Travel rewards programs are emerging as important aids for consumers wanting to maintain their travel habits. The latest “Barclays US Consumer Bank 2023 Travel Rewards and Loyalty Report” goes into this dynamic as the world navigates inflation and economic uncertainty.
In collaboration with independent market research company Wakefield Research, the report surveyed 1,000 US adult travelers from May 19-27, 2023. It provides valuable insights into consumer preferences, spending behaviors, and the underlying factors influenced by gender, generation, and economic conditions.
Among the top revelations, inflation has emerged as the primary deterrent to travel, surpassing even health concerns or potential cancellations. The mounting costs for flights, accommodations, ground transport, and dining have played a significant role in delaying or canceling trips in the past five years.
Yet, despite economic headwinds, loyalty and rewards programs are shining brighter than ever. A remarkable 44% of travelers in these programs value earning rewards more than finding the cheapest travel options. This inclination showcases the premium placed on loyalty programs.
Credit card rewards are another avenue travelers are capitalizing on. A substantial 41% strategically utilize their credit cards to reap maximum benefits.
Breaking down the data demographically presents interesting trends:
- Millennials Lead the Charge in Reward Prioritization: An astounding 74% of Millennials rank earning maximum rewards over securing the cheapest deals. In periods of economic unpredictability, this demographic leads in harnessing miles and points programs to optimize savings.
- Seeking Value in Uncertain Times: Travelers display a clear inclination for value amidst economic challenges. They are drawn towards lower fees (52%), flexibility in redeeming miles and points (47%), and opportunities to accumulate more miles and points (46%).
The desire to travel remains undiminished as the world grapples with inflationary pressures and economic uncertainties. Consumers are increasingly leaning on rewards and loyalty programs to make their travel aspirations achievable. With rewards systems offering a combination of dependability and flexibility, they stand as a beacon for many wishing to travel despite the challenges they face.
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