2009 Debit Card Rewards—Consumer Insights

First Data Competitive Intelligence conducted the Consumer Loyalty Study with 2,449 U.S. consumers in April 2009. The study focuses on rewards programs with Financial Institutions (FIs), the travel sector and the retail sector. This CI Market Brief focuses on consumer insights regarding rewards for the FI sector. Sample size completing the survey for Debit Card rewards programs was 286.

Key Insights

1. Membership in Debit Card Rewards Programs Increases 
Among FI members in 2009, significantly more of them report being a member of a debit card rewards program in 2009 (45 percent) compared to 2008 (34 percent). Credit card rewards program members among all FI members decreased from 71 percent in 2008 to 67 percent in 2009. With the current economic downturn, consumers are abandoning their credit cards in favor of using their debit cards to make purchases. 

2. Debit Card Rewards Members Less Satisfied Compared to Overall Rewards Members 
Nineteen percent of consumers who are members of debit rewards programs report a satisfaction level in the Top-2 box compared to a satisfaction of 23 percent (Top-2 box) for overall rewards program members. 

3. Debit Card Rewards Members Somewhat Influenced by Membership 
Twenty-two percent of debit card rewards members indicated that the benefits of their rewards membership were “very influential” in their choice of FI/company, and another 25 percent indicated the benefits were “somewhat influential.” 

4. Debit Card Rewards Programs Used More Often by Members Compared to Credit Card Programs for Purchases 
Debit card rewards programs are used “every time” or “most of the time” by 66 percent of debit card rewards members. This compares to 51 percent of credit card rewards members who use their credit card rewards program “every time” or “most of the time.”