USC credit card usage rising despite national trend

Though the majority of Americans plan to avoid using credit cards this holiday season, the use of credit cards has been increasing at USC as cash payments have become less prevalent.

Swipe · Though cash spending tends to increase during recessions, USC students are increasingly using credit cards to add money to their discretionary accounts. - Ralf Cheung | Daily Trojan

According to a survey from media company Triton Digital released Monday, 52 percent of Americans plan to use cash pay for gifts during the holidays in an effort to avoid credit card debt.

USCard, however, has noticed a decline in the amount of cash  deposited to discretionary accounts for the last three years at a rate of about 21 percent per year, according to Bernie Moreno, interim director for USCard services.

“Trending for deposit is going away from cash,” Moreno said. “This is even true for the value transfer station [in the basement of Leavey Library where students can transfer funds]. The trend has been pushing away from cash for sometime.”

Moreno said he feels the convenience factor of using a credit card rather than depositing cash is important for college students.

“Using cell phones, using computers, there really is no need to visit our customer service center unless you feel the need to give cash or write a check,” Moreno said. “Students are really embracing technology.”

Some students said they prefer credit cards because they are easier to carry.

“I always use credit cards because it’s more convenient and I get a lot of change, which usually accumulates in my room,” said Chaitanya Murthy, a senior majoring in chemical engineering.

Kadra Alvaro, a senior majoring in computer engineering and computer science, said there are some benefits to using cash.

“Sometimes I feel like it’s easier to regulate spending if you have cash because you can see it leaving more than if you are swiping a card,” Alvaro said.

Still, many students said cash has become a hassle.

“It’s easier,” said Darren Chiu, a freshman majoring in biochemistry. “You don’t have to hold that much cash and there’s no change involved.”

4 replies
  1. Bryan
    Bryan says:

    Indeed… I know several people who use Mommy and Daddy’s credit cards on a regular basis, for everything. I even used to work with a guy at a work-study job who didn’t tell his parents he had a job. They just gave him their credit card with the impression he wasn’t working. He used it to pay for everything, and saved his cashed work-study paychecks for booze. There’s a growing divide between students at USC who work hard and take out huge loans to go to school here, and a group of students who ride along on their family’s riches. I don’t feel too bad though… Its those of us who know how to make a budget, spend wisely, and save money who will succeed (in the long term). Sure, these credit card wielding kids will probably be the ones who graduate and initially go on to fabulous law schools and cool Hollywood internships, but won’t eventually know how to live a life that won’t eventually resemble their hope of a Laguna Beach life.

  2. John
    John says:

    Haha..umm let’s be real, the actual reason USC uses credit cards is because the majority of us have rich parents and the easiest way to use their money is via credit card. Not hating on the rich students here, but if you’re going to post an article about credit card usage at usc, you’re pretty foolish for not including the most obvious reason.

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