The availability of debit card rewards offers fell 30% over the past year, according to Bankrate.com’s 2011 Debit Card Rewards Study. The good news for consumers is that the programs that still exist are largely unchanged. Just like last year, 0.5% is still the most common payout ratio. The full study can be accessed here: http://www.bankrate.com/finance/banking/debit-cards.aspx .
“The Federal Reserve’s new cap on debit interchange fees is leading many debit card issuers to discontinue their rewards programs,” said Greg McBride, CFA, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com. “On the bright side, disciplined spenders can utilize reward programs as compensation for purchases they’d make anyway.”
Seventy-one percent of debit rewards cards have no annual or monthly fees (up from 50% last year). Seventy-one percent have no cap on rewards, consistent with 75% in 2010. Among the programs with rewards caps, the threshold is quite high, with the lowest caps at $120 cash, 80,000 miles and 50,000 calendar points per year. Sixty-one percent of debit rewards programs have no expiration on rewards (up from 45% last year).
Additional findings included:
The highest payouts are 1% and the lowest are 0.25%.
Signature transactions (85% of programs) are almost twice as likely to be rewarded as PIN transactions (43%).
Flat per-transaction payouts constitute 18% of offers, up from five percent last year.
Merchant-funded offers (29%) comprise a much larger share of the marketplace, up from 13% in 2010.
To compile its 2011 Debit Card Rewards Study, Bankrate surveyed the five largest banks and the five largest thrifts in 10 large U.S. markets, along with the five largest credit unions.
About Bankrate, Inc.
The Bankrate network of companies includes Bankrate.com, Interest.com, Mortgage-calc.com, Nationwide Card Services, InsureMe, CreditCardGuide.com, Bankaholic, CreditCards.com and NetQuote. Each of these businesses helps consumers to make informed decisions about their personal finance matters. The company’s flagship brand, Bankrate.com is a destination site of personal finance channels, including banking, investing, taxes, debt management and college finance. Bankrate.com is the leading aggregator of rates and other information on more than 300 financial products, including mortgages, credit cards, new and used auto loans, money market accounts and CDs, checking and ATM fees, home equity loans and online banking fees. Bankrate.com reviews more than 4,800 financial institutions in 575 markets in 50 states. Bankrate.com provides financial applications and information to a network of more than 75 partners, including Yahoo! YHOO -0.57% , America Online AOL +2.83% , The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times NYT -0.75% . Bankrate.com’s information is also distributed through more than 500 newspapers.