Cash Back Bonuses on the Upswing

Bankrate's 2011 Cash Back Rewards Card Survey researches top rewards programs around the country

Mar 14, 2011, 08:30 ET from Bankrate, Inc.

NEW YORK, March 14, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- With consumers eager to get the most value from using their credit cards, cash back rewards programs have become increasingly popular. This morning, Bankrate.com released its 2011 Cash Back Rewards Credit Card Survey that features tools and resources to help consumers decide which card is right for them.  The results of the survey can be found here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/credit-cards/are-cash-back-cards-still-a-good-deal.aspx.

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Among the findings:

  • 1 percent cash back continues to be the baseline from which comparison should begin;
  • Almost half, or forty-four percent, of the cards surveyed have a 1 percent payout beginning with the first dollar of spending;
  • Introductory bonuses are common, with 41 percent of cards offering, but the bonuses are also on the rise from last year;
  • Of the cards surveyed, 28 percent offer higher payouts in certain categories of spending, including gasoline, groceries and travel;
  • Half of the cards surveyed had no expiration date.  Of those that did have a time limit, the most common was five years before rewards expire.

"Cash-back credit cards represent a way for disciplined consumers to get paid for purchases they'd make anyway, and the introductory bonuses make them particularly compelling," said Bankrate's Senior Financial Analyst Greg McBride, CFA.  "The cardinal rules, however, are to always pay the balance in full and resist the urge to overspend."

For this study, Bankrate surveyed 32 cash-back cards offered by large U.S. issuers as well as several investment cards that offered a competitive reward ratio. The survey was conducted during the week of February 18, 2011.

About Bankrate, Inc.

The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, Fee Disclosure, InsureMe CreditCardGuide.com and Bankaholic. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company's flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. In 2008, Bankrate.com had nearly 72 million unique visitors. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! (Nasdaq: YHOO), America Online (NYSE: AOL), The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times (NYSE: NYT). Bankrate.com's information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers. Bankrate, Inc. was acquired by Apax Partners, one of the world's leading private equity investment group, in September 2009. Apax operates across the United States, Europe and Asia and has more than 30 years of investing experience. For more information on Apax, visit: www.Apax.com.

For more information contact:


Hilary Dommu

Corporate Communications Coordinator

hdommu@bankrate.com

(917) 368-8635



SOURCE Bankrate, Inc.



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