Cash Back Rewards: What Consumers Really Want

Gift Card Granny conducted a survey to determine the latest trends regarding cash back rewards. More than 3,100 US-based consumers who have visited provided responses. Topics such as usage, redemption preferences and cash back programs were analyzed. 

Cash Back Rewards: Usage And Preferences

Cash back rewards are an incentive program offered through credit card companies, retailers and money-saving sites. Rewards can be earned through purchases or actions and are typically awarded through cash options as well as gift cards or credit.

What is it customers actually want when it comes to cash back? 


Cash back continues to gain popularity, with the majority of respondents (83%) indicating they use cash back rewards. Additionally, 84% claim they are more likely to make a purchase if cash back rewards are available; however, 9% are unsure and 7% are not influenced.

Although millennials aged 25 to 34 are among the largest group (86%) utilizing cash back rewards, other age groups have significant usage as well. Eighty four percent of 45- to 54-year-old respondents use cash back rewards. Consumers aged 18 to 24 use cash back rewards less than other age groups. 


Thirty six percent of respondents typically receive their cash back rewards via PayPal while 24% obtain their rewards in the form of a gift card. Check is the third most popular at 17%. Dwolla and Venmo were among the least popular options among consumers. Consumers aged 55 or older are more likely to receive their rewards in the form of a gift card rather than PayPal. 

The preferred methods to redeem cash back rewards include PayPal, gift card and direct bank deposit. 

Types of Cash Back Rewards Programs

The top five cash back rewards program includes credit card (card-linked offers), eBates, iBotta, RetailMeNot and Swagbucks. Card-linked credit card offers (56%) and eBates (55%) are nearly tied as the two most popular. There is a nine point difference from the third most popular option which is iBotta (36%). eBates are most popular amongst respondents aged 18 to 54, while card-linked credit card offers are most popular amongst respondents aged 55 and older.

Cash Back Infographic

Survey Methods

Results for this Gift Card Granny poll are based on survey responses from January 14, 2019 to January 21, 2019 with a sample of adults aged 18 and older who have visited For results based on the total sample of 3,158, the margin of sampling error is five percentage points at the 95% confidence level.