One-Quarter of Americans Use Rewards Points for Summer Vacations

June 22, 2015, Written By Lynn Oldshue
Freedom - happy free couple in car driving in pink vintage retro car cheering joyful with arms raised. Friends going on road trip travel on summer day under sun blue sky.

Approximately 198 million Americans are planning to take a summer vacation this year, an increase of 13% over 2014. Among those families, 26% plan to use rewards points to help cover their travel costs, according to the latest study from the American Express Spending & Saving Tracker.

Saving has been a top priority for summer travelers, with 81% reporting they put aside money for their trips this year. 91% said they have found ways to save money on their vacation costs, such as using points they have earned on their travel credit cards. The number of people using rewards points for travel expenses has increased by 53% since 2011.

“What we are seeing from our travel customers is a passion for enriching experiences,” said Claire Bennett, Executive Vice President for American Express Travel. “From up-close encounters with nature across America to pizza- and gelato-making classes in Italy, we are serving travelers who want to see and experience more during their time off.”

The survey consisted of a random sample of 1,502 adults in the United States. 77% of respondents said they planned to travel within America this year, an increase from 55% in 2011. For those traveling outside of the country, Europe is the most popular destination, capturing 59% of international travelers. These vacationers can take advantage of credit cards with no foreign transaction fees to save money during their time abroad.

The survey underscored one very important feature for managers of vacation destinations. A strong majority of travelers (61%) research their vacation online. 46% of the total respondents visit at least five websites before booking their travel, an increase of 12% from just a year ago.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 22, 2015. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.