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How Americans are using credit card rewards during coronavirus: PayPal

Ann Schmidt

During the coronavirus, almost a third of Americans have been using their credit card reward points to help them “stretch their budget,” according to a recent survey.

On Thursday, PayPal released the results of a report that found 29 percent of respondents said they used credit card reward points to help them with their budget and 66 percent used their points for buying essentials like groceries.

However, 39 percent of respondents were “unaware of their rewards balances,” the survey found.

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"More and more people across the country are turning to their credit card rewards as a helpful and easy way to make their dollars go further,” Jill Cress, PayPal’s vice president of consumer marketing said in a statement.

"With travel and luxury items still less of a priority for many right now, our research shows that people are instead tapping into their rewards balances to support small businesses in their community and to give back to causes,” Cress added.

According to the report, 30 percent of respondents said they think reward points are good for everyday spending and 64 percent said they think “rewards balances are as valuable as spendable cash.”

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At the end of April, when the survey was conducted, the items that respondents said they were most likely to use reward points to buy were toilet paper, cleaning products, drinking water and hygiene products, the survey found.

Respondents also found that 74 percent of credit card holders are trying to help locally owned small businesses by shopping at their stores while 24 percent said they would use their credit card points with a small business if their points were about to expire.

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The survey also found that 49 percent of respondents who use a credit card rewards program would be likely to donate to charity.

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