How quaint. Our old-fashioned, debt-averse neighbors to the north are reluctantly accepting the notion that swiping plastic to pay for groceries and other essentials is not such a bad thing.
The Globe and Mail cites a survey that posed the statement “I don’t like using credit cards for essential purchases like groceries.” Whereas in 2009, half of Canadians polled said yes, in the most recent survey only 42% said agreed with the statement.
Traditionally, Canadians have preferred to use cash for groceries and other essentials. But for better or worse, their spending habits appear to be becoming more Americanized, with Canadians holding more credit cards in their wallets and using them more often for the sake of convenience and rewards.
In the U.S., land of the free and the home of the minimum payment, using credit cards for groceries started to become common in the early 1990s, when the number of supermarkets accepting credit card payments expanded rapidly.
More recently, a study showed that just 14% of Americans use cash during shopping trips. (That same study revealed that shoppers are more likely to buy junk food if paying with credit cards rather than plastic as well.)
While Canadians are finally getting comfortable with the idea of paying for groceries with credit cards, Americans are increasingly ready to enter the new frontier of spending and consumption: Despite concerns over security and the potential for mindless overspending, one in four U.S. consumers is already prepared to use a smartphone to buy groceries.