Survey: Americans prefer to use paper coupons

WASHINGTON — In an increasingly paperless society, more than half of Americans still prefer to use old-fashioned paper coupons, according to a new survey.

Sixty-three percent of all U.S. credit and debit cardholders who use coupons say they most frequently get them from newspapers, mailings or print them from the Internet, according to a survey. The survey, released Monday, polled more than 1,000 American adults.

“Dead trees aren’t dead when it comes to coupons,” Matt Schulz,’s senior industry analyst, said in a news release. “Plenty of Americans are still opening their snail mail and reading the Sunday paper. I expect paper coupons to lose some market share, though, as consumers and brands get even more comfortable using them electronically.”

Presenting discount codes — whether with online or mobile purchases — came in a distant second and third place, respectively, when it comes to purchasers’ coupon-redemption preferences, the study found.

Seventeen percent of those surveyed said they use discount codes for online purchases and 15 percent said they use discount codes for mobile purchases.

Just 3.5 percent of respondents said they prefer card-linked offers — a program that automatically applies discounts or cash-back rewards when consumers use a registered card at participating businesses.

As holiday shopping season quickly approaches, Schulz says “consumers shouldn’t ignore these opportunities to save money and earn more rewards.”

The poll was conducted by GfK Custom Research North America with 1,029 adults 18 years or older over the phone between Aug. 28-30, 2015. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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Sarah Beth Hensley

Sarah Beth Hensley is the Digital News Director at WTOP. She has worked several different roles since she began with WTOP in 2013 and has contributed to award-winning stories and coverage on the website.

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