| July 21, 2009

Eliminating credit card reward programs could help consumers

Reducing credit card rewards could actually work out for both credit card companies and card holders, a new study shows.

The study, which was co-written by the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management, states that only a small number of card users would switch to other forms of payment if credit card companies eliminated reward programs.

Andrew Ching, a professor at the school who co-wrote the study, said that card holders tend to use their credit cards because they enjoy their convenience.

“So if you take away the rewards, it’s not going to change their behavior that much,” Ching said. “Potentially, it could be better for everybody.”

The study showed that some credit card holders may use their cards for the rewards, even if it means carrying a balance. By eliminating rewards programs, credit card companies may be able to help alleviate credit card debt.

According to an Associated Press-GfK poll, many consumers are taking measures in order to better handle their credit card debt. The survey showed that 82 percent of respondents used their credit cards only when they had the money to cover purchases.
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