By Julie Watts

SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — For years, cash was king and credit cards were primarily used for big ticket items, but that has changed.

From cashless businesses to minimum transaction fees, there’s a trend of charging-small.

It’s only coffee and a doughnut, but Megan Supina won’t pay with cash.

“I used my credit card,” she says while grabbing a coffee. “I can keep track of what I’m buying.”

She’s among an increasing number of people who are choosing credit over cash for small transactions.

Whether they swipe, tap, or pay by phone, a recent survey from creditcards.com found 17 percent of cardholders now use plastic for purchases under $5. That’s up from just 11 percent last year.

And Bankrate found nearly 10 percent of consumers don’t carry any cash at all.

One of the reasons is that a growing number of restaurants are choosing to go cash-less.

Though they also say accepting plastic only speeds-up service and creates a safer environment for employees.

Credits cards are a safe way to go.

And Creditcard.com’s Matt Schulz points out paying with credit is safer for consumers too.

If you have a problem with a product or service – you have the option to dispute the charge on a credit card.

And if your card is hacked to stolen, you’re protected from fraudulent changes.

Schulz said, “Whereas with a debit card if a bad guy gets a hold of it that can be really money coming out of a real account.”

It’s one of many reasons more people say they’re choosing credit over cash.

Credit card user Jay Deitcher said, “You get points for travel…It adds up.”

Still some people prefer – paper to plastic, such as cash user Richard Slade.

“I’m old, I’m used to using cash,” Slade says jokingly.

The cash contingent points out many retailers require a minimum purchase when using a credit card and studies show people spend twice as much when paying with plastic.

Still, like it or not, experts say credit card use will continue to rise and so will the number of businesses no longer accepting cash.

We often get questions about the legality of cashless business, and minimum credit card purchases.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Law, allows retailers to require a minimum purchase of up to $10.

And federal law also allows for companies to choose to go cashless, unless it’s prohibited by state law.

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