The majority of millennials are showing little interest in carrying around a credit card. In fact, a full 63 percent of those in this generation – people ages 18-29 – don’t even have one, according to a study by Bankrate.com, the online aggregator of lending rate information to consumers.
That’s a significant departure from Gen Xers and baby boomers: only 35 percent of adults 30 and older don’t carry any credit cards in their wallets.
About one-quarter of millennials (23 percent) carry one card, and 8 percent carry either two or three cards.
Most Americans, of all ages, don’t bother to carry more than one card: only 21 percent of those 65 and older carry two cards, compared to18 percent of those aged 50-64, and 13 percent of those aged 30-49.
A Gallup poll recently found that overall, Americans are tending to rely less on credit cards since the Great Recession, which partially explains younger Americans’ aversion to credit cards. There’s also the Credit Card Accountability, Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, legislation borne of the financial crisis making it harder for anyone under 21 to get a credit card.
Also, many millennials are carrying debt from historically high student loans, which may make them unqualified for a credit card. But the Bankrate study suggests that beyond that, millennials are simply uninterested in using credit cards.
“Millennials grew up in a world where the economy was tanking,” explained David Pommerehn, senior counsel at the Consumer Bankers Association, who was quoted in Bankrate’s study. “There was great concern about jobs and debts and paying off bills.”