Despite concerns about identity theft and fraud, consumers don’t plan to
curb their holiday shopping. An independent survey commissioned by
Discover found that while 62 percent of consumers are very or moderately
concerned about identify theft or fraud this holiday season, a large
majority, 73 percent, say concerns over recent data breaches won’t
affect how they’ll go about their holiday shopping. Discover has
commissioned its annual holiday shopping survey since 2004.
“The safety and security of consumers’ personal information is always
top of mind, especially during the holidays when spending tends to ramp
up,” said Laks Vasudevan, Discover’s vice president of products and
innovation. “We look out for our cardmembers by offering a wide range of
built-in credit card security features for free, including our recently
launched Social Security number and new account alerts1. Our
new alerts help our cardmembers protect their identities beyond their
Discover account. Once a cardmember activates their new alerts, we’ll
monitor thousands of risky websites and alert them if their Social
Security number is found, or if any new accounts are opened on their
Experian® credit report.”
For more information about Discover card security features, go to discover.com/security.
Consumers Are Taking Proactive Steps to Safeguard their Identities
When it comes to protecting themselves from identity theft and fraud, a
large number of consumers are taking proactive steps. According to the
survey, 62 percent of consumers say they monitor financial statements
for suspicious activity, 41 percent monitor their credit reports, 38
percent use a credit card with built-in security features and 18 percent
subscribe to an identity protection service. Only 9 percent report not
doing anything to guard against identity theft or fraud.
Baby boomers (ages 55 and over) are the most diligent when it comes to
protecting their identities, as 69 percent say they monitor their
financial statements and 45 percent use a credit card that has built-in
security features. By comparison, 56 percent of millennials (ages 18 to
34) and 62 percent of generation X (ages 35 to 54) monitor their
financial statements, and 32 percent of millennials and 37 percent of
generation X use a credit card with built-in security features.
Credit Is King while Holiday Shopping
Credit cards are expected to be the most popular method of payment
during the holidays, as about a third of survey respondents, 32 percent,
say they plan to use credit cards most often when making holiday
purchases. That’s followed by 29 percent who will mostly use debit or
prepaid cards and 23 percent who will mostly use cash. Just 5 percent
expect to use gift cards most often, and only 2 percent will mostly
Of those who favor credit cards for most of their holiday shopping, 42
percent cite earning credit card rewards or points as the primary reason
why. Other leading reasons to pay with a credit card include
convenience, 28 percent; the ability to track spending, 18 percent; and
not having enough cash on hand, 12 percent.
Most credit card holders, 70 percent, indicate that they prefer to earn
cash back rewards when using their credit cards for holiday purchases,
compared to 14 percent who would rather earn travel rewards, such as
airline miles or hotel points.
“The holidays can be expensive, which is why we make it as simple as
possible for Discover cardmembers to earn and redeem rewards,” said
Maureen Powers, Discover’s vice president of rewards. “Cardmembers can
offset some of their holiday expenses by redeeming their cash back
rewards in a variety of ways, including for gift cards from top
merchants or as a statement credit to their Discover card account.”
For more information about Discover card rewards, go to discover.com/rewards.
About Discover’s 2017 Holiday Shopping Survey
The national survey of 2,008 U.S. consumers ages 18 and up was
commissioned by Discover and conducted by Propeller Insights, an
independent survey research firm, between October 27 and October 31,
2017. The maximum margin of sampling error was ±2 percentage points with
a 95 percent level of confidence.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS) is a direct banking and payment
services company with one of the most recognized brands in U.S.
financial services. Since its inception in 1986, the company has become
one of the largest card issuers in the United States. The company issues
the Discover card, America’s cash rewards pioneer and offers private
student loans, personal loans, home equity loans, checking and savings
accounts and certificates of deposit through its direct banking
business. It operates the Discover Network, with millions of merchant
and cash access locations; PULSE, one of the nation’s leading ATM/debit
networks; and Diners Club International, a global payments network with
acceptance in more than 185 countries and territories. For more
information, visit www.discover.com/company.
1 Discover Identity Alerts are offered by Discover Bank at no
cost, only available online, and currently include the following
services: (a) daily monitoring of your Experian® credit
report and an alert when a new account is listed on your report; (b)
daily monitoring of thousands of risky websites known for revealing
personal information and an alert if your Social Security Number on is
found on such a website. This information is intended for, and only
provided to, Primary credit cardmembers whose accounts are open, in good
standing and have an email address on file. The Primary cardmember must
agree online to receive identity alerts. Identity alert services are
based on Experian information and data which may differ from information
and data at other credit bureaus. Monitoring your credit report does not
impact your credit score. This benefit may change or end in the future.
Discover Bank is not a credit repair organization as defined under
federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. See Frequently