Rewards programs have been disappearing as more and more U.S. banks seek ways to reduce costs, but survey results released by Capital One showed not all consumers are as happy with their current rewards programs as some banks would think.

Just 22% of U.S. credit card holders are happy with their rewards programs according to a survey released by Capital One Financial Corp. (NYSE:COF). The study also found that the vast majority of card holders—57% to be exact—hadn’t redeemed their credit card rewards in three months for reasons the difficulty in doing so (28%) and the lack of attractive redemption options (27%). About 19% of cardholders expressed regarding their rewards programs was that such programs lacked flexibility around redemption options, while another 23% felt that their rewards programs didn’t allow them to earn points as quickly as they would like.

What Motivates Consumers to Earn Rewards?

Capital One’s survey revealed that most U.S. consumers want to earn credit card rewards because they consider it free money. An additional 34% said they appreciate the everyday savings provided by rewards programs. When it comes to travel, 47% of U.S. credit card holders would prefer to redeem their rewards for domestic trips, while just 30% would want to redeem the rewards for international flights.

Finding the Right Rewards Program for You:

In response to the concerns expressed by U.S. cardholders, Capital One offered the following tips on how consumers get the most out of their rewards programs:

  • Find your perfect rewards card: Know what you want to redeem, evaluate how you spend and find the card that works for you
  • Know your rewards earning limit: Make sure you understand the maximum amount of rewards you can earn on your card
  • Calculate your earnings: Compare cards to determine which one will allow you to earn the most points on a permanent basis and not just in the introductory rewards earning period.
  • Read the fine print: As with anything, make sure to read the fine print for information like rewards expiration dates, annual fees, penalty clauses and black out dates.

Read: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Match My Miles Review

How would you rate your credit card rewards program? Let us know in the comments section.

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