Card reward programs not delivering value

John Kavanagh Payments, mobile & wallets

More than a third of people with rewards credit cards are not sure what dollar value they get from their rewards, while 37 per cent say they get no value from their rewards program.

These are among the findings of an ME Bank survey of 1000 credit card holders, who were asked about the benefits they get from their rewards cards.

Of those who said they did get a benefit, the amount nominated most frequently was “up to $50”. Only 7 per cent got a benefit of more than $500.

Half said they thought the dollar value of benefits had diminished since they first took out their card.

Thirty-six per cent said they were not sure about the dollar value of their reward points, even though 37 per cent said they got the card purely to benefit from the rewards.

ME’s credit card specialist Christopher Mak said the survey highlighted a lack of transparency in reward card offerings.

Mak says: “It’s a worrying sign when approximately one in three people don’t understand what value they’re actually getting from their rewards credit card.”

Card issuers have been cutting back on their rewards programs this year. Most recently, American Express restructured its rewards scheme with the result that most of its credit cards accrue fewer points per dollar.

Insights manager at Finder, Graham Cooke said: “Overall the value in terms of reward bonuses is going down across the market but there is still fairly decent bonuses points on sign-up packages that haven’t been affected. While the value is slightly less, there is value to be had.”