BUSINESS + ECONOMY

New poll says 1 in 3 people overspend on travel reward cards

Jul 26, 2022, 4:03 PM
travel credit card...
FILE: A recent study found that nearly half of those surveyed have spent too much on "travel credit cards." (Joe Raedle /Getty Images)
(Joe Raedle /Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY — A new poll by ValuePenguin revealed how many Americans are signing up for travel reward credit cards. It found that nearly half of the people polled said they were considering applying for such a card. 

Because this summer travel season features high fuel prices, expensive flights, pricey lodging, and inflation, Marketwatch reports that more people have signed up for these credit cards for travel discounts. A poll commissioned by ValuePenguin and carried out by Qualtrics found that 49% of Americans are currently thinking about applying for a travel credit card in the next six months.

You’ve likely been on a flight where an airline credit card offer was made over the loudspeaker while you were waiting to get off the plane.  Go ahead and sign up, they say, and you could immediately begin to earn travel rewards for future deals on flights.

The ValuePenguin poll surveyed 1,000 people online in June 2022. Their results show that one in 3 people said they overspent on those travel rewards cards while earning points and sign-up bonuses.

According to the survey, 32% of respondents said they “spent more than they could afford” completing the requirements for spending to get their discounts and sign-up bonuses for travel.  A sign-up bonus is a lure of automatically added points or rewards when you sign on.

Travel expert at Lending Tree Sophia Mendel said the bonuses on those credit card offers are not mandates, and a customer can simply choose, without penalty, not to spend that amount.  No bonus is worth going into debt over, she said.

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New poll says 1 in 3 people overspend on travel reward cards