TD Bank's Annual Consumer Spending Index Reveals Missed Opportunities to Earn and Claim Credit Card Rewards

wallet with credit cards

October 23, 2017 - Credit Cards DC, DE, MD, VA Florida Maine New England New Jersey, New York and PA North and South Carolina

Americans are spending with confidence, according to TD Bank's second annual Consumer Spending Index, which polled more than 1,000 consumers across the nation to uncover Americans' spending habits. Yet, while they rack up credit card rewards points with sensible spending and responsibly manage month-to-month debt, almost one fifth of consumers leave these rewards unclaimed.

Consumers Are Spending, But Not Swiping

The average survey respondent earned a household income of approximately $62,000 a year while spending more than $25,000 annually on bills and purchases, including more than $2,000 on travel and $1,700 on dining.

TD Bank's newly-enhanced TD Cash credit card was redesigned with the spending patterns of today's customers in mind. After incorporating customer feedback in the design of the card, TD increased the rewards program from 2% to 3% cash back for every dollar spent on dining, and added a new accelerated category with 2% cash back at grocery stores. The card also offers 1% cash back for all other purchases. With valuable cash back options available from credit cards today, Americans shouldn't be afraid to swipe, yet some are still relying on cash.

  • Forty-six percent use debit or check card as their primary method for making purchases and 21 percent use cash, leaving unearned rewards on the table
  • Millennials spent nearly $300 more than the average respondent on dining, a total of approximately $2,000 annually
  • Men picked up the restaurant tab more often than women ($2,000 annually versus $1,400), so perhaps chivalry isn't dead after all

By mapping their spending across categories, consumers can determine the credit card that best fits their spending habits and maximizes their rewards earning potential.

"If I could offer advice to consumers who use a credit card, it's to be sensible in spending and mindful about cashing in rewards," says Julie Pukas, Head of US Bankcard and Merchant Solutions at TD Bank. "It takes smart spending to use your credit card for daily purchases – like groceries and dining – and discipline to ensure you pay off that balance at the end of each month, but for those who can make it work, it's a very savvy credit strategy that makes your credit card work for you."

Cardholders are Reaping Rewards with Purpose

Despite reliance on spending with cash and debit, consumers understand the value of being rewarded for the purchases they're making the most often.

  • More than half of consumers polled (53 percent) would alter purchasing decisions based on rewards offers
  • Most (84 percent) have access to credit card rewards, primarily using them for cash back (47 percent), paying their monthly balance (11 percent) and on merchandise or travel (26 percent)
  • However, those who earn rewards don't always handle them with care. In fact, one-in-five consumers (18 percent) have let credit card rewards expire.
  • More Millennials have a rewards credit card (87 percent) than other generations, yet they're the most likely to let rewards go to waste
  • Almost one-third (30 percent) of Millennials have let rewards expire, more than Gen-X (19 percent) and Baby Boomers (8 percent)

With simple reward applications that take only a few clicks, like putting cash back rewards towards your monthly bill or depositing it into your savings, consumers can stop leaving cash on the table.

Survey Methodology
The study was conducted among a nationally representative group of consumers from March 22 – March 28, 2017. The sample size of 1,002 has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent. Data has been weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the populations. The survey was hosted by global research company MARU / Matchbox.

About MARU / Matchbox
MARU/Matchbox is a professional services firm dedicated to improving its clients' business outcomes. It delivers its services through teams of sector-specific research consultants specializing in the use of Insight Community and Voice of Market technology.

About TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com . Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US .

TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol "TD". To learn more, visit www.td.com.

1Purchases include groceries, gas, dining, clothing, electronics, entertainment, travel, etc.  
2Bill payments include cable, cell phone, utilities, etc.

SOURCE TD Bank

For further information: Kate Toy, 609-314-7857, kathleen.toy@td.com


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