Majority of Americans won’t use a credit card to pay for this summer’s vacation

Affirm research shows paying for travel is the biggest point of stress among consumers; “Travel with Affirm” campaign brings no-interest payment options to vacationers this summer.

SAN FRANCISCO – June 26, 2018 – Affirm, Inc., the company founded by entrepreneur Max Levchin to provide fair and honest alternatives to traditional credit, today announced the “Travel with Affirm” summer travel campaign and released the findings of a new survey revealing how Americans plan to pay for travel this summer.

Starting June 26, Affirm will feature no-interest payment partnerships and promotions from select merchants via Instagram and, showing American travelers how they can pay for airfare, hotels, and vacation-related purchases like apparel and outdoor equipment using Affirm. The campaign was designed in response to Affirm customer stories and a recent survey that shows paying for vacations are a major source of stress for Americans, and most travelers are avoiding credit.

The survey of over 1,000 U.S. respondents, conducted by Affirm, found that Americans typically take their biggest vacations of the year over the summer, and cost is a major factor when planning travel. Americans are also highly likely to research pricing on multiple online travel agency (OTA) sites and are not using credit cards to book their vacations.

Americans are doing their homework before they travel.

Affirm’s survey revealed that 68 percent of Americans research multiple sites before booking travel. Of those who compare rates, the majority (63 percent) look at three to five sites before making a purchase. When it comes to where consumers are getting their intel, aggregated travel sites lead the way, including Expedia (26 percent), Orbitz and Kayak (13 percent each). Expedia and Orbitz are both Affirm partners.

Most consumers vacation to relax but paying for a trip adds significant stress.

Nearly half of consumers say the most important reason for taking a vacation is to “rest and relax,” yet 47 percent say they feel stressed when planning travel. Over half (57 percent) of those who say planning travel causes stress said paying for a trip was the primary source.

Additionally, 55 percent of Americans said it’s very important to have the cost of the vacation paid off before going. The cost of a trip can linger even after the vacation is over: 32 percent of people said they regretted taking a vacation altogether.

When it comes to paying for travel, consumers want new ways to pay.

While advertisements for travel-branded credit cards can seem ubiquitous, only one-third of Americans said they plan to pay for travel this summer with a credit card. In fact, most Americans will use cash (21 percent) or a debit card (34 percent).

Millennials overwhelmingly avoid traditional credit cards, with 65 percent of people under 35 reporting they won’t be using a credit card at checkout. Americans are also avoiding travel if the cost is too high: 57 percent of people said that at some point, they have decided not to book a trip at all due to the cost.

Given the tendency to use debit or cash, it isn’t surprising that 67 percent of survey respondents said they would be more likely to take a trip if they could pay for it over time with something other than a credit card, such as Affirm.

“Customers often tell us they love Affirm for the flexibility and transparency we provide when it comes to paying for travel,” said Rob Pfeifer, Affirm’s Chief Revenue Officer. “Online booking platforms have made it much easier to plan a trip at an affordable price point, but consumers also want spread out the cost of a trip without having to revolve on a credit card. Affirm gives them a way to do this responsibly and in clear terms, without additional fees.”

About the Survey

The online survey was conducted by Qualtrics from May 25 to May 29, 2018, among a demographically representative sample of 1,039 Americans aged 18 to 72.

About Affirm

Affirm was founded with a goal to create honest financial products and services that empower consumers and improve lives. Our goal is to revolutionize the banking industry to be more accountable and accessible to consumers. Today, Affirm provides shoppers an alternative to traditional credit cards at the point of sale, giving them the flexibility to buy now and make simple monthly payments for their purchases. Unlike payment options that have compounding interest and unexpected costs, Affirm shows customers upfront exactly what they’ll pay each month — with no hidden fees and no surprises. Affirm partners with over 1,200 merchants, including travel retailers like Expedia, Orbitz, CheapAir and Suiteness, giving shoppers the option to pay with Affirm at checkout.

Media contact

Elizabeth Allin, Vice President of Communications, Affirm