Many consumers don’t use credit card rewards points

While a large number of consumers across the country have credit card accounts that grant them rewards points for every dollar of credit card debt they take on, a new study has found that more than half do not redeem them regularly.

During the first quarter of 2011, 57 percent of consumers with rewards credit cards said they had not redeemed any of their accumulated points, according to a the first-ever Rewards Barometer study from Capital One Financial. Meanwhile, only 22 percent of respondents said they were completely satisfied with their rewards account.

Another 57 percent said they enjoyed their credit card rewards program because they considered it “free money,” the report said. In addition, 34 percent said they like that the cards give them savings on everyday items.

“Americans now, more than ever, are looking for additional value from their credit cards and many consumers consider rewards as a key factor in determining which card they choose,” said Troy Jamison, vice president of loyalty services at Capital One.

Major credit card lenders have stepped up offers for rewards accounts in recent months, as they typically carry higher interest rates and fees than no-frills accounts, and can therefore drive revenues.