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It’s all about the rewards!

By Janna Herron · Bankrate.com
Monday, July 11, 2011
Posted: 12 pm ET

It appears credit card users are in it for the rewards -- at least according to a study released Monday from Acxiom on consumer payment behavior.

The study broke down consumers' preferred payment methods -- credit card, debit card, paper checks and cash -- and what it would take for them to switch methods.

Of those who consider themselves diehard credit card users (at 23 percent), more than three-quarters would consider changing their payment method for better rewards. The next top reason? Nearly 40 percent of respondents cited lower or no fees.

In fact, more than one in ten switched credit card issuers in the last six months.

Still, credit card swipers are more dedicated to their plastic than those who prefer other payment methods. They overwhelmingly stick with their cards to pay for gas, groceries, dining out, clothes or accessories, home improvement, electronics and travel.

Those who primarily use debit cards, paper checks or cash will turn to credit cards for more expensive items such as TVs and computers, along with travel.

"People feel more comfortable putting big-ticket items on a credit card," says Marc Trudeau, Acxiom retail bank industry strategist. "And some credit cards offer travel insurance, while others give you free-check bags and other traveling perks."

In total, 46 percent of consumers said they used debit cards as their main payment method, 16 percent identified cash and 9 percent fingered paper checks. Online payments came in at 3 percent while prepaid debit cards and other payment methods each received 1 percent of the vote.

Acxiom polled 2,998 households for the March online survey.

Tell me: Why would you switch?

Follow me on Twitter: @JannaHerron.

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