Survey: Card Rewards Grow More Prevalent, Popular

Rewards credit cards are growing in popularity and consumer value, according to new Ipsos polling data published in the latest issue of ABA’s The Credit Line newsletter. Eighty-three percent of cardholders have a rewards program associated with their cards, up from 77 percent in 2012, and 91 percent are satisfied with their credit cards.

Nearly 3 in 10 customers said the rewards program was the top reason they applied for their card — just below the share who rated a low APR as their top reason and higher than the share who preferred no fees or a high credit limit. Customers also find rewards programs simple to understand and use, with 93 percent rating their program very or somewhat easy to understand.

The most popular reward is cash back; 55 percent say it is the most appealing rewards program. Nearly a quarter of cardholders prefer points cards that allow them to use rewards for a variety of purchases, while 13 percent preferred airline mileage cards and 5 percent wanted cards offering hotel points.

“The increased prevalence of rewards cards speaks to their importance among consumers who appreciate being rewarded for their loyalty,” said ABA SVP Molly Wilkinson. “Cardholders find it easy to take advantage of the best deals based on the type of rewards they value the most. The wide variety of rewards programs and the fact that they’re user-friendly are just two of the many reasons they are so popular in today’s marketplace.”