Many consumers don’t do their research when it comes to credit cards, according to U.S. News & World Report, the global authority in rankings and consumer advice. In its most recent survey of credit card holders, U.S. News found that nearly half of respondents didn’t research their card before signing up. Further, more than 50 percent of those surveyed don’t regularly shop around for better cards.
U.S. News Money, which publishes the Best Rewards Credit Cards of 2018, conducted the survey to learn more about cardholders’ rewards preferences and redemption habits. According to its 2018 Rewards Credit Card Survey:
- Cash back is the most popular reward, followed by airline rewards and gift cards. The highest number of respondents (43 percent) said they redeemed cash back or a statement credit within the last 12 months, followed by airline rewards (23 percent) and gift cards (16 percent).
- The top three stated reasons consumers choose specific cards are no annual fees, the rate of earning rewards and loyalty perks or rewards.
- Most cardholders don’t maximize the value of their rewards cards. More than 25 percent of those surveyed carry a balance from month to month at least seven times a year, potentially costing them more than the rewards they earn.
“There are dozens of rewards credit cards to choose from,” said Kimberly Castro, executive editor at U.S. News. “But, consumers need to do their research to find the right card for their specific financial situation. By carrying a balance or not shopping around, they’re leaving money on the table.”