By Andrew Lisa
Millennials might just be the most financially savvy generation, at least when it comes to credit card perks.
According to a recent survey, two groups of people overwhelmingly choose cash back as their credit card reward of choice: millennials and the wealthiest people in the country. Two-thirds of millennials joined the country’s elite in choosing cash back, as opposed to just 14 percent who chose airline miles.
We spoke with four millennials about why they choose cash back, how much they get back and what they like to spend it on.
––Limitless options: Meredith is a 26-year-old event planner in Los Angeles. She gets 1.5 percent cash back on her Visa Quicksilver Cash Rewards card from Capital One. For her, there is no other option when it comes to perks.
“I buy whatever I want with my cash back, that’s the whole point,” Meredith said. “It’s mind-boggling to me that people choose anything but cash back. It’s like gift cards. When someone gives me a gift card to a specific store or to iTunes or something, all I can think is, ‘thanks, that’s really nice. But why not just cash, or at least a generic Visa gift card that I could spend anywhere? Why limit me to one thing or one store?’
“It’s the same with credit cards. If I get cash back, I can put it toward a flight the way I would if I got miles, but if I want a bloody Mary at the airport or something at the gift shop, I can get that, too. Why limit your options to gas or flights or rental cars or whatever? Cash can buy all those things, but it can also buy whatever else you want.”
––Birthday gifts: Emma Leah is a 24-year-old digital marketing assistant in Glassboro, N.J. She used cash back from her Bank AmeriCard Cash Rewards card toward her mom’s birthday present. Although it was maybe not something she’d buy for herself, cash back kept the gift’s cost low for Emma Leah.