The authors of this interesting paper take a fresh look at the credit card premium and argue that how we look at products depends on how we are paying for them. They find that paying by credit card tends to make us focus more on the benefits we're receiving than the cost of the product.
When credit cards as a payment mechanism are more accessible, consumers attend more to a product’s benefits relative to the cost aspects of the product. Conversely, when cash as a payment mechanism is more accessible, consumers attend more to cost aspects of the product (broadly defined to include price, delivery time/costs, warranty costs, installation costs, etc.) relative to product benefits.
Payment mechanisms can also have implications for consumers’ health:
paying with credit cards may increase the likelihood of indulgent choices that are less healthy compared to cash.