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Americans Save Average of $757 a Year by Using Credit Card Rewards

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While the U.S. personal savings rate spiked during the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans also saved money through credit card rewards.

A recent survey from Slickdeals, a Los Angeles-based shopping platform and browser extension, reveals that folks save an average of $757 yearly through their credit card rewards benefits and points. In fact, 74% use their card enough to reach the minimum spend requirement to reap benefits and rack up points.

Credit card rewards help Americans have first-time experiences

Not only do credit card rewards help people save, but 53% of respondents say they had first-time experiences because of them. These experiences include:

  • Fancy meals (54%)
  • Concerts (49%)
  • Gift cards worth $100 (46%)

For those who enjoyed a getaway, more than half (55%) express using rewards to pretty much cover the costs of the vacation. Those rewards points were also cashed in for new TVs, gaming consoles and gas discounts.

Americans spend 6 hours, on average, researching just one card

To make the most of their benefits, respondents say they invest an average of six hours doing homework on a single credit card before deciding whether to apply. Nearly half (48%) of respondents applied for a credit card in the past year.

The reasons for doing so included:

  • Swooping in on rewards programs (61%)
  • Desiring lower interest rates (50%)
  • Having less cash on hand (46%)

When applying for a card, 86% pay the most attention to annual fees. Meanwhile, 78% will mull over the card benefits to determine whether the annual fee is worth it.

As for the most popular types of credit cards that Americans have, rewards cards (34%) top the list, followed by:

Americans use their cards more than ever

The survey also shows that 3 in 5 respondents say they used their credit cards more in the past year than ever before. Everyday purchases and big-ticket items (both 52%) were the most common types of purchase, followed by:

  • Travel (47%)
  • Restaurant dining (45%)
  • Vacations (43%)
  • Hotel stay or renting a vehicle (42%)
  • Emergencies (38%)
  • Special events (34%)
  • Work-related purchases (25%)

Consumers looking for a new credit card for rewards should consider how they plan to use it and what purchases they will make. (As noted, make sure to pay attention to the annual fee.)

For instance, a cashback credit card could be best for someone looking to make everyday purchases at grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations. Someone looking solely for a grocery credit card could go that more specific route.

Methodology: Slickdeals commissioned OnePoll to survey 2,000 Americans, conducted Aug. 25-31, 2021.

 

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