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Britons miss out on £3bn in rewards simply by using the wrong card

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UK consumers could be missing out on £3bn in untapped rewards, according to research by American Express.

Despite the research pointing to a marked increase in the number of people opting for credit cards that offer rewards, 52% of UK adults are still missing out by using payment methods like debit cards, non-reward credit cards and cash.

The report suggests that Britain’s continued austerity drive this year is having an impact on the nation’s spending behaviour, with almost half of rewards credit card holders more likely to deliberately shop at particular stores and buy specific products to earn rewards.

Julie Hay, head of credit cards at American Express, said: “People are embracing ways of earning rewards to make savings from their everyday spending and we’re seeing that consumers are voting with their wallets even more so than this time last year.

“Rewards cards are not only growing in popularity, they are also influencing where consumers are choosing to shop.”

According to the research, there has been a slight shift year-on-year in the choice of rewards collected. In 2011, retail vouchers were most popular with rewards credit cardholders, preferred by 37%, followed by cashback – 35%.

There is also more people taking up cashback cards than retail vouchers this year.

The research also found that 46% of those polled were far more likely to use their card points now than they were a year ago.

Julie Hay added: “Consumers are increasingly savvier with their spending and what they expect to receive in return for their choice of payment methods.

“Putting everyday spend as well as bigger ticket items on the right card can pay dividends. Whether you prefer to receive cashback, earn points towards flights, or receive travel, shopping or entertainment rewards, there has never been a better time to say goodbye to ‘Passive Plastic’ and use a credit card that actively rewards you for your spending.”

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