First Data Competitive Intelligence conducted a Consumer Loyalty Study in July 2008 focused on credit card rewards programs for Financial Institutions (FIs). This study resulted in several key findings including: rewards memberships influence credit card usage, cash back most preferred reward, credit card programs most popular with consumers, 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 credit card rewards. All 1,000 respondents were asked core questions related to their rewards program memberships and needs with 200 of those respondents answering detailed questions about their credit card rewards programs.

Key Insights


1. Credit Card Rewards Programs Most Popular with Consumers
Seventy-six percent of consumers indicated they were members of credit card rewards programs compared to 27 percent who are members of debit card rewards programs.

2. Rewards Membership Influences Credit Card Usage
Seventy-one percent of consumers who are members of a credit card rewards program indicated their membership was at least “somewhat” influential in their decision of which credit card to use.

3. Cash Back Most Preferred Reward for Credit Card Rewards Programs
Cash back tops the list as most preferred reward for credit card rewards members. Fifty-six percent of credit card rewards program members indicated they are currently receiving “cash back” rewards.

4. Most Consumers Not Willing to Pay Higher Rate for Rewards
Nearly two-thirds (65 percent) of consumers who are members of credit card rewards programs are NOT willing to pay a higher rate for a credit card with loyalty rewards.

5. Credit Card Programs Considered Unique by Consumers
Sixteen percent of consumers mentioned credit card rewards programs as being unique, with mentions for American Express (5 percent) and Discover (2 percent).