Consumers may be relying less on credit cards, according to a survey commissioned by Bankrate.com and released Monday.
The survey, which polled 1,000 consumers about their attitude toward credit cards, found that 40% of respondents "wouldn't care at all" if their revolving credit lines disappeared. More than a third (34.2%) said they would be "slightly annoyed" in that case.
The telephone survey was conducted Dec. 5 to Dec. 7 by GfK Custom Research North America. It found strong support for closer regulation of the credit card industry — 70.6% of respondents "strongly agreed" that issuers should be more closely regulated, and 21% said they "somewhat agreed." Nearly three-quarters said they "strongly disagreed" that issuers should have the right to change account terms at "any time, for any reason"; nearly a tenth said they "somewhat disagreed" with that statement.
Almost 72% of respondents said they had a credit card. Of those, 40.9% reported a line increase in the past year, and only 6.3% reported a line decrease. (Just under 4% said some of their lines were increased while others were decreased.)
However, 31.8% of the respondents with a credit card said they would "probably charge less" on their cards in 2009, and 50.2% said they would not change their usage levels. Only 1.5% of respondents said they would probably charge more, and 14.8% of respondents with cards said they "don't plan on using credit cards at all in 2009."