Loyalty & Rewards

‘Tis The Season For Credit Card Rewards

Holiday cheer and the joy of gifting may not be the only reasons shoppers hit the stores this holiday shopping season.

According to a recent survey from Discover, one of the biggest drivers of consumer spending this holiday shopping season is the chance to earn credit card rewards.

The survey revealed that nearly half of shoppers (46 percent) said their top reason for doing so much shopping was to earn rewards.

“For the more than one in three consumers who plan to use their credit card for most of their holiday purchases, it’s important that they understand their card’s rewards structure so they can maximize the dollars they spend, as well as take advantage of other free benefits, like Purchase Protection or Return Guarantee — benefits that can bring peace of mind to the holiday shopping experience,” Maureen Powers, VP of rewards at Discover, stated.

Additionally, Discover’s annual holiday shopping survey found that consumers plan to spend an average of $1,159 on their holiday purchases, with much of that being charged to credit cards.

Nearly 38 percent of respondents plan to use their credit cards for the majority of their shopping this holiday season, which makes credit cards the most popular payment method during the holidays. Debit cards grab the second-place spot, with 28 percent of consumers saying they’ll use them for holiday shopping.

For those who are looking to rack up the credit card rewards, 67 percent said they prefer to earn cash back rewards, while 16 percent would like travel rewards. The remaining credit card users surveyed either didn’t pay attention to rewards or preferred to earn other types of rewards for their shopping.

The survey also highlighted the growing trend of consumers opting for shopping online versus in-store, with 43 percent reporting they favor surfing the web rather than roaming the aisles.

“When survey respondents were asked about their feelings toward shopping online versus in-store during the holidays, online shopping won out in terms of being more convenient, less stressful and having better prices, whereas in-store shopping scored better for being more fun, more satisfying and more secure,” Discover said in a statement.



The How We Shop Report, a PYMNTS collaboration with PayPal, aims to understand how consumers of all ages and incomes are shifting to shopping and paying online in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our research builds on a series of studies conducted since March, surveying more than 16,000 consumers on how their shopping habits and payments preferences are changing as the crisis continues. This report focuses on our latest survey of 2,163 respondents and examines how their increased appetite for online commerce and digital touchless methods, such as QR codes, contactless cards and digital wallets, is poised to shape the post-pandemic economy.

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