News Updates

New Polling Shows Consumers Highly Value Airline Credit Card Points

Don’t let history repeat itself—airline rewards programs are at risk!

WASHINGTON, December 8, 2023 – Airlines for America (A4A), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, has released new data further detailing how much consumers love their airline rewards credit cards. Card holders can accumulate points through everyday purchases to redeem for a flight, vacation or other rewards.

New data from a national survey conducted found that:

  • 81 percent of people agreed that being able to earn bonus reward points for travel through the use of their credit or charge card is very important to them.
  • 73 percent of people said they actively track the points earned on their travel reward credit or charge cards.

  • 77 percent of people surveyed said they redeem their points within one year of accruing them through their travel rewards credit card.

Don’t let history repeat itself—airlines rewards programs are at risk

The Durbin-Marshall credit card bill would eliminate consumer choice over which network credit transactions are routed, increasing complexity and confusion. The legislation would unnecessarily increase the cost associated with participating in these rewards programs, threatening the existence of not only the airline rewards points that enable millions of trips for Americans every year – but all credit card rewards programs that cardholders have come to value.

In 2010, a similar provision aimed at debit cards was incorporated into the Dodd-Frank Act. Today, debit card rewards have been nearly eliminated. It is important that we don’t let history repeat itself.

The Points Guy confirms that “banks that issue credit cards would have less ability to fund loyalty programs, secure their networks, and innovate their payment technology.”

How popular are airline credit cards?

In September, A4A released its analysis of a member survey and used public data to estimate the prevalence of airline co-branded credit cards and their economic impact on tourism in the United States. Key findings include:

  • Airline credit cards are extremely popular: A4A estimates that there are nearly 30 million U.S. airline industry credit card holders based on our survey sample. For context there are approximately 124 million U.S. households.  On average, nearly one out of every four U.S. households has an airline credit card. 
  • Airline credit cards are a powerful tool for consumers to earn points for future travel: A4A estimates that 63 percent of total frequent flyer miles/points earned in 2022 by consumers were generated by their use of an airline credit card.
  • Airline credit card rewards generate a tremendous amount of economic activity and jobs: A4A estimates rewards earned from airline credit cards paid for 15 million domestic visitor trips that supported $23 billion in economic activity in 2022.

A breakdown of state-by-state impact is available here.


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