One in five credit card holders in the United Kingdom views a customer loyalty or reward scheme (such as Air Miles or Nectar points) as the most useful add-on feature that credit card companies offer, according to a survey conducted by ICM for The Credit Card Awards.
According to UK firm Card Partnerships (the organiser of The Credit Card Awards), the study demonstrates the importance of customer loyalty point schemes, which were second only to insurance cover against theft or damage to items bought using a card (usually known as Purchase Protection). Loyalty schemes were cited as most useful by 20% of credit card users, while purchase protection was cited by 45%.
Travel accident insurance is also important to cardholders, with 16% of respondents citing this as the most useful add-on feature. Identity theft assistance was the most important add-on feature for 12%, while only 3% cited credit card cheque facilities.
Rewards to become vital
According to Martin Fielding, CEO for Card Partnerships: "Our research shows that, despite evidence that some credit card companies are withdrawing or reducing the value of such schemes (see 29th Aug. 2005), rewards for loyalty are still very important to consumers. With the recent removal of insurance benefits by some credit card companies (driven by FSA regulatory changes) the relevance of loyalty schemes can only increase."
Fielding says that The Credit Card Awards will aim to highlight the achievements of CRM initiatives through awards for 'Best Customer Relationship Management Strategy' and 'Most Successful Non-insurance Credit Card Enhancement' programme for each year. The awards will acknowledge the achievements of companies and individuals operating within the UK credit card industry, and support initiatives that improve the customer experience (such as providing better service and clearer product information).
For additional information:
· Visit Card Partnerships at http://www.thecreditcardawards.com
· Visit ICM at http://www.icmresearch.co.uk