credit cards

On April 19, Capital One Financial Corporation released the results of the first Capital One Rewards Barometer, a new quarterly report that highlights the best rewards credit card programs and how consumers use the rewards they earn.

According to this first survey from Capital One, only 22 percent of rewards cardholders are completely satisfied, and only 43 percent have redeemed rewards points in the past three months.

Rewards credit cards and point redemption

Among those who wanted to redeem points but didn't, 28 percent cited difficulty in doing so, while 27 percent reported a lack of appealing redemption options. The Rewards Barometer found mismatches between cardholders' desires and their actual redemption options:

  • While 72 percent of consumers want the option to redeem points for cash, only 54 percent actually can do so.
  • Only 32 percent want to be able to exchange points for items and merchandise, but 47 percent have rewards cards that offer this option.

The Capital One report reveals conflicting information on the rebates consumers want. Consumers say they would rather have the ability to redeem rewards for domestic (47 percent) rather than international flights (30 percent), yet the report shows they would much prefer to use points to travel to England for the Royal Wedding (31 percent) than to Washington, DC, for the White House Easter Egg Roll (7 percent).

According to this Capital One credit card survey, the reason most consumers (57 percent) use rewards points - and look for the best rewards credit card - is because cashing in rewards points feels like "free money". Another 34 percent said they appreciate the everyday savings offered by a rewards program.