It may be a sign of the times or just people rather use cash. The use of credit cards is down across the country. In a recent survey, 56% of Americans are using credit cards for their purchases. This is down from 87% only 3 years ago. Granted, this drop may be the result of people just not spending any money. Experts believe that the weak economy is changing the way that people make their purchases opting for using debit cards, prepaid cards or simply using cash.
The economic situation is that many people are facing the fact they can't buy on credit anymore. Credit is quickly becoming a bygone era with interest rates on most cards hovering around 16 to 20 percent. Many families that are already budget strapped because of the economy isn't going to be going into debt and having to pay high interest rates. The economy is really making people be smarter about their purchase decisions on how they make their purchases.
Credit card companies are scrambling to meet this change in consumer purchase patterns by offering unique deals to entice more credit card usage. Now there are a handful of companies that offer great cash back rewards such as American Express with their Costco partnership, Schwab, Chase and others. In the end, these new plans are a win for consumers.
Opening up a small business, forming an LLC or incorporating, chances are you'll need a business credit card, and American Express is one bank that's very visible in the small business community. American Express's small business division, OPEN, has kicked up up their visibility by launching a new campaign showcasing real case studies by real small businesses. The new campaign is a national effort called "Start Booming." If you're interested in reading more about their small business members and their success stories, visit their site. It's great to see big companies like American Express doing what they can to extend their hand out to small businesses, in this economy it's not as common as it should be.