Debit Rewards: Taking a Focused Approach


Debit card issuers’ search for the most motivating yet cost-effective loyalty reward options.

Mercator Advisory Group releases new research on how to achieve cost savings in debit card rewards programs without disappointing loyal users.

Author: Sarah Grotta
Published on: June 4, 2019

Rewards offered with traditional debit cards are still available from large and small financial institutions but are on the decline as debit card issuers look to cut costs in the face of ever smaller product margins. Forty percent of U.S. consumers surveyed by Mercator Advisory Group indicate that they are receiving rewards with their debit card today.

Mercator Advisory Group’s latest research report, Debit Card Rewards: Taking a Focused Approach, discusses new competition faced by debit card issuers and suggests how then can keep their programs motivating yet cost-effective.

“Consumers today may have a more difficult time finding debit cards rewards from traditional financial institutions, but digital-only or challenger banks and merchants are filling the void. Some consumers, particularly those in younger demographic segments, which financial institutions want as customers, appear motivated to spend more in the pursuit of rewards and are taking their transactions and balances to these alternative payment options,” comments Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit and Alternative Products Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group and author of the report.

This report has 15 pages and 8 exhibits.

Companies mentioned in this report include: American Express, Axos Bank, Bank of America, BB&T, Consumers Credit Union, Cumberland Farms, Discover, Farmer’s State Bank, Fifth Third Bank, First United Bank and Trust, Green Dot Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Kroger, PNC Bank, Randolph Brooks FCU, Schools First FCU, Security Service FCU, Starbucks, SunCoast FCU, SunTrust Bank, and Target.

Highlights of the report include:

  • Review of the types of rewards that financial intuitions are providing to their cardholders
  • Survey of debit card rewards programs of large financial institutions, institutions below $10 billion in assets, and digital-only banks
  • Survey of merchant segments with merchant-provided rewards
  • A discussion of approaches that financial institutions can take to support rewards on debit cards through a narrower focus on customers most likely to benefit and be motivated by them


Go to Top