Paying for the holidays: Credit or cash?

Whether or not they've been affected by the credit card data breach at Target Stores, many holiday shoppers probably have been buying fewer gifts with credit cards, according to recent data.

About 26.1 percent of Americans said they plan to put fewer holiday purchases on credit plastic than they did last year, according to a poll from, which provides consumers with credit card and other financial information.

Its survey of 426 consumers also indicated that about one-fifth intend to pay for more of their holiday purchases with debit cards and cash.

Holiday shoppers are using credit cards less primarily because they're trying to pay off debt, though Target's data breach has them concerned about the safety of their personal information, according to Adam Levin, chairman and co-founder of

"It's not the first. It won't be the last," Levin said, referring to the breach.

-By Althea Chang

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