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(StatePoint) With so many options to choose from, it would seem that finding a credit card that is right for you should be easy. Often overlooked, however, is the importance of finding one with a rewards program suited to your spending habits.
A recent study conducted by ORC International on behalf of Ally Bank explored consumer preferences when it comes to rewards. Of the 1,005 respondents nationwide, 589 had a major credit card in their name, qualifying for the survey.
The following themes were consistent with many respondents -- and they could help you choose a card that will deliver the greatest rewards that matter to you.
Earn Rewards You’ll Use
More than half (58 percent) of survey respondents who have a credit card said they preferred cash back rewards, topping interest in travel rewards, store promotions, introductory interest rates or bonus rewards.
“Consumers value convenience and flexibility when it comes to the products they choose for their personal finance needs, and nothing beats the simplicity of cash rewards,” says Diane Morais, chief executive officer and president of Ally Bank, the direct banking subsidiary of Ally Financial.
Leverage Everyday Purchases
The majority of credit card holders surveyed (59 percent) use a credit card for specific purposes only, as opposed to everyday purchases. Whether it is hotel points, miles or cash back, a rewards program puts extra money in your pocket and may be the right enticement to use a credit card instead of cash to pay for everyday purchases.
Get Rewarded for Loyalty
Eighty percent of consumers with credit cards surveyed said they would prefer to have multiple financial products, such as a bank account, loan or credit card, with the same bank if they earned rewards for doing so. For example the Ally CashBack Credit Card (ally.com/cashback) rewards program offers cash back on all purchases as well as a ten percent bonus on rewards when those rewards are redeemed into an eligible Ally Bank account.
Don’t Miss Out
Interestingly, only 36 percent of consumers with credit cards use their card for daily purchases, often missing out on rewards on purchases like gas and groceries. Another 28 percent of respondents admitted to losing out on rewards because they expired or were too difficult to cash in. Choose a simple rewards program and reap your benefits that you have worked to earn.
When weighing your credit card options, don’t forget to consider the value of a great rewards program to keep extra cash in your pocket.
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