The number of financial institutions that offer debit card rewards is growing but remains small.
"We don't see a significant number of debit card users who have rewards," says Genie Driskill, chief operating officer and senior vice president of research with Atlantabased
Synergistics Resarch Corp. Debit card rewards are "on the increase, but they're not as widespread as credit rewards," she says.
The percentage of consumers who have debit cards that offer rewards rose to 31% in 2008 from 27% in 2006, according to Synergistics survey data. Of debit cardholders who have rewards, 14% earn reward points for merchant discounts and 13% earn cash
back. No option dominates the list, notes Driskill.
Synergistics is compiling the survey data in the report "Optimizing Debit Card Programs," which it will release this month, says Driskill. The company conducted the telephone survey of 1,041 consumers in January.