Upscale Rewards; Enhanced Services

Revenue Potential

Marketing Strategies

Key Finding from the SYNERGISTICS Report:

Results reveal notable near-term potential for premium cards in the higher income market, with potential being particularly strong among those with income of $400K+.

A90 Prop Graphic

Highlights of the Study

This study examines consumer experience with premium credit cards.  Consumer reaction to upscale rewards, enhanced services, and pricing is also assessed.

National Internet Survey – 750 consumers age 18 or older with household income of $100K+.

Key Dates

September 2016 – Project Report available.

Strategic Questions

  • What is the overall environment for consumer usage of premium credit cards – including such aspects as number of cards used, monthly frequency of transactions, and charge volume?
  • Are there certain features or services that, from the consumer perspective, distinguish premium cards from other credit cards?  Do factors such as pricing, types of rewards, special services, credit line, and co-branding affiliation influence the perception of premium or prestige card status?
  • How strong is the potential for premium or prestige cards in the next year?  What features or services are considered “ideal” for such a card?
  • How large is the revenue potential for premium card programs?  To what extent do current premium card users pay annual fees?  How willing are prospects to pay fees for a premium card with the features and benefits they value?
  • What are the motivations – such as rewards, larger lines of credit, or distinctive appearances – for obtaining a premium card?  How widespread is usage of upscale services such as concierge, airport club access, travel upgrades, and special event tickets and are these services valued – particularly in terms of paying fees?
  • By what channels did users of premium cards get product information prior to obtaining a card?  Which channels were used for applying for an account?
  •  Can the premium card market be segmented on the basis of demographic traits, financial behavior, or consumer attitudes?  Which may be best to identify potential new adopters?

Research Issues

  • Whether gold, platinum, or titanium, premium credit cards remain popular among affluent consumers and frequent travelers. Competition is intense as card issuers scramble to stand out in the premium card market. These premium or prestige cards are attractive products for providers to offer and in most cases can provide guaranteed revenue from annual fees.
  • However, consumers are now beginning to look more closely at the premium card offerings to determine if the high-end features and services offered are worth the price.  The strongest competition among issuers tends to be in the realm of travel-related features and services and consumers are now gravitating toward those cards that can offer the greatest return in terms of travel-related rewards and benefits.
  • Marketing premium or prestige card offerings can be a challenge as card programs need to be fresh and unique, especially for the more affluent consumer. SYNERGISTICS survey will examine the features or benefits upscale consumers consider to be premium level, the marketing strategies necessary to attract these consumers to a particular card, and the revenue opportunities that exist for card issuers. [A90]