Rewards card holders in the minority


Consumers who do not have a reward credit card have been advised to think about the money they could save by applying for a new card. Research by American Express suggests that the majority of UK adults do not use a credit card that offers rewards. This means that many are missing out on financial rewards, possibly to the tune of £3.6bn, collectively, per year.


Reward card holders in the minority
Britain has been forced to tighten the purse-strings in recent months and many consumers have been struggling to make ends meet. However, the latest research by American Express shows that the majority are missing out on a simple way to enjoy financial rewards and save money. According to the study, which was conducted by One Poll among 2,000 UK adults in May 2011, 63.2% of people do not use a credit card with a rewards scheme, such as cashback or loyalty points.

Those who do have a reward credit card said they saved £116 a year, on average, by redeeming their rewards. With official statistics showing there are more than 48.6 million adults in the UK, the American Express research suggests that Britons as a whole are missing out on nearly £3.6bn in rewards by failing to use a suitable credit card for their everyday spending.

American Express vice-president Julie Hay suggested that people should re-think the way they pay in order to enjoy the full potential of credit cards. She argued: "Why continue to make purchases on debit and credit cards that give nothing back for your spending? At a time when every penny counts, we're urging consumers to make the cards in their wallets work harder for them."

What to look for in a reward credit card
Consumers who want to find the best deals should compare credit cards carefully. A range of rewards are on offer, with some cards offering cashback and others providing vouchers for stores such as Amazon or points towards flights. According to American Express, 42% of female reward card holders involved in its research said they had chosen a card with retail vouchers on offer, while 38% of men had opted for a cashback credit card. The trick is for consumers to work out the type of rewards they want and then go online to find the most appropriate credit card.

See related: 3 secrets to getting a better deal on your next credit card; How to get more from your rewards credit card

Published: 7 July 2011