First Data Competitive Intelligence conducted a Consumer Loyalty Study in July 2008 focused on debit card rewards programs for Financial Institutions (FIs). This study resulted in several key findings including: debit card rewards members younger compared to credit card members, members have lower incomes, cash back most preferred award, and more.

First Data Competitive Intelligence conducted the Consumer Loyalty Study with over 1,000 U.S. consumers. The study focuses on rewards programs with Financial Institutions (FIs), the travel sector and the retail sector. This CI Market Brief provides consumer insights regarding debit card rewards. All 1,000 respondents were asked core questions related to their rewards program memberships and needs, with 122 of those respondents answering detailed questions about their debit card rewards programs.

Key Insights


1. Approximately One-Fourth of Consumers Belong to Debit Card Rewards Programs
Twenty-seven percent of consumers indicated they were members of debit card rewards programs compared to 76 percent who are members of credit card rewards programs.

2. Debit Card Rewards Members Younger Compared to Credit Card Members
Debit card rewards members tend to be younger, with 39 percent of debit card members being under age 35 compared to 29 percent of credit card members who fall into this age range.

3. Debit Card Rewards Members Have Lower Incomes Compared to Credit Card Members
Twenty-nine percent of debit card rewards members earn less than $40,000 per year compared to 25 percent of credit card rewards program members who fall into this income category.

4. Cash Back Most Preferred Reward for Debit Card Members
Cash back tops the list as the most preferred reward for debit card rewards members. Fifty-five percent of debit card rewards program members indicated they are currently receiving “cash back” rewards.