Have Cards, Will Travel

Infographic:Rewards program use declines across all ages


Study by Mercator Advisory Group finds consumers less interested in reward programs, more interested in tailored credit card advantages

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American consumers’ long love affair with general-purpose credit card rewards has hit a rough patch, according to a newly released study.

Reward program participation in the United States dropped from 76 percent in 2012 to 68 percent in 2013 among all owners of general purpose credit or charge cards, according to the Mercator Advisory Group report, Credit 2013: Consumers Eye Co-branded Rewards.  The study also found retailer or corporate-branded reward programs, such as those offered by major airlines, fared better than the rewards from bank-issued programs.

“Issuers must make their credit card rewards programs enticing to multiple consumer segments and easy to redeem at time of purchase in order to maintain consumer interest,” said Primary Data Service Manager and report author Karen Augustine in the study release.

The study also shows that the younger you are, the less likely you are to participate in credit card reward programs. In 2013, 81 percent of seniors, 68 percent of 35- to 64-year-olds, and 57 percent of young

adults engaged in credit card reward programs, which marks a significant decline in participation across each age group since 2012.

Information for the report was gathered through an online survey of 3,003 U.S. adult consumers between May 28 and June 6, 2013. The report was released in January 2014.


See related:7 ways to get the most from rewards cards, More infographics

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