This report provides comprehensive and current information and analysis of the Credit Card Benefits market including Credit Card Benefits market size, anticipated market forecast, relevant market segmentation, and industry trends for the Credit Card Benefits market in the US.

Current market landscape

As credit card issuers seek to attract a consumer base that is increasingly skeptical of debt-based products, providing cardholders with the most relevant and valuable suite of benefits possible is essential. Striking a balance between utility and security may be the key to providing maximum value; while consumers use credits to partner brands more frequently than they use protection-based benefits, they still think security and insurance benefits are the most important to have.

Inflation is causing a growing level of concern about rising credit card balances, with consumers beginning to prefer debit payments in order to avoid the stress of credit card debt. Although delinquency rates remain low, interest rate hikes are intensifying the penalty of carrying balances, and credit cards will need to lean on their benefits to ward off rival payment methods.

Market share and key industry trends

  • 25% of cardholders have used an identity theft protection benefit offered by their credit card, making identity theft protection a more utilized benefit than any shopping- or travel-related offering (see Security/Insurance Benefit Usage).
  • 55% of Gen Zs have used a lifestyle credit or reward offered by their credit card, while just 33% of them have used a travel-based credit or reward (see Credit/ Reward Benefit Usage).
  • 34% of consumers who do not own a credit card indicated that avoiding debt was one of the reasons they do not own a card, up from 27% last year, making debt aversion the most common reason to bypass credit products (see Reasons to Not Own a Credit Card).

Future market trends in Credit Card Benefits

Despite these threats to the market, recent innovation in the benefits space has enhanced the applicability of credit cards beyond a simple transactional product. Cell phone protection has quickly become one of the most used benefits by young cardholders, and lifestyle credits – such as rewards and credits on streaming services, food delivery, and rideshare services – have expanded the horizons of what a premium card can bring to the table. Young cardholders are particularly likely to consider benefits as the principal driver to upgrade their card; the ability to provide consistent value aside from sheer earn rates can differentiate credit cards as a well-rounded financial tool.

Read on to discover more about the Credit Card Benefits consumer market, read our Payment Preferences – US – 2021, or take a look at our other Financial Services research reports.

Quickly understand credit card benefits market research

  • Usage rates of security/insurance benefits offered by credit cards.
  • Usage rates of credit/rewards benefits offered by credit cards.
  • Reasons that noncredit card owners choose not to have a credit card.
  • Timeline of most recent credit card account openings.
  • Motivations to apply for a new credit card.
  • Attitudes toward credit cards and credit card benefits.
  • credit card market economic benefits.

Covered in this credit card benefits market report

Brands include: Chime, American Express, Capital One, Discover, American Express, DoorDash, GrubHub, Hello Fresh.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Patrick Rahlfs, a leading analyst in the Finance sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis on credit card benefits market industry trends, to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Although credit card rewards often hold the prime real estate of top billing in acquisition marketing, the past couple of years have seen a great deal of innovation in the benefits space, where lifestyle perks are bringing new sources of everyday utility to card products. This influx of credit-based benefits has seen rapid adoption by younger cardholders, whose acute interest in benefit offerings is driving competition in the premium space. However, despite the introduction of partnership credits across multiple categories, cardholders still demand security protections as the most essential benefits that cards can provide. As economic factors augment the hesitance that consumers hold toward credit card debt, maximizing the utility and relevance of benefit structures will be crucial for the credit card industry to remain atop the hierarchy of payment types.
Patrick Rahlfs, Senior Finance Research Analyst
Patrick Rahlfs
Senior Research Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Prospective premium cardholders seek benefits more than rewards
                  • Figure 1: Attitudes and behaviors toward credit card upgrades, by generation, 2022
                • Young cardholders are quick to adapt to new benefits
                  • Figure 2: Lifestyle/travel benefit usage, by generation, 2022
                • Credit score progress may be the most fundamental benefit that cards can provide
                  • Figure 3: Reason for opening most recent credit card, 2022
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 4: Category outlook, 2022-27
                • Opportunities and challenges
                  • Premium cards can elevate benefits ahead of rewards in marketing
                    • Breadth of credits-based benefits may stretch cardholders thin
                      • Key consumer insights
                        • Economic conditions are affecting attitudes toward credit cards
                          • Figure 5: Attitudes and behaviors toward credit cards, by year, 2021 and 2022
                        • Rewards hold universal appeal; benefits are a young man’s game
                          • Figure 6: Reason for opening most recent credit card, by age, 2022
                      • Market Size

                        • A similar portion of consumers use one, two, and three or more credit cards
                          • Figure 7: Regular card usage, 2022
                        • Many-card users are on the rise
                          • Figure 8: Regular usage of four or more cards, 2019-22
                        • Number of open credit card accounts surged in 2021
                          • Figure 9: Quarterly change in open credit card accounts, 2016-22
                      • Market Factors

                        • Declines in disposable income impact credit behaviors
                          • Figure 10: Disposable personal income change from previous year, 2012-22
                        • Credit card delinquencies remain low, for now
                          • Figure 11: New delinquent credit card balances, 2010-22
                        • Acquisition spend has stabilized in 2022
                          • Figure 12: Cross-channel US credit card industry marketing spend, 2020-22
                      • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                        • Chime tells consumers they “deserve some credit”
                          • Figure 13: Chime Credit Builder national TV ad, 2022
                        • Amex Platinum touts lounge access among other benefits
                          • Figure 14: American Express Platinum national TV ad, 2022
                        • Capital One Quicksilver shows customers the money in relevant categories
                          • Figure 15: Capital One Quicksilver direct mail piece, 2022
                        • Discover stresses benefits, despite bare bones offerings
                          • Figure 16: Discover it direct mail piece, 2022
                        • Amex Gold ties Uber benefits into dining focus
                          • Figure 17: American Express Gold paid Facebook ad, 2022
                      • The Credit Card Consumer – Fast Facts

                        • Security/Insurance Benefit Usage

                          • Identity theft protection is the most-used security benefit
                            • Figure 18: Security/insurance benefit usage, 2022
                          • Men are more likely to use shopping benefits
                            • Figure 19: Shopping benefit usage, by gender, 2022
                          • Gen Zs use cell phone insurance; Millennials use travel benefits
                            • Figure 20: Protection/travel benefit usage, by generation, 2022
                        • Credit/Reward Benefit Usage

                          • Travel and dining credits lead, while new lifestyle rewards are on the rise
                            • Figure 21: Credit/rewards benefit usage, 2022
                          • Lifestyle-based credits are favored by younger cardholders
                            • Figure 22: Lifestyle/travel benefit usage, by generation, 2022
                          • Black and Hispanic cardholders utilize lifestyle credits
                            • Figure 23: Lifestyle benefit usage, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                        • Reasons to Not Own a Credit Card

                          • Debt aversion is preventing some from applying for a credit card
                            • Figure 24: Reasons to not own a credit card, 2022
                          • Trust is declining as consumers shy away from debt
                            • Figure 25: Reasons to not own a credit card, by year, 2021 and 2022
                        • Most Recent Credit Card Acquisition

                          • 35% of cardholders signed up for a new card in the past year
                            • Figure 26: Most recent time new credit card was opened, 2022
                          • More than half of 18-34 year olds opened a new card last year
                            • Figure 27: Most recent time new credit card was opened, by age, 2022
                          • New card acquisition is accelerating
                            • Figure 28: Most recent time new credit card was opened, by age, 2021 and 2022
                        • Motivation to Open New Credit Card

                          • Building credit score is the most common reason for new card acquisition
                            • Figure 29: Reason for opening most recent credit card, 2022
                          • Benefits are mostly relevant to younger cardholders
                            • Figure 30: Reason for opening most recent credit card, by age, 2022
                          • Black cardholders are looking to build credit score
                            • Figure 31: Reason for opening most recent credit card, by race and Hispanic origin, 2022
                        • Attitudes toward Credit Cards

                          • Credits are used more than security benefits, but security is more important
                            • Figure 32: Attitudes and behaviors toward credit card benefits, 2022
                          • Debit cards rise in popularity as debt amplifies stress
                            • Figure 33: Attitudes and behaviors toward credit cards, by year, 2021 and 2022
                          • Benefits inspire upgrades more than rewards
                            • Figure 34: Attitudes and behaviors toward credit card upgrades, by generation, 2022
                          • Physical card appearance is still important to young cardholders
                            • Figure 35: Attitudes and behaviors toward credit card benefits, by generation, 2022
                            • Figure 36: American Express Platinum paid Facebook ad, 2022
                        • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                          • Data sources
                            • Consumer survey data
                              • Marketing creative
                                • Abbreviations and terms
                                  • Abbreviations
                                    • Terms

                                    About the report

                                    This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.


                                    Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.


                                    Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.


                                    Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.


                                    Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

                                    Below is a sample report, understand what you are buying.

                                    Click to show report

                                    Please Note: This is a sample report. All of the figures, graphs, and tables have been redacted. Our reports are available to download in PDF and PPT formats.

                                    Trusted by companies. Big and small.

                                    Bell Logo - Mintel client
                                    Boots Logo - Mintel Client
                                    Kelloggs Logo - Mintel client
                                    Samsung Logo - Mintel client
                                    Nike Logo - Mintel client
                                    Walgreens Logo - Mintel client

                                    Want to speak to us directly?

                                    Contact us on via phone or fill out a form with your enquiry.

                                    Contact Us