More Millennials Are Shopping for Credit Cards

Millennials make up a huge portion of consumers in the U.S. economy and, with all this spending, millennials are flocking to credit cards. In fact, according to a report from, millennials are significantly more likely than older adults to have shopped for a new credit card in the past year.

Some 44% of 23 to 38 year-olds have shopped for a new credit card in the past year, compared with 26% of those who are older.

According to the report, most cardholders (72%) prefer a simple credit card strategy, regardless of age. They want to use the same card or two as often as possible rather than mixing several different cards to maximize benefits. Those who prefer maximizing benefits over simplicity include 35% of millennials, 32% of Gen Xers and just 24% of boomers. Those with higher incomes are more interested in juggling multiple cards.

Rewards cardholders are doing the best job maximizing gas rewards (50% are earning extra rewards beyond their card’s baseline), followed by groceries (48%), travel (45%), restaurants (44%) and online shopping (34%). That leaves 17% who aren’t earning extra rewards in any of these categories.

Some other highlights from the report include:

  • 49% of men who have rewards credit cards earn extra travel points, compared with 42% of women.
  • 51% of millennials earn travel points, versus 43% of boomers and Gen Xers.
  • 51% of northeasterners, 50% of westerners, 43% of southerners and 38% of Midwesterners earn travel points.

Ted Rossman, industry analyst at, commented:

Many card issuers have pulled back on their introductory bonuses over the past year in favor of longer-term benefits that reward cardholders for ongoing spending. If you can pay your bills in full and avoid interest, signing up for multiple cards is the best way to take full advantage of these perks. Just make sure to select the cards that best match your spending patterns.

Only 31% of U.S. adults have shopped around for a new credit card in the past year. A third don’t know or can’t remember the last time they shopped for cards, and 22% say it has been more than three years.

Sponsored: Find a Qualified Financial Advisor

Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to 3 fiduciary financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. Each advisor has been vetted by SmartAsset and is held to a fiduciary standard to act in your best interests. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.