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KUSA - There's a generational divide when it comes to whether you use cash or credit to pay.

According to creditcards.com, Millennials are the only age group that prefers plastic to cash.

The company looked at how people paid for purchases of $5 or less and found that Millennials with credit cards prefer debit over credit by a nearly three to one.

Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst with creditcards.com says that trend will continue.

"To me it indicates that we are only going to see fewer and fewer people use cash for these purchases going forward," Schulz said. "And that has some interesting implications for credit card issuers and banks and for just the economy as a whole.

Among all cardholders, debit outpaces credit by a two-to-one margin.

The study also found that 77 percent of people over 50 years old old see cash as king. But only 52 percent of those between 18 and 49 prefer cash.

Overall, debit is more popular than credit right now, but that will change because of all the data breaches we've seen.

"I think what those will be is a further movement away from debit into credit because of some of the consumer protections that credit offers up," Schulz said.

Apple will likely make that even easier with the introduction of its new iPhone next week, with a feature that makes the device a mobile wallet.

That increased mobile payment mobility could also mean doors will open faster for virtual currencies like Bitcoin.

"At least 18 to 29 year olds are a little less old fashioned in terms of how they pay for things," said Schulz. "So perhaps that would be a good sign for things like BitCoin. But it's difficult to say."

It's all changing very quickly as the world embraces mobile payments, which could help increase spending in general. That could be good for the economy, in general, assuming that people handle it correctly.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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