Low APR Most Important to Credit Card Users

April 21, 2011

comscore-credit-card-features-apr11.gifFour in 10 US credit cardholders cited a low APR/interest rate as the most important feature of a credit card, according to data collected by comScore in December 2010. Findings from the “Online Credit Card Report” indicate the percentage citing low APR was about 43% higher than the 28% citing no annual fee, the next-most-popular credit card feature among cardholders.

Rewards/points was the only other feature to receive consideration as the most important credit card feature by a double-digit share of cardholders (13%).

2 in 10 Cardholders Shop for New Card

During the past twelve months, 20% of all cardholders reported shopping for a new card. Among consumers who reported feeling more confident about the economy, this stood at 34%, a substantial 70% higher.

Cash Back Dominates Preferred Rewards

comscore-credit-card-rewards-apr-20111.JPGWhen it comes to credit card rewards, cardholders show a clear preference for cold, hard cash. Almost six in 10 (57%) ranked cash back the highest among six types of credit card rewards. Merchant rewards and flexible points tied for second place with a distant 13% preference. This means more than four times as many cardholders prefer cash to either one of these rewards.

Another 10% cited a preference for airline rewards.

3/4 of Mobile Cardholders Visit Financial Websites

comscore-credit-card-channel-apr-2011.JPGThree-quarters (76%) of cardholders who own a mobile phone visit the website of their card’s financial institution to complete a transaction. This is about 50% more than the 51% who call the financial institution.

In addition, about six in 10 (59%) mobile cardholders visit the institution’s site as their primary method of completing a transaction, compared to just 17% who use phone calls as their primary method.

While mobile applications and sites are not used to the same extent as other channels, comScore data shows they are gaining popularity. Among cardholders with mobile phones, 16% reported accessing their issuer’s site through a mobile browser and 13% reported accessing their accounts through mobile applications.

It is worth noting that few mobile cardholders use mobile apps and sites as their primary means of completing transactions.

Other Findings

  • In 2010, 76% of cardholders reported accessing their accounts online, up 7% from 71% in 2009.
  • One in five cardholders who also own a mobile phone report having used their mobile device to manage their accounts within the past 12 months.

Compete: Prospective Credit Card Owners Dislike Fees

When asked to rank the five most appealing features a credit card could offer them, with the most appealing receiving a rank of five, consumers overwhelmingly selected no annual fee, according to April 2010 data from Compete. No annual fee led all possible features with a 3.1 rating. Low interest rates came in a distant second with a 1.9 rating, followed closely by reward points with a 1.7 rating. The top five were rounded out by bonus through use of exclusive shopping site (1.5) and cash back on specific expenses (1.4).

About the Data: The report draws its analysis from comScore’s research panel of 1 million US consumers and a comScore survey of nearly 2,000 U.S. Internet users conducted in December 2010.


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