Loyalty & Rewards

Credit Card Shoppers Care About One Thing: Reward Points

Credit cards come in all sorts of flavors, from low interest ones to cards that reward you for shopping or traveling. But while variety is the spice of life, a new survey by Citi finds new credit card shoppers largely care about one thing: the rewards.

In a report looking at the 2016 Citi Cards Consumer Perspectives Study, Citi found 67 percent of survey respondents said having a rewards program is the biggest reason to choose a specific credit card. Having a rewards program was more important than the interest rate, which 54 percent of survey respondents said was the most important thing, and a sign-on bonus, which 28 percent of respondents said they cared most about.

What’s more, 86 percent of the survey respondents said they would use their credit card rewards and not let them fall to the wayside like many consumers tend to do. The report found, of those who redeem rewards points, 67 percent use them for everyday purchases, such as groceries, while 47 percent redeem them for cash and 37 chose gift cards. Statement credits were important to 24 percent of rewards users, while 23 percent spent their points on travel. The report showed close to 40 percent want to use their perks for unique things, like access to entertainment events.

The report also found that, while digital payments are getting a lot of media attention and products are coming from startups and traditional players alike, consumers still choose to pay with credit cards. The survey found only 20 percent of survey respondents use a digital wallet. Not surprisingly, millennials are the most likely to use mobile payments, with close to two in five saying they have a mobile wallet and 44 percent saying they are likely to start using one. Consumers are choosing credit cards over digital payment methods because they have more trust with an established bank than a startup, the survey found.


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