BUSINESS
12/20/2010 06:07 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Americans Reject Credit Cards This Holiday Season

More Americans are choosing paper over plastic -- for their method of payment, at least.

In yet another sign that consumers are wary to use credit cards, more than half of American adults are not using credit to do holiday shopping, according to a recently released poll.

The poll, conducted by Marist Poll at Marist College, found further that only 9% of consumers are charging all of their purchases, with another 9% charging most of them.

Unsurprisingly, the results of the poll also found a divide spending habits along income lines, with 66% of those earning less under $50,000 foregoing credit. Among those who earn more than $50,000 47% said they were foregoing credit this holiday season.

This credit card caution is unsurprising considering that over 13 million Americans are still paying off credit card debt incurred in 2009's holiday season. The cutback in credit was reiterated in the results of a Consumer Reports survey, which also reported a drop in holiday spending to an average of $679, down $20 from last year.

Other sources have reported increases in holiday spending, including the National Retail Federation (NRF), which expects 3.3% growth this November and December from last year.

Kathy Grannis, a spokesperson for the NRF, noted that despite the projected increase in spending, people were turning instead to debit cards to shop, in lieu of charging to credit. "Based on what we've seen in our surveys, stores indicate people are cutting back on credit card usage," she said.

Credit card debt has fallen steadily for the last 26 months, according to the Federal Reserve Consumer Credit Report, a signal perhaps that this year's shoppers will avoid last year's holiday spending hangover.

"This year, we are hearing that consumers are saving up for the gifts that they're buying," Grannis said.