Research Reveals Brits Feeling More Rewarded In Their Daily Lives, But Let Down By Their Credit Cards

26 January 2017

  • 42%(1)plan to take action over areas where they feel less rewarded – from switching bank accounts and credit cards, to changing jobs or even partners
  • Of those credit cards offering 0% APR in introductory purchases, Sainsbury’s Bank was just one of three providers that had maintained their reward rates from 2 years earlier(3).

The importance of feeling rewarded and appreciated cannot be overestimated. People say they are feeling more rewarded in personal/family relationships than they were 12 months ago, but they are feeling less rewarded (financially) by their banks and credit card companies than 12 months ago, according to research from Sainsbury’s Bank.

The research amongst more than 4,000 people(1), reveals that in other parts of their lives, people are generally ‘in-credit’ when it comes to rewards and the praise they receive, when compared to a year ago. Nearly one in four (23%) feel they receive more rewards and feel more valued by their partners as opposed to 10% who feel less appreciated(2). The corresponding responses when it comes to receiving rewards and appreciation from their children are 24% and 10%, and in relation to their friends, the figures are 17% and 7%.

The research reveals, however, that while people are feeling more rewarded and appreciated by friends and family, they are feeling less so by some service providers. During the past 12 months, 7.2 million people feel the financial value of rewards received from their credit cards has fallen, compared to 1.8 million who think they have increased.

Corresponding figures for bank accounts are 11.4 million people who feel that rewards have diminished and 2.8 million who feel they have increased. As a result, 11% of people plan to switch their bank account over the next year, and 9% say they will change their credit card.

Bank and credit card customers may even be underestimating the true extent of the fall in rewards, as according to research(3) conducted by MoneyComms in January 2017, of those credit cards offering 0% APR in introductory purchases, Sainsbury’s Bank was just one of three providers that had maintained their reward rates from 2 years earlier.

Simon Ranson, Head of Banking at Sainsbury’s Bank said: “It’s clear that as a nation, we like to feel rewarded; and in our personal lives this seems to be the case for many. However, it’s not always the case when it comes to financial services. People are right to question the rewards offered by credit cards, as many providers have reduced the benefits over the past year or so.”

Overall, 48% of people claim that they have seen a decline in the amount of rewards they receive in one or more parts of their lives over the past year. The research found that the two main reasons for this are their banks cutting back on their rewards (34% of those who have seen their rewards decline in the past 12 months), followed by their credit card doing the same (25%).

However, 15% said it was because their partner was taking them for granted, and 13% said it was a result of the company or boss they work for being under greater financial strain. Some 9% said it was due to their partners facing greater financial pressure, and 9% because their children are more stressed.

Dr Jack Lewis, neuroscientist, author and broadcaster says: “Humans are one of the most intensely social creatures on the planet. So feeling connected to other people is absolutely key to our wellbeing. How connected we feel is fundamentally influenced by the feedback we get from others, particularly the people closest to us. When we’re criticised, we feel less accepted by the group.

“When we receive praise, this gives the reward pathway of our brain a huge boost, making us feel happy.

“Given our perpetual need for social reinforcement through praise and the nature of the reward pathway, it makes perfect sense that people across the nation are finding that praise is more valuable than material rewards”

The research reveals that 42% of the adult population plan to take some form of action over the next 12 months to address the fact that they feel less rewarded or appreciated in their lives. Some 8% intend to change their jobs, and 2% plan to end their relationship with their partner.

Sainsbury’s Bank’s offers a suite of credit cards including a 42 month Balance Transfer Credit Card and a long Dual offer Credit Card with 18 months on BTs and 29 months on purchases(4). Card customers can collect Nectar points when they pay with their card(5)


Notes to Editors

(1) Sainsbury’s Bank commissioned Opinium Research to survey a nationally representative sample of 4,004 UK adults aged 18+ between 8th December and 14th December 2016. Opinium Research is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Figures have been scaled up using a nationally representative sample (51,339,000). Figures on those people who recognise rewards from a given group (e.g. partners) are based on a sample of those people who this group is relevant to (i.e. a partner) rather than the entire sample.


Source of rewards/feeling valued % who say the rewards/appreciation has increased over the past 12 months % who say the rewards/appreciation has decreased over the past 12 months
Partner 23% 10%
Children 24% 10%
Friends 17% 7%
Colleagues 21% 8%

(3) MoneyComms analysis for Sainsburys Bank – conducted on 18th January 2017

(4) Source: Sainsbury’s Bank

Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar Credit Cards are available to new Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Card customers only. We treat all our customers and their applications for a Sainsbury’s Bank Nectar Credit Card on an individual basis. The interest rate and credit limit we offer are determined by the details you supply, along with an independent verification of credit and repayment history. To keep your promotional rate you must pay at least the minimum payment by the due date and stay within your credit limit. Nectar points collected using your Credit Card are in addition to the points you collect from swiping your Nectar Card or using it online during a transaction.

(5)Nectar points are collected on each full £1 of each separate shopping or fuel transaction at Sainsbury’s when you use your Sainsbury’s Bank Credit Card. Excludes Sainsbury’s Telecoms, Energy, Argos, and Habitat which will be treated as non-Sainsbury’s purchases. For non-Sainsbury’s purchases, 1 Nectar point is collected on each full £5 of each separate transaction. Travel Money purchases are not eligible for points. Nectar points are awarded to you by Sainsbury’s supermarkets Ltd and Sainsbury’s Bank plc, who reserve the right to alter or terminate the offer at any time. Please allow up to 60 days from your credit card statement date for the points to be credited to your Nectar account. The Nectar loyalty programme is run by Aimia Coalition Loyalty UK Ltd. The Nectar Collector Rules detail how to collect and use points. You can find these in the Nectar registration pack and at

For further information, please contact:

Jennifer Johnston-Watt, Sainsbury’s Bank on 0131 286 0010 / / Citigate Dewe Rogerson 020 7368 9571

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Sainsbury’s was the first major British supermarket to open a bank, commencing trading in February 1997. Benefiting from a fantastic, trusted brand that enables us to combine the shopping experience with personal finance, Sainsbury’s Bank provides a range of quality products including insurances, credit cards, savings and loans. Our proposition is to make shopping more rewarding by offering customers great products at fair prices, while consistently rewarding shoppers for their loyalty and being easy to do business with at all times. Our products consistently top best buy tables and regularly win awards for quality, price and service.

Sainsbury’s Bank plc. Registered Office, 33 Holborn, London EC1N 2HT (registered in England and Wales, no 3279730) is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (register no. 184514). Sainsbury’s Bank plc is covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS).