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Keeping It Simple Is Key For A Rewarding Holiday Season

MCLEAN, Va., Nov. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Earning and managing credit card rewards doesn't have to be complicated, and more than half of consumers agree, according to the Capital One Rewards Barometer.* The survey, which measures how general rewards card holders accumulate and redeem credit card rewards, is now in its third year and sheds light on a growing desire for easy-to-use credit card rewards programs. Simplifying rewards by removing restrictions would improve the rewards experience for more than half of survey respondents (52 percent) compared to only 30 percent last year. 

"We're seeing that more and more people want rewards that are easy-to-use and give them meaningful value," said Amy Lenander, Vice President of Rewards Programs at Capital One. "Especially during the busy holiday season, shoppers have more important things to do than navigate complicated rewards cards with rotating bonus categories and spend thresholds or caps. We offer cards that make it easy for our customers to earn and use great rewards so that they can focus on what matters most to them."

The Rise of Mobile Consumers are increasingly looking to make their lives a little easier by taking advantage of mobile apps that bring rewards right to their finger tips. In fact, nearly four times as many consumers said tracking rewards with a mobile device would improve their experience over last year (15 percent in Q4 2013 vs. 4 percent in Q4 2012).

Savvy Spenders Rewards card holders are on the hunt for the best deals this holiday season, as half of respondents would use their rewards at a discount retailer. In particular, the majority of consumers plan to avoid stores while hunting for deals, with 80 percent looking to the internet, compared to 41 percent who plan to use in-person promotions. Online deals are also enticing more people to shop on the Web during Black Friday this year (25 percent in Q4 2013 vs. 19 percent in Q4 2012).

Rewards Trends Additional trends revealed by this quarter's Capital One Rewards Barometer include:

  • While some consumers carry multiple cards, cash remains the top rewards card currency at 49 percent, followed by points (44 percent) and miles (30 percent).
  • Since the spring of 2012, 40 percent of rewards card holders consistently reported a preference for a simple rewards card offering the same earn rate across all purchases, versus one that offers higher rewards rates on certain categories.  (Currently, 29 percent of rewards card holders prefer a card with higher rewards rates on certain categories, 12 percent prefer having one of each type of rewards card and 19 percent are unsure.)
  • When asked what could improve the rewards redemption experience, consumers choose 'eliminating expiration dates on rewards earned' (41 percent) as the top answer.

Rewards Tips Shoppers can make the most of their rewards and enjoy the holidays by following these simple tips from Capital One Rewards:

  1. More for Your Money: Avoid juggling credit card rewards during the busy holiday season and pick one card that gives you great rewards value on all purchases, versus one with rotating categories.  If you have a card like Capital One Quicksilver ( http://www.capitalone.com/credit-cards/quicksilver-cash-rewards), which gives 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, at any retailer, you aren't bound to spend at certain retailers to get a boosted rewards rate.
  2. Read the Fine Print: Before you choose a card for your shopping, check to make sure you understand how to actually use the rewards earned.  Restrictions such as expiration dates and spend minimums, can limit when and how you redeem. With Capital One, rewards never expire, so you can save up for something big and redeem when it's the right time for you.
  3. Pay Attention to Extra Perks:  Rewards cards offer so much more than the earn rate. Take advantage of the extra perks that often come with rewards credit cards, such as purchase protection, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance and fraud liability.

Survey Methodology *The survey was conducted by Prosper from October 10-17, 2013 among U.S. Adults 18+ who indicated that they currently have a "rewards credit card" – that is, a credit card with a rewards program that is issued by a bank or credit card company. The total sample size for this survey was N=1,045, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%. Prosper provides advanced business intelligence by integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral, and attitudinal data. To learn more: www.ProsperDiscovery.com

About Capital OneCapital One Financial Corporation ( www.capitalone.com) is a financial holding company whose subsidiaries, which include Capital One, N.A., and Capital One Bank ( USA), N. A., had $206.9 billion in deposits and    $289.9 billion in total assets as of September 30, 2013. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Capital One offers a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients through a variety of channels. Capital One, N.A. has more than 900 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia. A Fortune 500 company, Capital One trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "COF" and is included in the S&P 100 index.

Capital One is committed to driving industry leading rewards by consistently engaging its customers with rich rewards, perks and benefits. The No Hassle Rewards ®   program from Capital One offers easy ways to earn rewards and a flexible suite of redemption options including travel, cash back, merchandise, gift cards, experiential rewards and more. With No Hassle Rewards, there's no limit to the amount of rewards a customer can earn and rewards don't expire.

* Survey conducted among U.S. Adults 18+ who indicated that they currently have a credit card with a rewards program that is issued by a bank or credit card company

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