For two in three Americans, credit card rewards more important than ever

New poll examines how inflation, gas prices may impact Americans’ travel plans and credit card spending

The author(s)

  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Deeney Senior Vice President, U.S. Ipsos Observer
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Washington DC, August 8, 2022 

A new Ipsos poll, conducted on behalf of Wells Fargo, finds that nearly all adults who have a credit card that offers rewards considers these rewards to be important (90% of rewards credit card holders). Among Americans with any type of credit card, two in three say they care about credit card rewards now more than ever. And half of adults with a credit card agree that they are relying more on credit card rewards to offset the cost of everyday purchases because of rising inflation.

Detailed Findings

1. Amid inflation concerns and high gas prices, some Americans are reevaluating travel plans, while those with rewards credit cards are leaning on them more.

  • Americans are split evenly on whether or not they are still driving a lot, even though gas prices are high (49% agree, 51% disagree).
  • One in three (32%) report that high gas prices have forced them to cancel a road trip this summer, something more common with parents of children under 18 (43%), Hispanic Americans (42%), Americans under 35 (40%), and those who have a yearly household income of less than $50,000 (40%).
  • Among the 71% of Americans who have a credit card that offers rewards (e.g., cash back, points, travel, miles), half (49%) agree they are relying more on these rewards to offset the cost of purchases, due to inflation.
  • Two-thirds of this same audience, rewards credit card holders, says they care about credit card rewards now more than ever.

2. Younger adults rely more on credit card rewards and use them for more experiences.

  • Seventy percent of adults under 35 with a rewards credit card say they care about these rewards now more than ever, compared to 58% of those over age 55.
  • Two-thirds (65%) of cardholders under 35 say because of rising inflation, they are relying more on card rewards to offset everyday purchases, compared to only 34% of cardholders over 55.
  • At the same time, more younger cardholders prefer to redeem rewards for experiences rather than material things (62% of 18-34 year olds vs. 34% of 55+ year olds).
  • Thirty-eight percent of 18-34 year old rewards cardholders say they used travel rewards to subsidize a vacation this year, compared to 28% of those aged 35-54, and just 15% of 55+ year olds.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 27-28, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 2,008 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all respondents.

About the Study

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between June 27-28, 2022. For this survey, a sample of 2,008 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The sample includes 1,273 adults who indicate they have a rewards credit card.

The sample was randomly drawn from Ipsos’ online panelpartner online panel sources, and “river” sampling and does not rely on a population frame in the traditional sense. Ipsos uses fixed sample targets, unique to each study, in drawing a sample. After a sample has been obtained from the Ipsos panel, Ipsos calibrates respondent characteristics to be representative of the U.S. Population using standard procedures such as raking-ratio adjustments. The source of these population targets is U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey data. The sample drawn for this study reflects fixed sample targets on demographics. Post-hoc weights were made to the population characteristics on gender, age, race/ethnicity, region, and education.  

Statistical margins of error are not applicable to online non-probability polls. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Where figures do not sum to 100, this is due to the effects of rounding. The precision of Ipsos online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.7 percentage points for all respondents. Ipsos calculates a design effect (DEFF) for each study based on the variation of the weights, following the formula of Kish (1965). This study had a credibility interval adjusted for design effect of the following (N=2,008, DEFF=1.5, adjusted Confidence Interval=+/-4.2 percentage points). The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for individuals with a rewards credit card.

For more information on this news release, please contact:

Mallory Newall

Vice President, US

Public Affairs

+1 202 374 2613

[email protected]

About Ipsos

Ipsos is the world’s third largest Insights and Analytics company, present in 90 markets and employing more than 18,000 people.

Our passionately curious research professionals, analysts and scientists have built unique multi-specialist capabilities that provide true understanding and powerful insights into the actions, opinions and motivations of citizens, consumers, patients, customers or employees. We serve more than 5000 clients across the world with 75 business solutions.

Founded in France in 1975, Ipsos has been listed on the Euronext Paris since July 1st, 1999. The company is part of the SBF 120 and the Mid-60 index and is eligible for the Deferred Settlement Service (SRD).

ISIN code FR0000073298, Reuters ISOS.PA, Bloomberg IPS:FP www.ipsos.com

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The author(s)

  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Chris Deeney Senior Vice President, U.S. Ipsos Observer

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