SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS)— When it comes to making small purchases, Americans prefer cash over plastic, but according to a new survey that’s likely to change.

“We are moving towards becoming a more cashless society,” said Senior Industry Analyst Matt Schulz “Two-thirds of American card holders still use cash for purchases under $5.”
Age plays an important factor in what we prefer. For those who are over 50, they tend to use cash more than plastic.

“77-percent of people aged 50 or older use cash, but that number drops to only 52 percent for those who are younger than 50,” Schulz said.

18 to 29 year-olds actually prefer plastic for purchases of less than $5.

Schulz said technology has something to do with these age-based preferences. “The younger generation is a little more used to buying things online, using plastic,” he said.

Americans also have strong preferences when it comes to using debit versus credit. He said generally people prefer debit to credit at about a 2 to 1 ratio. For millennials that ratio grows to about a 3 to 1 ratio.