CIBC Poll: Budget conscious consumers collecting loyalty rewards to stretch their budgets - but are split on which type of rewards they prefer

Most Canadians are collectors, but some opt for immediate rewards while others save for big ticket vacations

TORONTO, June 15, 2012 /CNW/ - A CIBC (TSX: CM) (NYSE: CM) consumer poll conducted by Leger Marketing shows that Canadian consumers are using loyalty rewards to supplement their budgets in today's economic environment. However, they hold two divergent views on how to use those rewards - with some saving for a "dream" vacation and others using their rewards immediately to help with everyday expenses such as gas and merchandise.

Key findings of the poll include:

  • 70 per cent of Canadians hold credit cards that earn them rewards for merchandise or travel
  • 82 per cent of Canadians agree that they try to maximize their rewards collected, while sticking to their budget
  • Nearly four in ten Canadians (38 per cent) stretch their budgets by using their rewards for things they wouldn't otherwise be able to afford

"It's no surprise that with higher costs at the gas pump and the grocery store, Canadians are more focused on getting value for their money and finding ways to stretch their budgets," said Cheryl Longo, Executive Vice-President, Card Products, CIBC. "Canadian consumers are looking to loyalty rewards to give them something extra for the purchases they are already making, and these poll findings show they are taking a budget conscious approach to their spending in doing so."

While Canadians continue to value reward programs, the poll also revealed two very different schools of thought on how Canadians use their rewards. While collecting points for travel remains very popular, there is a growing trend towards using rewards to pay for everyday items such as fuel or merchandise:

  • Among those who collect rewards, 48 per cent of Canadians say they are saving their reward points for everyday items
  • 41 per cent of Canadians are saving their rewards points for travel plans
  • And 34 per cent are saving their points for cash back rewards**

"Canadians indicate they are looking for choice when collecting loyalty rewards," said Ms. Longo. "Some prefer to save money instantly, and some prefer to save those points for a bigger reward down the road - but with so many choices in the market you should ask for advice on the loyalty credit card that will give you the best value based on your spending pattern and preferences, all within a plan that keeps you on budget."

While there is split in the types of rewards Canadians value, there's no doubt that those planning to use their miles for travel are thinking about big ticket vacations:

  • Of those who said they would use their rewards to travel, 71 per cent are saving for a big-ticket vacation far from home
  • Only 29 per cent would use their points towards a smaller vacation closer to home

"The dream vacation is still a big reason that consumers hold loyalty reward credit cards," added Ms. Longo. "This speaks to the aspirational goal of many Canadians to use their points for a vacation that they may not otherwise be able to afford."

**Poll findings add to greater than 100 per cent as Canadians were able to select more than one preference, if applicable


Percentage of Canadians who have a credit card that earns them loyalty rewards such as points for travel or merchandise, by region:

National Average    70%
Atlantic Canada    68%
Quebec     68%
Ontario     71%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan   80%
Alberta      79%
British Columbia    65%

Among Canadians that collect reward points, percentage who say they try to maximize their rewards while sticking to their budget, by region:

National Average    82%
Atlantic Canada    73%
Quebec     78%
Ontario     85%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan   85%
Alberta      82%
British Columbia    83%

Among Canadians that collect reward points, percentage who use their credit card reward points for things they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford, by region:

National Average    38%
Atlantic Canada    42%
Quebec     29%
Ontario     40%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan   40%
Alberta      41%
British Columbia    44%

Among Canadians that collect reward points, percentage who are saving their reward points for everyday rewards (e.g. fuel, merchandise, entertainment, gift cards), by region:

National Average    48%
Atlantic Canada    44%
Quebec     47%
Ontario     54%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan   43%
Alberta      38%
British Columbia    46%

Among Canadians that collect reward points, percentage who are saving their reward points for travel (flights, hotels, car rental or other travel-related rewards), by region:

National Average    41%
Atlantic Canada    45%
Quebec     28%
Ontario     42%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan   44%
Alberta      58%
British Columbia    46%

Among Canadians that collect reward points, percentage who are saving their points for travel for a big ticket vacation, by region:

National Average    71%
Atlantic Canada    78%
Quebec     83%
Ontario     72%
Manitoba/Saskatchewan   63%
Alberta      70%
British Columbia    60%

Results are based on a CIBC poll conducted online by Leger Marketing, which surveyed 1,506 Canadians. The associated margin of error for a probabilistic sample of the same size is +/-1.5%, 19 times out of 20. Polling was conducted between Feb 21 and 23, 2012.

CIBC is a leading North American financial institution with nearly 11 million personal banking and business clients. CIBC offers a full range of products and services through its comprehensive electronic banking network, branches and offices across Canada, and has offices in the United States and around the world. You can find other news releases and information about CIBC in our Press Centre on our corporate website at


For further information:

Sean Hamilton, Director Communications and Public Affairs at 416-304-8456,


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