Credit card holders remain loyal, but wooed by incentives

Consumers who find the number of credit cards in their wallet stacking up over time are not alone, according to a new survey by CardRatings.com.

The survey found that Americans can be easily tempted into buying a new card with great rewards perks or a celebrity endorsement, but they’re even more likely to still be hanging on to their old credit card despite the new card in their wallet. More than two-thirds of the respondents have held one of their current credit cards for five years or more and 37.5% have had a card for at least 10 years.

Among the 50-to-64-year-olds age group – the oldest in the survey 76.5% held cards for five years or more, while 61% had the cards in excess of 10 years. Just because these cards are still in wallets, does not mean they are still getting used, as roughly half of the survey respondents said that they no longer use their oldest credit card.

Consumers said they are more apt to use the newer card. About 35% added a new card in the past year and more than half of consumers added a new card in the past two years.

While consumer confidence has been wobbly this year, credit markets have been a little more lax in hopes of wooing those with high credit scores. CardRatings.com found that consumers have a hard time turning down cash-back reward offers and low introductory interest rates that often accompany new cards. Roughly 28% said this was why they signed up.

When it comes to the incentive, women are more likely to be drawn to cards with non-financial benefits such as concierge services, while men tend to go for the cards with sign up bonuses, according to the survey.

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Credit cards stack up over time in consumer wallets. About 9% of millennials have four or more credit cards in their wallet. That number rose to 21% by age 39. The survey found one-third of baby boomers are carrying four or more credit cards at any given time.

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