AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Three in four Americans have made an impulse purchase, according to a new CreditCards.com report, and nearly half of those regretted doing so.
An impulse purchase was defined as any unplanned or unnecessary decision to buy a product just before the purchase. Nearly 90 percent of millennials said they had made an impulse purchase, compared to just 56 percent of seniors.
The survey also found real differences among Americans when it comes to what triggers these purchases, how much we spend and whether we ended up regretting them. For example:
- Men were nearly three times more likely than women to impulse buy while "intoxicated," while women were twice as likely as men to impulse buy while "sad." The most common emotions at the time of purchase? "Excited" and "bored."
- Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say they regretted an impulse purchase, and women were more likely than men.
- College graduates were more likely to make impulse purchases than non-college graduates. And suburban residents were more likely than urban or rural residents.
- Nearly one in three Americans had spent $100 or more on an impulse purchase, but men were the biggest spenders. They were almost three times more likely than women to have spent $1,000 or more on an impulse buy.
Respondents were about as likely to make impulse purchases in-person and online. Cash was the top payment choice for impulse purchases (33%), just barely ahead of debit (32%) and credit (30%) cards.
No matter how you pay, it's important to not let your impulse buying get out of hand, says CreditCards.com senior industry analyst Matt Schulz.
"Making small impulse purchases every once in a while is probably no big deal and can even be fun," Schulz said. "However, if they're too costly or happen too often, they can devastate a budget, so be careful."
If you do suffer from buyer's remorse, remember that some credit card issuers offer guaranteed returns on purchases, even after it's too late to return them to the store. Different issuers have different limits and rules, however, so call your card's customer service number for more information.
And for more on our survey, click here:
Princeton Survey Research Associates International obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,000 adults living in the continental United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (500) and cell phone (500, including 290 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish from November 6-9, 2014. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
CreditCards.com, named a "Best Site for Managing Your Credit" by MSN Money, is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America's leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2013, 19.5 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.
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