A new study from Juniper Research has found that the value of global consumer credit card rewards will exceed $108-billion by 2026, rising from $92-billion in 2022.

This 15% growth will be driven by an increase in the adoption of co-branded credit cards by retailers in order to boost repeat user engagement.

The new research, “Digital Loyalty Programmes: Emerging Trends, Regional Analysis & Market Forecasts 2022 2026”, predicts that the global value of credit card rewards will increase, as consumers prefer their loyalty record in one place, instead of multiple apps or physical cards.

The research recommends that merchants work closely with loyalty platforms to access this omnichannel approach, or risk losing market share to better-connected competitors.

China evolves in the digital loyalty space

The research found that the value of consumer credit card rewards in China will grow by 18% between 2022 & 2026, as consumer awareness of loyalty programmes rises in the digitally-savvy Chinese population.

Recently, Ascenda and Visa entered into a partnership to roll out a customer loyalty solution for cross-border transactions in China, which the research predicts will fuel user engagement with loyalty programmes and drive growth.

Given its digital leadership, the research recommends China as a favourable market to offer coalition-based loyalty programmes via credit cards.

Personal credit cards in the lead

The report found that the total value of personal credit card rewards will be triple that of corporate credit cards in 2026.

While corporate cards are often used for travel purposes, this significantly reduced during the pandemic, with steady growth anticipated as the situation normalises.

The research identified personal credit card reward programmes as being high value due to the extremely competitive nature of the market, which has forced reward values upwards.

The research recommends that payment providers enter into strategic partnerships with specifically desirable retailers or brands to exploit the full potential of credit card reward schemes, or they will fall behind more appealing alternatives.