Study: Credit, Debit Rewards Gaining Value

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ATLANTA-A new survey of consumers has found that combined debit and credit card reward programs is increasingly valued.

A number of providers, including Citibank and Wells Fargo, have pioneered combining debit card and credit card reward programs, typically under the umbrella of "relationship" rewards. According to a recent survey by SYNERGISTICS Research entitled, Debit Cards and Credit Cards-Partners or Competitors?, almost seven in 10 Internet households surveyed use both debit and credit cards.

Six in 10 users of both credit and debit cards see these combined programs as valuable, and one-fifth see them as "very" valuable, according to Synergistics. Younger consumers are more likely than older consumers to find value in these combined card reward programs.

"Combined debit card and credit card reward programs should be explored by any size financial institution that has both a debit and credit card customer base," said Genie M. Driskill, COO of SYNERGISTICS. "These linked reward programs should add a degree of stickiness to customer relationships, making it harder for these customers to switch institutions. Ideally, these combined programs will also strengthen relationships in the early years and blunt the potential tendency of households - as they move ahead in their financial lifecycles and become more affluent - to move their transaction activity to other credit card providers offering attractive reward programs."

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