AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 16, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- 32 million U.S. credit cardholders haven't changed their preferred credit card in at least a decade and another 21 million have never switched, according to a new CreditCards.com report. Click here for more information:
"If you never change credit cards, you miss out on a big opportunity to rack up rewards. It's as simple as that," said Matt Schulz, CreditCards.com's senior industry analyst. "These offers have never been more generous, so now is the time to act."
The market is fragmented between people who haven't changed their favorite credit card in a long time and those who recently signed up for a new one, with few cardholders in the middle. 42% have selected a new go-to card within the past three years versus 38% who have never swapped their favorite card or haven't done so in the past decade. That leaves 19% who last made a substitution four to nine years ago.
When asked why they signed up for their favorite credit card in the first place and why they continue to use it most often today, cardholders cited rewards points/cash back ahead of other choices such as low interest rates, widespread acceptance, low fees and customer service. Oddly, just 2% of cardholders said a sign-up bonus spurred them to sign up for the card they use most often.
"I find that strange because if you like rewards – as most cardholders do – then you should really like sign-up bonuses," Schulz added. "This is another reason to compare cards ASAP if it has been a while. It normally takes a lot of spending to accumulate 50,000 points/miles, so accomplishing that with a single sign-up bonus is pretty incredible."
Older millennials (27-36 year-olds) are the biggest points/miles junkies: 62% say rewards are their favorite credit card feature, versus 35% of all other age groups.
Many credit cards offer free perks such as rental car insurance, extended warranties, purchase protection and price protection, but about one in four cardholders doesn't know if his/her favorite card is among them.
The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. PSRAI obtained telephone interviews with a nationally representative sample of 1,003 adults living in the continental United States. Interviews were conducted by landline (502) and cell phone (501, including 312 without a landline phone) in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from January 19-22, 2017. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies. The margin of sampling error for the complete set of weighted data is plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.
CreditCards.com is a leading online credit card marketplace, bringing consumers and credit card issuers together. At its free website, consumers can compare hundreds of credit card offers from America's leading issuers and banks and apply securely, online. CreditCards.com is also a destination site for consumers wanting to learn more about credit cards. Offering advice, news, features, statistics and tools, CreditCards.com helps consumers make smart choices about credit cards. In 2016, over 35 million unique visitors used CreditCards.com to find the right credit card to suit their needs.