Hey Fatty, Stop Charging Big Macs To Your Credit Card

Cash-paying customers spend less on fast food than people who pay with a credit card. Though 80% of fast food purchases are still made with cash, credit and debit card use is on the rise. From Bankrate:

    “But while customers like the convenience of being able to pay for fast food with plastic, their waistlines might not be so forgiving. A number of studies show that consumers are less likely to drive by fast food restaurants if they know the restaurants accept credit cards. In 2002 Visa USA conducted a poll and found that 32 percent of customers admitted that they had limited their drive-through orders because they did not have enough cash to pay for what they wanted. The ability to use credit cards eliminates that obstacle.

    Not only that, but people spend more money when they pay via credit card than they would if they were paying with cash. A Visa study of 100,000 restaurant transactions found that customers spent, on average, 30 percent more than those who paid with cash. That 30 percent can be the difference between a small order of fries and soft drink and a supersize order, or it can be the addition of a high-calorie dessert.”

We imagine the results would hold true for most low-dollar transactions. A study from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that paying with a credit card adds 73 extra calories to each meal, or .07 pounds.

Credit cards can make you fat [Bankrate]
(Photo: Irish Typepad)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.