So-called power moms–those who meticulously shop for their families–prefer to use debit cards or cash to pay for purchases instead of credit cards, according to CheapToday.com, a Web site that features sale offers from various large U.S. merchants. The site regularly polls its members about financial and retail-shopping issues, says Chris Hill, president and CEO. In a survey earlier this month in which 134 power moms responded, 43% reported using Visa check cards for their holiday purchases, while 14% chose to pay with debit MasterCards. Of the other respondents, 32% reported using cash or checks to pay, 3% reported using retail store cards, 2% reported using American Express cards, and 6% reported using other options such as gift cards and Discover card. Respondents supplied myriad anecdotal comments on why they chose using debit cards instead of credit cards, Hill says. “We got a lot of responses around the credit hangover everyone experienced in 2009,” says Hill, noting that shoppers were specific about singling out credit as an undesirable choice. “One person said used she used her check book and was trying to hard not to use credit this year, so there’s a very conscious movement away from credit.” Survey participants tended to use cash to control how much they spent this year, he says. “When they did use credit, there was a negative connotation. But people love debit cards,” says Hill. For example, one respondent said she “unfortunately” had to use credit cards to get by this year.

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