What Do Americans Hate Most About Their Credit Cards?

Credit cardholders may love their rewards, but they aren’t enough to keep them from switching to a new provider. That’s according to marketing firm Bug Insights, which recently surveyed 1,031 U.S. consumers aged 18 and older about their credit card habits to see what would drive them to switch.

Seventy-seven percent said they’re content with their primary card and 63% like the perks it provides. However, 64.36% rate their card’s annual fee as the factor that would push them to change their plastic. This was followed by rewards program at 13.15% and annual percentage rate, or APR, at 8.16%; only 1.55% said brand is important.

A large majority of customers (87%) would prefer a card stripped of all its rewards so long as its annual fee was nixed, the survey found. However, opinions tended to vary by age group and gender. For instance, Gen Xers and Baby Boomers said they were more concerned with rewards and the brand of their card, whereas women were more attuned to monthly costs and cared less about rewards.

Assessing an Annual Fee

Consumers may not like annual fees, but there are some instances where one could prove worthwhile. Frequent fliers, for instance, may be able to pocket enough miles or save via other perks (like a free checked bag) on travel to recoup, or even surpass, the charge. (You can learn more about the best airline miles credit cards in America here.)

For those whose spending habits don’t justify an annual fee, there are rewards cards with no annual fee. If you do have an annual-fee credit card that’s no longer paying off, you can contact your issuer to have the charge waived or downgrade to one of their annual fee-free products. (Remember, closing a credit card can hurt your credit score, though there are times when that’s the best course of action.)

If you’re thinking of switching your card, it’s a good idea to know where your credit stands so you have some kind of idea what card you might qualify for. You can view two of your credit scores, updated each month, for free on Credit.com.


Jill Krasny is an editor and reporter at Credit.com. Prior to joining the company, she was a senior writer at Esquire.com and Inc. Magazine, where she covered a range of lifestyle and business topics. Her work has appeared in Mashable, Travel + Leisure and MTV. More by Jill 

Written by Jill Krasny