Generational Differences in Credit Card Usage

credit card usage on different generations

Credit cards have been around in one way or another for a surprisingly long time. Many might not be aware that the idea came about in the late-1800s. Charge cards, as they were known at the time, served to charge customers of department stores, hotels, and more. However, as we know it today, the credit card would not come about for quite some time.

Credit cards are among the most popular payment methods in the United States. They may just be the most popular method of making deposits. Most industries have fully embraced credit cards, whether in department stores, supermarkets, or online casinos. And since online gambling is on the rise, many customers are looking for the best credit card casinos available to them right now.

However, generational divides exist in all things, even credit card usage. In this article, we would like to explore how different generations use credit cards. Which generations tend to use credit cards the most, and are younger people just as likely to purchase using credit cards as their parent’s generation? Let’s find out.

The Baby Boomers – Credit Card Ownership

While the Golden Generation is most likely to use credit cards as payment (75%), the Baby Boomers have the most credit cards on average. According to a survey, people born between 1946 and 1964 have the most credit cards out of any generation, with a staggering average of over five credit cards per person. And while Baby Boomers are not as likely to use credit cards as their predecessors, they still own almost double what the average member of the Golden Generation had.

But Baby Boomers are not the only ones to own excessive credit cards. Members of Generation X also tend to have four credit cards per person, with some even holding as many as five. In terms of sheer numbers, Baby Boomers still own more credit cards than Gen Xers. Not only that, but Boomers also have the highest credit card balance out of any other generation today.

The Baby Boomers – Credit Card Usage

What is fascinating is that despite owning more credit cards than their predecessors, Baby Boomers and Gen Xers don’t use credit cards as much as the Golden Generation. While over 70% of Golden Generation members use credit cards as their primary source of payment, only 46-49% of Gen X and Baby Boomers default to credit cards.

Millennials – Credit Card Ownership

Millennials are the people born between 1981 and 1996. According to the latest studies, Millennials own an average of four cards per person. While quite high, the number is still lower than previous generations. The fact that younger generations tend to own fewer and fewer cards has many believing that there will be a shift toward debit cards. However, many analysts are not convinced. Some claim that younger generations will switch to credit cards soon and use them more than any previous generation.

Millennials – Credit Card Usage

Millennials seem to use credit cards less than both Boomers and Gen Xers, with the sole exception being online purchases. According to surveys, Millennials are more likely to use credit cards for online purchases than the previous generations. The only people who engage in e-Commerce more than Millennials, on average, are members of Gen Z. And speaking of which…

Gen Z – Credit Card Ownership

Gen Z, or Zoomers, were born between 1997 and 2012. However, as you need to be at least 18 to own a credit card, we will be looking at those born between 1997 and 2005. Of course, we have to adjust for the fact that we are working with a much smaller number of people. However, adult Zoomers are much less likely to use credit cards than their predecessors.

On average, members of Gen Z have 2-3 credit cards per person. Quite a decline from Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. Not only that, but Gen Zers prefer using debit cards, e-wallets, or other alternative payment methods, like cryptocurrency or even cash payments, over credit cards, which is undoubtedly fascinating to learn.


·        What generation is most comfortable using credit cards?

The generation that uses credit cards most frequently is the Golden Generation.

·        Which generation owns the most amount of credit cards, on average?

Baby boomers own an average of 5.5 credit cards per person, with Gen X being close behind, with 5 cards per person.

·        Which generation has the highest credit card balance?

Baby boomers have the highest credit card balance from any other generation in the USA.

·        Why do Gen Zers use credit cards less frequently than previous generations?

Reasons may vary. However, members of Gen Z tend more towards digital payment methods, as they grew up in an era of developing technology.

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