44% of Consumers Need Multiple Prompts for Card-Linked Offers

man with credit card

Card-linked offers — those special promotions designed to encourage consumers to use their credit and debit cards at specific locations or for specific items — are used by about 2 in 5 cardholders.

As PYMNTS Intelligence found in researching “Card-Linked Offer Growth Hinges on First-Time Users,” a report completed in collaboration with Banyan, only 22% of consumers say they used the first card-linked offer they saw.

graphic, card-linked offers

Which might be frustrating news for card issuers, because PYMNTS Intelligence found that, after using their first card-linked offer, most cardholders will remain loyal card-linked offer users. In fact, 93% of consumers told us they plan on maintaining or increasing their use of card-linked offers over the next year.

Given that degree of customer satisfaction, the question appears to be: what steps can card issuers take to capture consumer attention sooner?

As the accompanying chart illustrates, different cardholders follow different pathways to finally being convinced to take advantage of a card-linked offer. Some need only one prompt; others need to be nudged multiple times. For some, it may take 10 or more reminders before they finally take action.

Two to four prompts appear to work for 44% of consumers on average. Forty-six percent of baby boomers and seniors say it took that many to inspire them to use a card-linked offer. That holds true for 45% of Gen X cardholders, 38% of bridge millennials, 43% of millennials and 42% of Gen Z cardholders as well.

Consumers earning less than $50,000 annually might be especially attuned to special offers, because 28% of them use the first card-linked offer they see, while the next 40% require two to four prompts. Those earning more may be slightly harder to reach. Only 1 in 5 consumers earning between $50,000 and $100,000 per year use the first card-linked offer they see; it takes two to four offers in total to spark a reaction from 46% of middle-income earners. High earners (those earning more than $100,000 annually) follow a similar pattern: 21% responded to the first offer they saw, while it took up to four offers to inspire 44% of them to react.

As the report confirms, card-linked offers appeal to card holders of all ages and income brackets, but awareness appears to be the first hurdle. To turbocharge the use of card-linked offers, card issuers should plan on distributing as many as six offers before most consumers start taking advantage of the promotions. After all, the sooner they become aware of the offers and find one they like, the sooner they will become engaged, repeat card-linked offer users.