Capital One Rewards Barometer Reveals Consumers Might Miss Out this Holiday Season

More Would Travel if They Could Use Their Rewards, and 75 Percent Are Unaware of Special Holiday Shopping Deals

MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

'Tis the season for shopping and travel, and according to the Capital One (NYSE: COF) Rewa rds Barometer, a quarterly survey among American consumers focused on how they accumulate and redeem credit card rewards,* people may be putting up with redemption frustrations that are avoidable, in addition to missing out on shopping deals. Of the people surveyed, 37 percent would be more likely to travel for the holidays if they were guaranteed to be able to redeem credit card rewards for their flight, and nearly 75 percent of consumers surveyed were unaware that some credit card rewards issuers offer special deals during Black Friday.

"Holiday travel and shopping can be overwhelming for consumers, but redeeming credit card rewards for either shouldn't be a hassle or add more stress to the busy holiday season," said Amy Lenander, Vice President of Rewards Programs at Capital One. "People should look for simple, easy ways to get more out of their credit card rewards program during the holiday season, like building points through sweetened merchant deals, saving money by using points for travel and redeeming rewards for gift cards to use as presents for friends and family."

Holiday Travel

According to the survey, 32 percent of consumers are planning a holiday trip with two-thirds (64 percent) planning to travel more than 100 miles and 21 percent planning to take an international vacation. Of those who tried to redeem rewards for air travel last year and were unsuccessful, lack of available rewards seats on their selected flight and blackout dates were top barriers to redemption (36 percent and 30 percent respectively). As a result, 58 percent indicated they were 'very frustrated' as they were not able to successfully use their credit card rewards for holiday travel. While credit card rewards can offset the costs of an overseas getaway, nearly 51 percent of respondents are unaware that they could be charged foreign transaction fees on their credit card purchases made while traveling overseas.

"The results tell us that some people may be staying home this year due to blackout dates and seat restrictions, and they need to know that there are rewards programs that eliminate those barriers," added Lenander. "Capital One rewards cards have no blackout dates, seat restrictions, foreign transaction fees nor other limitations that cause holiday headaches."

Holiday Shopping

With the economy still struggling, it is more important than ever to take advantage of holiday shopping deals. While nearly a quarter of respondents are not certain whether they will redeem rewards for holiday gifts this season, of the 16 percent who plan to redeem rewards for holiday gifts this season, gift cards are the top redemption option (49 percent). Interestingly, 28 percent of customers would be more likely to shop online than in a store if they knew bonus rewards were offered.

"There are some serious rewards opportunities available during the holidays that can give you even more value," added Lenander. "To get the most out of your rewards program, card holders should check with their card issuer to see what kind of special promotions they are offering. We have deals offering as much as 150 percent of the standard bonus reward offering when you shop through our online portal Perk Central."

Redemption Trends

Consumers' overall satisfaction with credit card rewards remained favorable with more than half of consumers on average throughout 2011 rating the ability to earn rewards quickly and the value of rewards as "very good" or "excellent" each quarter. Expiring rewards however is a pain point for rewards card holders, with more than 40 percent of respondents (43 percent) indicating that eliminating expiration dates on rewards would improve their redemption experience and 21 percent indicated they would be most likely to switch to another rewards credit card that eliminated rewards expiration dates. Rewards customers surveyed also indicated that a simpler rewards program (47 percent) and more special deals with retailers (57 percent) would help improve their overall experience of earning rewards.Results also indicate that:

  • Rewards redemption slightly dipped in Q4 with 42 percent of card holders redeeming their rewards in the past 3 months (Q1 43 percent, Q2 43 percent, Q3 47 percent)
  • The top redemption choice for rewards card holders surveyed was cash (44 percent), followed by domestic airline tickets (30 percent).
  • "Free money" is the top motivation (61 percent) for card holders to earn and redeem credit card rewards.

For more information about Capital One rewards visit,

Survey Methodology

This BIGresearch® survey was conducted from November 4-7, 2011 among U.S. Adults 18+ who indicated that they currently have a "rewards credit card" - that is, a credit card with a rewards program that is issued by a bank or credit card company. The total sample size for this survey was N=1,045, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. BIGresearch® consumer intelligence provides answers for the marketplace around demand, media influence, predictive applications, and new thinking. Users include some of the largest manufacturers, retailers, Wall Street firms, hedge funds, and leading edge companies across the U.S. and Internationally. BIGresearch® consumer insights are gathered online using very large sample sizes to empower users with unique insights.

About Capital One

Capital One Financial Corporation ( is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., had $128.3 billion in deposits and $200.1 billion in total assets outstanding as of September 30, 2011. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. Capital One, N.A. has approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Capital One is committed to driving industry leading rewards by consistently engaging its customers with rich rewards, perks and benefits. The No Hassle Rewards® program from Capital One offers easy ways to earn rewards and a flexible suite of redemption options including travel, cash back, merchandise, gift cards, experiential rewards and more. With No Hassle Rewards, there's no limit to the amount of rewards a customer can earn and rewards don't expire.

* Survey conducted among U.S. Adults 18+ who indicated that they currently have a credit card with a rewards program that is issued by a bank or credit card company

Contact: Sukhi Sahn

SOURCE Capital One

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