No. of Recommendations: 5
This is in part what I am trying to get at. The question still remains do you (or on average people who behave as you are) charging more when they use the card than they would have spent had they used cash. In other words do you more easily justify those large purchases, or are they a little bit larger than they would have been, because you know you will use a credit card to pay for them and get the reward??

The study that I have seen referenced in the past is one that is a study done by the credit card industry for fast food restaurants. It was done as part of a (successful) push to get fast food restaurants to start accepting credit cards. I'm not sure if it was the same study that was done by Dun & Bradstreet.

I have only ever seen references to the study, not the actual study itself. However, the references that I have seen have only talked about the total size of the ticket, and have not referenced correcting for number of people food was purchased for.

My personal example is - when Joel and I go to a fast food place, I order the same combo meal as I would have ordered had I gone alone. However, when Joel and I go together, if I am paying, I generally pay with a credit card. When I go alone, I generally pay with cash. Joel's order usually costs about the same as mine, so I spend 100% more when I use my credit card than when I use cash.

But did I spend anything extra? No - I got the same meal for myself. And if you correct for the number of people that the food is purchased for, on a per person basis, the cost per person is the same. Joel will eventually pay me back for his meal, either by buying a meal for me, or when we tally up the costs to split periodically.

As another anecdote - I generally pay for purchases of $10 or less with cash, and more than $10 with credit. So on average, it looks like a spend a lot more when I pay with a credit card than when I pay with cash. But my purchasing behavior doesn't change.

Since I have never seen the actual study, I don't know if these types of issues are corrected for. But since the purpose of the study was to encourage restaurant owners to start taking credit cards, I kind of doubt it, as it would have lowered the differential between credit card purchases and cash purchases, thus making the study a less effective tool for the credit card industry to use in selling the restaurant owners on using credit cards.

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