By choice or by force, more U.S. consumers are putting away their credit cards as the financial crisis reshapes attitudes toward spending and debt.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc noticed that customers were pulling out the plastic less and less this year as the financial turmoil intensified. The world's biggest retailer said the portion of transactions using credit cards was falling after three consecutive years of double-digit gains.
"Customers have maxed out on their credit limits," Eduardo Castro-Wright, the head of Wal-Mart's U.S. stores, said at a recent conference. "They can't use (credit cards) more."