Consumers still relying heavily on rewards credit cards

Consumers still relying heavily on rewards credit cards Since the end of the recession, many Americans have been shy about taking on credit card debt, but in many cases, those who do are now doing so through the use of rewards accounts.

Though attitudes toward credit card borrowing have changed considerably in the last few years, rewards accounts remain extremely popular with both banks and consumers, according to the latest monthly Cardbeat report from Auriemma Consulting Group. Credit card issuers are now extending more offers for these accounts than they were a year ago, and many consumers who have them enjoy using them on a regular basis.

About 80 percent of those polled who had rewards cards used them more often than their other accounts, the report said. Further, 82 percent said they had actually redeemed the points or miles they racked up on the accounts, and 93 percent said they had positive experiences in doing so.

However, consumers should also be aware that carrying a balance on a rewards card tends to be more costly than doing so on more traditional accounts because these cards tend to come higher interest rates, meaning overspending on these cards might eventually require the user to seek some debt relief options.