About Us

You are here

Zero Percent Intro Rates and Cash Back Rewards on U.S. Holiday Wish Lists for New Credit Cards, says Raddon

Monday, November 23, 2015
  • Fifty four percent of consumers in the market for a new card said zero percent intro rates would prompt them to apply, while 50 percent cited cash back rewards
  • Services that move in step with people’s lives have strong appeal, and the holiday shopping season is a prime time for consumers to apply for instant issue cards
  • Study also shows 80 percent of consumers with credit cards use rewards programs

Lombard, Ill., November 23, 2015 – At the peak of the holiday shopping season this year, consumers in the market for new credit cards are most likely to apply for cards with features such as zero percent introductory rates, cash back rewards programs, ID theft protection, no annual fees and low standard interest rates, according to new survey data released today by Raddon, a leading provider of financial industry research and trends data.

In recent years, many financial institutions and retailers have launched instant issue credit card programs, which allow cards to be issued on the spot, to provide faster service and more convenience to consumers with immediate spending needs. Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the holiday shopping season are prime opportunities for consumers to apply for instant issue cards.

“Consumers who are in the market for a new credit card this holiday season are more likely to apply for credit cards that offer direct incentives,” said Bill Handel, vice president of research, Raddon. “Holiday shoppers are naturally drawn to zero interest offers and cash back rewards, because both add instant value as spending increases during this time of the year. Financial institutions and retailers that issue cards can capitalize on this strong demand.”

Credit Card Features in Demand by Consumers

Among consumers that are currently in the market for a new credit card, 54 percent cite zero percent introductory rates as a feature that would prompt them to apply for a new credit card. Annual cash back rewards programs are cited by 50 percent of consumers, while 42 percent cite ID theft protection as a key motivator.

As expected, no annual fees and low standard interest rates continue to remain popular credit card features. Sixty four percent of those in the market today cite no annual fees as a key motivator, and 58 percent cite low standard interest rates.

Rewards Programs – Cash is King

The survey also shows that credit card rewards programs are very popular with cardholders from all age groups, as 80 percent of consumers say they are currently enrolled in a rewards program. Of these cardholders, 56 percent are earning cash back rewards, while 40 percent earn redeemable rewards points, and 17 percent earn air miles and other travel-based rewards. For those earning rewards points, 67 percent prefer to redeem points on demand, and without date restrictions.

Cash back rewards are the most popular rewards program across generations, with 66 percent of Traditionalists, 60 percent of Baby Boomers, 50 percent of Generation Xers and 47 percent of Millennials enrolled. Rewards points are second, with 41 percent of Traditionalists, 39 percent of Baby Boomers, 43 percent of Generation Xers and 37 percent of Millennials enrolled.

Although financial services trends often highlight the strong differences in preferences among different generations, it is clear that credit card rewards programs represent a rare point of alignment. Card issuers that allow family members to pool together cash back rewards, accrued points, or air miles and other travel-based awards are more likely to gain long-term loyalty from consumers.

Research Method

The consumer research survey on credit card preferences was compiled by Raddon in October 2015 based on responses from 1,200 U.S. adults. Survey respondents are represented by four generational age groups. Raddon conducts broad consumer and small business research on a semi-annual basis; in-depth reports are made available to Raddon clients in May and October of each year.

Age Group Surveyed

  • Traditionalists – born between 1922-1945
  • Boomers – born between 1946-1964
  • Generation X – born between 1965-1978
  • Millennials – born between 1979-1999


About Raddon

Founded in 1983, Raddon, part of Fiserv, Inc. (NASDAQ: FISV), arms financial industry decision-makers with objective data gained through innovative research techniques and unique database resources. Raddon also provides strategic guidance, tactical solutions and marketing solutions to meet the challenges of the continually changing financial industry. For more information, visit www.raddon.com.