May 22, 2024

Barclays Releases 2024 Travel Rewards and Loyalty Report

Report reveals 76% of American travelers can't imagine taking the trips they do without rewards points or loyalty programs

Personal travel is top of mind for many consumers this year and rewards programs will make all the difference, according to a survey of 1,000 US travelers by Wakefield Research. At the start of National Travel and Tourism Week, the second annual Barclays US Consumer Bank's Travel Rewards and Loyalty Report provides fresh insights into what travelers care about related to loyalty programs and rewards in 2024. This report explores consumer attitudes, sentiments, and behaviors related to travel, loyalty, and rewards programs and highlights the value consumers place on travel rewards programs and co-branded credit cards with insights related to consumer preferences and generational differences.

"Our second installment of the Travel Rewards and Loyalty Report builds on last year's findings and emphasizes the continued value that consumers place on rewards programs," said Doug Villone, Head of US Cards and Partnerships at Barclays US Consumer Bank. "The findings show that rewards programs are an essential part of helping Americans travel for business and leisure. With our highly regarded and customized co-branded credit card programs for many of America's most successful travel and retail brands, we focus on providing best-in-class experiences for the brands and our shared customers."

Rewards points are incredibly valuable

Rewards points are so important that more than a third of travelers in loyalty programs (37%) consider them an essential part of their budget. Most cardholders (72%) get more out of their credit card rewards programs than they put into them. This is an especially high sentiment with Millennials at 78%.

Loyalty programs create travel opportunities

Most travelers in loyalty programs (76%) can't imagine taking the caliber of trips they do without the benefits of these programs. Without rewards, most people (77%) agree they would travel differently. Most people (76%) also say they'd alter their travel behavior significantly without rewards. This might mean opting for different providers, settling for cheaper accommodations, choosing less convenient travel methods, or even shortening trips.

Generational divides persist among travel trends

While Baby Boomers will travel the least for business this year (7%), they will travel the most for leisure (93%). Millennials will travel the most for business this year (30%) out of the age groups surveyed. However, leisure is top of mind for all age groups with Gen X (79%), Millennials (69%), and Gen Z (70%) all planning getaways. Millennials (83%) are also more likely to be currently enrolled in a rewards program than their peers (75% for Gen Z, Gen X, and Baby Boomers). Priority perks for them included airline miles (72%) and hotel points (67%).

The survey supports the continued rise in personal and business travel and validates that consumers significantly value rewards and loyalty programs that are helping to fund the demand for domestic travel, globetrotting and upgrades.

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