Originally posted on Quora, answering the question: Do you think using a credit card costs you more money? Follow me on Quora.
Whether you pay for an item with cash, debit or credit card, the price of the item remains the same. Many claim that they are advantages in using credit cards. Such as accumulating travel miles or getting 2% cash back. However, there is one major disadvantage of using credit cards that many people simply don’t know about.
Many studies have shown that the consumer tends to spend more money when using plastic instead of cash. Some psychologists say that’s because our brain feels pain whenever our money leaves us. Say you have five twenty dollar bills in your wallet and spend one of them for purchasing the latest bestseller. You’re not down to four twenty dollar bills. You actually have less weight in your wallet. Therefore, your brain can quantify that and realizes it when you’re close to zero. You are now more wary of spending the remaining four. However, if you have a credit card, your brain doesn’t feel pain whenever you spend money. Therefore you end up spending more.
You don’t believe me. Go grocery shopping on two separate occasions. On the first occasion, simply bring 200$ cash with you. And the other time, use your credit card. Compare both bills and see which one is higher.
This explains why in 2003, McDonald’s introduced payment by credit cards/debit cards in all their restaurants. A client with plastic instead of cash spends more.
Soon, the swipe of your credit card will be replaced by a tap. This will lead the consumer to spend even more!
My advice to you is contrarian. Don’t be like everyone else and stop using your credit cards. Use cash instead of all of your purchases. This alone will save you large amounts of money in the long run. And don’t eat at McDonald’s either.
I hope this helps!