Credit card reward programs have always been a popular incentive for attracting consumers to the fore, and a new 2012 Credit Cards Rewards Survey conducted by Bankrate.com shows cash-back reward offers are gaining more steam.
According to the results, 48 percent of card issuers now pay at least 1 percent cash back for transactions, up from 44 percent last year. In addition, the study shows that more issuers are focused on providing higher cash-back rewards that can benefit consumers who use credit cards for their everyday purchases. Nearly half of the 50 cards examined in the study pay up to six percent in cash-back benefits for gas, dining and groceries, up from 28 percent one year ago.
"Cash is more tangible and can be applied to everyday life," Lisa Hronek, senior analyst at Mintel Comperemedia told Bankrate.com. "That's why it became more attractive for consumers during and after the recession."
However, Bankrate analysts cautioned consumers to be on the lookout for unfavorable terms and conditions that may diminish the true value of their rewards program, such as annual fees, rewards caps, expiration dates and large fees.