Study Shows Fuel Savings Are Favorite Credit Card Reward

Friday, September 18th, 2015

A new study shows that consumers prefer gas savings to other types of credit card rewards, including cash back rewards, coupons, frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and coupons.

The Road to Rewards, from the ExcentusInsights series, reports on the results of a survey from July 2015. The survey, which focuses on consumer behavior around credit card reward programs, showed that more than 54% of respondents belong to programs that offer savings on gas.

The finding is not surprising, considering how many people drive their cars every day in the United States. “In a country that’s highly dependent on vehicles for transportation, the ability to save on fuel can serve as a powerful driver of consumer behaviors and preferences,” said Brandon Logsdon, Excentus CEO.

Cash back takes a close second place to gas discounts

After fuel rewards, people preferred cash back. Thirty-seven percent of respondents ranked gas savings as their number-one preference for rewards, and 32% wanted to get cash back. Twenty-five percent preferred to get coupons from their favorite stores, while 24% liked to get instant discounts at the register. Seventeen percent want airline miles, 16% want restaurant or grocery rewards, and 14% like hotel points the best.

Earning rewards and using rewards

Sometimes people don’t use their credit card rewards, whether due to a complicated redemption process or lack of interest in the rewards. But when it comes to fuel rewards, consumers are not only earning them, they are using them. Almost half—46%–of people surveyed said they earn, buy, redeem, or check the status of their gas rewards every day or every week.

Forty-seven percent of folks said they join rewards programs because they like to save money any way they can, and 23% said they want to earn rewards for purchases they make every day.

Gas prices make a difference, but not enough to change preferences

Even when gas prices are lower, people still prefer to get fuel rewards, given the choice. Sixty-seven percent of those surveyed said they pay close attention to the price of gas, and 64% said they want to save on gas when prices rise. That makes sense, but even when gas prices are lower, people still appreciate saving when they fill up their tanks.

Fifty-four percent said they still want to save on gas when fuel prices fall, making gas rewards one of the most popular options for credit card rewards no matter what happens with the price of oil.

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