BuildersOutlook2024Issue3 | Page 4

4 BuildersOutlook 2024Issue3


It ’ s about the economy after all

Ray Adauto
Executive Vice President El Paso Association of Builders
According to a recent survey of credit card holders and prospective card holders , consumer trends have shifted in what someone is looking for in rewards associated with the cards . It wasn ’ t too long ago that perks were significantly different , when just the mere obsession of a card was a status symbol . A line of credit , which is what a credit card is , used to be most common at local grocers or hardware shops . I remember when mom would send one of us to get milk , butter , or other groceries and Mr . Silva would just put it on a tab , a simple I . O . U . that would get paid when dad got paid . The Mr . Silvas of the world knew who could be trusted to pay the credit he ’ d issue , and from whom he would have trouble collecting . In the 1950 ’ s there was no VISA or Mastercard , it was Diners Club and local eateries that would have membership cards that turned into credit cards . At that time , the “ perk ” was the card and the status of having g one . Well things have changed as banks and credit unions began offering specific membership perks if you held one of their cards . Nowadays according to the recent study done by Kantar , adults opening new credit cards need to have incentives , the biggest in the last year “ cash back ,” followed by points , and discounts or rewards . I was surprised to find out that airline miles , club access and early boarding perks were near the bottom of reasons to pick a card . Dead last was exclusive cardholder events , I ’ m guessing things like early booking of concerts or special seating to games just don ’ t matter . This speaks to our current economy and the pitfalls of inflation and higher interest rates . Cash continues to be king , while trading cash for discounts , rewards of points is a lot like cash . The fact that the Biden administration is floating the idea of killing perks of all kinds on credit cards hasn ’ t stopped the cards from offering perks . It would seem to be political suicide to go down that path but like other things the government is trying to dictate . Welcome to our world .
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