ShopTalk - How consumers really feel about credit card rewards

What's inside their wallets?

From travel rewards to cash back, payment card rewards programs are hard to miss. They can help mass issuers differentiate themselves, gain more wallet share, and reinforce purchase behavior from loyal customers.

But do rewards programs really impact consumer behavior? Vantiv teamed up with Socratic Technologies to conduct an online survey with 500 consumers to learn more. Here’s what we found.

Consumers with payment cards have an average of 6+ cards in their wallets. 

How does this breakdown?

  • 2.7 credit cards
  • 1.5 debit cards
  • 2.4 store cards

Rewards programs do influence payment choice. 

While 38% of respondents report that their credit card usage is typically driven by lack of cash, 25% of the time credit cards are used because of the associated rewards. 17% of the time, the purchase amount makes consumers choose their credit cards. 

Rewards are important to Millennials. 

38% of Millennials (ages 25-34) use cards instead of cash because of the credit card rewards program

How do they stack up to other age groups?

  • 35-44 yr olds:  28%
  • 45-54 year olds:  25%
  • 55-64 yr olds:  22%
  • 65-74 yr olds:  20%

Reward cards are the go-to plastic in your wallet. 

For customers that have several credit cards in their wallets, 42% of the time they’ll use the card that offers them the best rewards.

Big spending happens on credit cards most frequently. 

Credit cards are chosen more frequently for big-ticket items, travel expenses, and purchases on the internet. If these cards have an associated rewards program, the benefits can add up quickly.

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