Our mission and responsibility is to maintain public confidence in U.S. currency

Cash Trends

Does your use of cash, credit cards, debit cards, and e-pay reflect national trends? Play our Payment Diary Game to find out.

A recent survey shows that 30 percent of American consumers prefer cash out of all payment methods. Consumers who generally prefer debit and credit cards are 49 percent likely to use cash for purchases less than $20. Get more quick cash facts in this infographic.

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Fed Notes

With the increase in electronic payments, it has been difficult to determine how personal preferences impact the demand for cash as a payment instrument. By analyzing data on demographics and stated payment preferences, this FedNotes paper provides evidence on the determinants of cash usage for small value payments, and particularly how consumers’ stated payment instrument preference and the amount of the purchase affect their propensity to use cash.

It’s commonplace these days to predict the demise of cash. However, evidence from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice (DCPC) suggests that consumers choose to use cash more frequently than any other payment instrument, including debit or credit cards. Cash plays a dominant role for small-value transactions, is the leading payment instrument for many types of purchases, and stands as the key alternative when other options are not available. Using the DCPC data, this FedNotes paper explores where, how, and why people use the various payment options and highlights the key and enduring roles cash continues to play in consumer transactions.

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Video: The Cash Lifecycle

Life of a Federal Reserve Note

Where does cash come from and what happens to it once it leaves our wallets? Follow the money from production to destruction with this video.

Cash Facts

Cash Facts About Today's Currency

Explore the design features and security measures in $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, and $100 notes that help ensure the integrity of the cash you use.

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