increasing numbers of these folks — 58%, up from 47% in 2015 — will do that shopping from a smartphone or tablet.

Among those who plan to holiday shop from a mobile device, 77% expect to do half or more of their shopping from that device. The biggest increase in mobile holiday shopping — predicted to be 15% higher than last year — is among people age 35 and older.

Another way to make a mobile device part of your holiday shopping is to multitask with it to conduct price comparisons: 72% of Millennial respondents expect to use a smartphone or tablet to compare prices online while shopping in a physical store.

Wherever and however you shop this holiday season, you’ll be on trend if you’re making most of your purchases in the way that suits you best and with a credit card that rewards your generosity.


*Amazon is not a sponsor of this promotion. Amazon, the logo and the smile logo are trademarks of Amazon or its affiliates.

**Redeem Any Amount Any Time: We will credit your account with your cash back bonus balance if your account is closed or has not been used in 18 months. See rewards terms and conditions.

***Redeem Miles: Starting at 1 Mile, you can redeem for cash as a electronic deposit to your bank account or for a credit for Travel Purchases on your statement made within in last 180 days. Travel Purchases include airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation. Redemption may not be available for approximately 24-48 hours if your card is reported lost or stolen. See Miles Terms and Conditions for details. Miles Never Expire: we will credit your account with your rewards balance if your account is closed or has not been used in 18 months. See Miles rewards terms and conditions.

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