New Research: Card-Linked Offers Reaching Top Earners and Gen Z


Card-linked offers reach a wide variety of consumers, with high shares of parents, Gen Z and high-earners using them to save money.

The end of 2023 provided little reprieve from rising prices, even as the impending holidays encouraged consumers to manage spending. The need to save made card-linked offers especially attractive to budget-conscious shoppers. Discounts and rewards were key drivers of consumer interest in and use these offers.23%: Share of cardholders took advantage of card-linked offers for all or most of their 2023 holiday purchases

More than half of cardholders were interested in switching to merchants providing product-specific card-linked offers. This suggests that tailored and relevant offers are an effective tool for engaging today’s shoppers. Millions of U.S. cardholders used a card-linked offer in the year’s waning months, ultimately saving them an average of $82 each.

These are some key findings explored in “Leveraging Item-Level Receipt Data: How Card-Linked Offers Helped Drive Year-End Spend,” a PYMNTS Intelligence and Banyan collaboration. We surveyed 2,005 U.S. consumers from Dec. 21, 2023, to Dec. 29, 2023, to study their use of these offers during the 2023 holiday season and uncover how they influenced spending decisions.

Other findings from the report include the following:24%: Share of card-linked offer users who found gift ideas they had not originally thought of thanks to card-linked offers

More than 97 million cardholders used card-linked offers at the end of 2023.

These offers were popular this past holiday season: 57% of consumers used them. Twenty-three percent of cardholders said they took advantage of these offers for all or most holiday purchases.

Cardholders using these offers were a varied group, with members of Generation Z and consumers with children the most likely to use these offers. Millennials and high-income consumers followed. Seventy-nine percent of Gen Z cardholders and 77% of consumers with children used card-linked offers this past season. Also, 74% of millennials and 64% of those annually earning more than $100,000 used the offers.

Consumers received these offers from several sources.

21%: Portion of card-linked offer users who received them via email from a bank or credit card companyNearly 30% of consumers using card-linked offers primarily received them from a third-party app or loyalty platform. One in 5 received the offers via email from a bank or credit card company. Data shows that offers from third-party platforms are more likely to be highly relevant to consumers. This might help explain why certain demographics use these offers at higher frequencies.

Overall, 80% of users received at least some card-linked offers from third parties, such as banking apps or cash back and shopping rewards platforms, rather than merchants where they have made purchases. Thirty-percent of users received most or all offers from third parties.

When appealing and relevant, card-linked offers can engage existing customers — even inspiring them to share the best deals with family and friends. The offers can encourage more spending and attract customers to new merchants. Download the report to learn how merchants offering tailored and relevant card-linked offers had a competitive advantage during the holiday shopping season.