New Report Finds Americans Value Airline Credit Card Travel Rewards

Insights from SLRG’s Consumer Optimism Barometer demonstrate how consumer’s value their airline credit cards and rewards.

It’s not just a novelty.

new poll by Airlines for America (A4A), the trade organization for most major U.S. airlines, shows that most Americans value their airline loyalty rewards.

That includes credit cards that return frequent flyer points on everyday purchases.

The poll comes as there is a movement among some politicians in Washington to disband airline loyalty programs.

According to A4A, the data from the poll showed that 81 percent of people agreed that being able to earn bonus reward points for travel through the use of their credit or charge card is very important to them while 73 percent of people said they actively track the points earned on their travel reward credit or charge cards.

And 77 percent of people surveyed said they redeem their points within one year of accruing them through their travel rewards credit card.

Nearly every major airline has a related charge card, and in fact, they sometimes sell applications for such on flights.

The Durbin-Marshall credit card bill would eliminate consumer choice over which network credit transactions are routed. The legislation would allegedly increase the cost associated with participating in these rewards programs.

It’s not the first time politicians have tried this.

In 2010, a similar provision aimed at debit cards was incorporated into the Dodd-Frank Act. Today, debit card rewards have been nearly eliminated.

A4A previously did an analysis four months ago of co-branded credit cards and found that there are nearly 30 million U.S. airline credit card holders or one of every four households. A4A estimates that 63 percent of total frequent flyer miles/points earned in 2022 by consumers were generated by their use of an airline credit card.

A4A also estimates rewards earned from airline credit cards paid for 15 million domestic visitor trips that supported $23 billion in economic activity in 2022.

In separate news involving the trade group, A4A recently reaffirmed its commitment to those with disabilities who travel by air.