The card brand polled 1,000 Americans over the age of 18 by phone about their savings goals and priorities.
The survey found that the three most popular reasons for savings were emergencies/rainy day (30%), retirement (20%) and a combination of education and future needs (each receiving 10%). The least popular savings priorities included family (3%), taxes (2%) and appliances/furnishing (2%).
The card brand also reported that Los Angeles, Orlando and San Antonio were the three metropolitan areas where the greatest proportion of consumers said they had begun to save more money now than in the past.
The Visa surveys come on the heels of recently released figures by the U.S. Commerce Department's Bureau of Economic Analysis showing that America's personal saving rate, as a percentage of disposable personal income, had climbed from 1.0% in September to 2.4% in October.
"Having money set aside for financial emergencies is always a good idea and is particularly important in today's economic climate," said Jason Alderman, director of financial education at Visa Inc. "The best New Year's resolution you can make is to start setting aside money on a regular basis to cover the unexpected."