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ST. LOUIS – A recent Maritz Loyalty Marketing survey finds that while credit card reward programs continue to grow in popularity with consumers there is still room for improvement. Some 36% of consumers have been enrolled in a credit card rewards program for five years or more yet almost 50% have never redeemed their points for a reward. “Credit card issuers recognize the popularity and value of these programs but are missing the boat when it comes to persuading consumers to redeem their rewards,” said MLM Financial Services Market Development Director Gail Sneed. “They need to be more proactive and that means not only customizing reward programs to fit their customer’s lifestyle but also communicating with them about reward redemptions.” According to the survey, 60% of consumers say that the reward program influences their decision in picking which credit card to use for a purchase, when consumers actually redeem their rewards the number jumps to 75%. Types of rewards consumers prefer to redeem their points for include: cash back (73%), free merchandise (27%), free travel (26%) gift certificates (25%), special members only offers/discounts (12%) special benefit/upgrades (10%) and free tickets to events (7%). The survey also finds that more women (33%) prefer to redeem their rewards for merchandise compared to men (22%), and 29% of women prefer gift certificates.

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