New study found US customers have strong, specific preferences for card-associated rewards—and the debit, credit card programs that offer those cards can make major headway in driving loyalty and spend.
- Card ownership is ubiquitous. 92% of surveyed individuals have at least one debit or credit card; 83% of cardholders have at least one debit card (average: 1 card) and 74% of cardholders have at least one credit card (average: 2 cards). Yet card usage isn’t evenly split, as over the next six months respondents have forecasted more credit card purchases than debit card purchases.
- Reward versatility is a cardholder favorite. Cashback was cited as the most desired cardholder benefit due to the versatile nature of redemption options, with 50% of cardholders ranking cashback as the top card benefit. Additionally, cashback is the top feature in respondents’ ideal loyalty programs, mentioned at least four times more often than any other feature. Card-associated discounts and loyalty points rounded out respondents’ top-ranked reward card benefits.
- Credit cashback offers outpace debit cashback offers. While 74% of credit cardholders reported earning cashback in the last year, only 24% of debit cardholders did. Debit card usage skews toward younger generations, representing an opportunity for financial institutions and merchants to better engage and build loyalty among young shoppers.
- There are rampant opportunities to capture new cardholders, protect your existing cardholders and boost card use. 58% of cardholders are willing to switch their current go-to card to a new one if it offers higher cashback rates, and 78% of cardholders say cashback is a strong incentive to stay with a card provider. With a significant amount of shopping predicted through the next six months (largely thanks to the winter holidays and end-of-year-spending), financial institutions and merchants with tailored rewards will have ample opportunities to vie for go-to status at checkout.
- Shoppers are smart and proactive. Before they shop, more than half of cardholders (59%) check for merchant offers associated with their cards. These types of offers could include points linked to their specific card, tailored offers based on their personal shopping/brand preferences, points for a retailer’s loyalty program, cashback or even travel miles.
Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.