Whether you’re considering your first credit card or looking to add more plastic to your wallet, choosing one comes down to deciding what type of card is most important to you. According to the 2016 Citi Cards Consumer Perspectives Study, it’s all about perks.
Wanted: A Reward Program
The Citi study reported that about 67% of those polled deem having a rewards program as an influence on their decision to choose a new credit card. This makes having a rewards program of some kind the most important factor among most participants, beating out the influence of interest rates (54%) and a sign-on bonus (28%).
And 86% of those who took the survey say they take full advantage of their credit card rewards, redeeming them an average of three times each year. These redemptions most often (67%) go toward everyday items like groceries, followed by cash (47%), gift cards (37%), statement credits (24%) and travel (23%). Beyond that, almost 40% of respondents placed an importance on rewards cards having nontraditional experiential perks, such as entertainment access and benefits.
Wakefield Research conducted an online survey of 1,500 adults in the U.S. for the 2016 Citi Cards Consumer Perspectives Study. The survey was conducted from April 20 to April 27, 2016, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points at the 95% confidence level.
Choosing Your Credit Card
If you decide having a credit card that offers rewards is most important to you, there are several things you should consider before applying. For starters, rewards credit cards are generally best-suited to people who don’t carry a balance. Otherwise, your point, miles and other perks will just be lost to interest. And, beyond that, which particular card is right for you will vary, depending on your spending habits.
Remember, it’s a good idea to check your credit before you apply for any new credit card. Knowing where your credit stands will help you have an understanding of what sort of terms and conditions you may qualify for. You can view two of your credit scores for free, updated each month, on Credit.com.