Consumers Traveling This Summer Plan to Use Rewards, Survey Says

Summer is the time to get away for a little while, and according to a recent survey, consumers are cashing in on those credit card rewards to do so.

The May 2012 edition of Capital One's quarterly Rewards Barometer survey, found that 50% of respondents who plan to travel this summer intend to cover some vacation costs using their credit card rewards. This is a 42% increase from the 2011 results.

While money is important to vacationers, so is time: If they could, 19% of respondents said, they would trade in some of their rewards for an extra day of vacation.

According to the survey, most summer travelers (54%) are planning to spend between $500 and $2,000 on trip expenses. They're using credit card rewardss to cut on costs, with 58% citing airfare as their preferred redemption option. Hotel and gas rewards options come in next, at 42% and 18%, respectively.

"Two things people always want more of are time and money. In today's tough economic times, more consumers are using rewards to make the most of their summer vacation time and limiting the impact on their wallets," said Amy Lenander, vice president of rewards programs at Capital One.

This quarter's survey also indicated that cash remains the No. 1 redemption option at 41%, with domestic airline tickets (29%) at No. 2 and gift cards finishing up the top three at 28%.

The survey was conducted for Capitol One from May 1-4, 2012 by the polling firm BigInsights. The survey summarizes the comments of U.S. adults 18 and older who indicated that they currently have a rewards credit card. The total sample size for this survey was 1,045, with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%.