Smart consumers know that making purchases on credit costs you more money in the long run. Sure, you might make a given purchase with the intention of paying off your credit card before the billing cycle ends, but often it just doesn’t happen. Pulling out a credit card often means paying at least a few dollars more for many purchases.
There is another, much more subtle way that using a credit card will cost you more money, however. Professors Promothesh Chatterjee and Randall Rose of University of Kansas and University of South Carolina respectively recently published some research that suggests your choice of payment method can actually impact the product you wind up choosing.
The credit-benefit connection
One of the aspects to payment method that the study focused on was the question of benefits. What they discovered was nothing short of revolutionary.
As it turns out, customers who are primed to pay with a credit card are more concerned with a product’s benefits than with cost. This demonstrated itself in several different ways during the study. For example:
- Credit customers had greater recall after the transaction of benefit-related words used during the transaction.
- Credit card customers responded quicker to benefit words than cash customers.
- Credit card customers made more indulgent, high-image product choices, suggesting that they were focused on benefits over other factors.
What this means, at least in part, is that when paying with a credit card you’re more likely to make your purchase decisions on the merits of the product itself and what it can do for you, rather than on other factors such as cost.
The cash-cost connection
Likewise, cash customers weren’t nearly as keen on benefits as they were on cost. The researchers found that:
- Cash customers responded quicker to cost aspects of a given product.
- Cash customers had greater recall after the transaction of cost-related words.
- Cash customers were more likely to identify cost-related details including things such as price, delivery or installation cost, warranty cost, and even delivery time.
- Cash customers were more likely to choose a less expensive product, even when facing inferior benefits.
Likewise, cash customers weren’t as quick to respond to benefit-related metrics, as the credit card customers did.
Choosing the right payment method
As consumers, then, the question becomes this: how do we make responsible purchase choices? If method of payment impacts the product we choose, should we always pay cash in order to get the most savings?
Certainly that’s an option. However, you need to remember this: sometimes, you’re looking for a higher-quality product. That means more benefits. That means you’re going to pay a little more. When you pay with cash, you’re more likely to miss those benefits in favor of cost-related details.
Ultimately, it’s up to the consumer as to how best to make their purchases. Credit cards can be convenient, but this research suggests that they may wind up costing you more through simple product choices (to say nothing of credit card interest).
This was a guest post from David Rodwell, who is an experienced writer who covers everything from business to personal finance. Check out his site CreditCardProcessing.net for similar articles!
|Thank you for reading this article. If you like my blog, consider subscribing to Finance Product Reviews via RSS or email. You can also subscribe via Facebook or Twitter by clicking on those icons on the top. Thank you!|
Disclaimer: Finance Product Reviews is an independent website. Although we may have advertisement relationship with financial institution we review, they do not influence our decision or rating of products. Contents of this site are not provided by any financial institution, banks, brokerages or credit card issuers. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone and are not reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the product owners.