A new Wells Fargo study has found that a large number of Americans are using their credit card rewards to help offset the costs of everyday purchases amid concerns about rising inflation. The study, which surveyed over 1,500 adults in the US, found that 92% of respondents were concerned about rising inflation (59% very concerned, 33% somewhat concerned). In addition, nearly half of rewards cardholders (49%) said they were using their rewards to help pay for items such as groceries and gas.
Credit card rewards have become increasingly popular in recent years, and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. According to the survey, almost three-quarters (71%) of Americans have a rewards card, and 45% of rewards cardholders say their credit card usage increased during the pandemic. What’s more, two-thirds of rewards cardholders say they care about credit card rewards now more than ever.
“The survey data underscores the significance of rising inflation and supply chain issues, and how American consumers have been affected in so many ways—not only their summer vacation plans but also with everyday purchases,” said Krista Phillips, EVP, head of Branded Cards and Marketing for Wells Fargo Credit Cards.
The national online survey of 2,008 adults was conducted by Ipsos on behalf of Wells Fargo on June 27-28, 2022.
Americans Are Planning Vacations, But There’s a Catch
Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, many Americans are still eager to travel. In fact, the study found that 57% of respondents have a “love-hate” relationship with travel. For many, the desire to explore has only grown stronger in recent months. With vaccines being widely available, it is likely that even more people will be hitting the road in the coming months.
Road trips are proving to be a popular vacation choice, two-thirds (66%) surveyed said they preferred good old-fashioned road trips over flying. This is not surprising, they are typically cheaper and offer more flexibility than flying. Additionally, many people (two-thirds or 64% of respondents) are cutting back on air travel due to concerns about the cost and the safety of flying during the pandemic.
Despite the current economic conditions, it appears that many Americans are still dreaming of traveling in the near future. However, for many, high gas prices and inflation are making it difficult to turn those dreams into reality. As a result, many people are either canceling their plans altogether or opting for a “staycation” instead. While this may be disappointing for some, it is important to remember that there are still plenty of ways to enjoy a vacation without having to travel far from home.
With a little creativity, even the most budget-conscious traveler can find ways to have a fun and relaxing summer vacation.
Credit Card Rewards: How to Get the Most Out of Your Points
Credit card rewards can be a great way to offset the cost of everyday purchases. However, many people do not take full advantage of their card benefits.
The Wells Fargo study found that only half of rewards cardholders focus on high-value categories when they use their credit card. Furthermore, 38% of rewards cardholders have not cashed in their credit card rewards or offers this year. Finally, 13% of rewards cardholders say they don’t really understand how their credit card rewards program works.
To maximize your credit card rewards, be sure to focus on high-value categories and take the time to understand how your program works. By doing so, you can make the most of your credit card rewards and save money on everyday purchases.
If you want to maximize your credit card rewards, here are a few tips to follow:
1. Understand the different types of rewards credit cards and how they work.
There are many different types of rewards credit cards available, and it can be confusing to understand how they all work. Generally, rewards credit cards offer points or cash back for every dollar you spend. The specific rewards and redemption options vary depending on the card issuer, but common examples include travel, gift cards, and statement credits. Some rewards cards also offer bonus points for spending in certain categories, such as grocery stores or gas stations. To maximize your rewards, it’s important to choose a card that aligns with your spending habits. For example, if you travel frequently, you may want to look for a card with strong travel benefits. If you don’t carry a balance from month to month, you may want to focus on a card with no annual fee. By understanding how rewards credit cards work, you can choose the best option for your needs.
2. Sign up for a card that offers rewards you’ll actually use
One of the worst things about having a rewards card is feeling like you’re never going to actually use the points you’ve accumulated. Sure, it’s nice to know that you have a safety net of points in case of an emergency, but wouldn’t it be nice to actually use them for something fun? That’s why it’s important to sign up for a rewards card that offers rewards you’ll actually use. Whether it’s cash back on everyday purchases or free travel, make sure you’re getting a card that gives you the reward you really want. After all, there’s no point in accumulating rewards if you’re never going to use them. So do your research and sign up for a card that will give you the rewards you really want.
3. Make sure you’re getting the most value for your points by using them for travel, gift cards, or cash back
Credit card rewards are a great way to save money on travel, gift cards, or cash back. However, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the most value for your points by using them wisely. There are a few things to keep in mind when redeeming credit card rewards. First, consider the value of the reward. Some rewards are worth more than others, so it’s important to choose the one that will save you the most money. Second, think about how you’ll use the reward. If you’re planning on using it for travel, make sure you book your tickets in advance so you can get the most out of your points. Finally, don’t forget to factor in any blackout dates or restrictions that might apply to your credit card rewards. By following these tips, you can be sure you’re getting the most value for your credit card rewards.
4. Pay off your balance in full every month to avoid interest charges and maximize your rewards
Paying off your credit card balance in full every month is the best way to avoid interest charges and maximize your rewards. By doing so, you’ll avoid paying any interest on your balance and will receive the full value of your rewards. Additionally, by keeping your balance low, you’ll be less likely to incur fees for going over your credit limit. Paying off your credit card balance in full each month is the best way to make the most of your credit card rewards.
5. Stay organized by tracking your spending and redemption progress
Credit card rewards can be a great way to save money on everyday purchases, but they can also be difficult to keep track of. Fortunately, there are a few simple tips that can help you stay organized and make the most of your rewards. First, it’s important to know what type of rewards you’re earning. Some credit cards offer cash back, while others offer points that can be redeemed for travel or merchandise. Tracking your spending and redemption progress will help you ensure that you’re earning the maximum amount of rewards possible. Additionally, it’s helpful to set up alerts so that you remember to redeem your rewards before they expire. By following these simple tips, you can maximize your credit card rewards and stay organized throughout the year.
6. Refer friends and family to get even more rewards bonuses!
Most credit cards offer rewards for spending, including points, cash back, and travel miles. But did you know that you can also earn rewards for referring friends and family to sign up for a credit card? Many credit card companies offer bonus points or cash back when you refer someone and they are approved for the card. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card offers 10,000 bonus points when you refer a friend and they are approved for the card. So if you’re looking to boost your rewards earnings, be sure to spread the word to your friends and family. You could end up earning some serious bonus points.
Rewards cards can be a great way to earn free stuff, but only if you understand how they work. Make sure you are taking advantage of all the benefits your card offers, and remember to read the fine print so you know what kind of purchases count towards rewards. Stay ahead of inflation by using your rewards card to get discounts on the things you need most. Have you used your rewards card to beat inflation? If not, start reading through our Personal Finance articles to help protect your wallet in these uncertain times.
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This article is intended for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only and should not be construed as advice, guidance or counsel. It is provided without warranty of any kind.