Mercator Blog

Credit Card Rewards Drives Card Selection
Date: December 21, 2017
Karen Augustine
Manager, Primary Data Services
In the United States, credit cards remain the most common electronic payment type used by U.S. consumer households, followed closely by debit cards. Mercator Advisory Group’s 2017 Payments survey finds that slightly more consumers prefer to use debit cards than credit cards in stores. But with an improving economy and a shift toward e-commerce and m-commerce, the consumers surveyed prefer to use credit cards rather than other types of payments to make online or web purchases.

More valuable rewards, lower fees, and higher credit limits are most likely to stimulate more credit card spending, especially among the young and mobile-enabled according to our data. In an improving economy, consumers are more likely to pay their credit card balances in full and are less resistant to credit card use. No annual fee and attractive rewards are the top features that consumers use to decide which credit card to use.

This Mercator Advisory Group Insight Summary Report, U.S. Consumers and Credit: Playing the Rewards Game, focuses on understanding cardholders’ behavior and card use in the United States by reviewing which consumer demographic segments are using credit cards, the usage of co-branded credit or charge cards and EMV chip cards, payment card types preferred by consumers for online purchases and bill payment, applications for new cards, changes to card features, frequency of merchants’ restrictions on credit card use or discounts for other payment forms, and consumer reaction to these merchant rules as well as interest in mobile-based account controls on credit and debit cards to avoid fraud or to impose cardholder-controlled restrictions on credit card use.