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COVID-19 leads to a Singaporean credit card migration

Over half a million Singaporeans have switched from a travel card to another type of credit card in COVID-19's wake.

The coronavirus pandemic is impacting all facets of our daily lives, so it’s no surprise that there have been some changes to our money habits. A third (33%) of those who had a travel credit card pre-COVID-19 have now opted for a different credit card option. This equates to around 551,000 cardholders. A further 435,000 will look to get rid of their travel credit card if travel doesn’t become viable within the next year.

Men are far more likely to have ditched their travel credit card

Men are more likely to have switched from a travel card than women, with 38% of men saying they’d ditched their travel card in favour of another type of credit card, compared to 26% of women.

Younger Singaporeans drop travel cards

The two youngest age brackets were also the most likely to have gotten rid of their travel card, with 43% of those aged 25-34 making the switch, along with 39% of those aged 18-24.

At the other end of the spectrum, only 23% of those over the age of 55 ditched their cards, along with only 25% of those aged 45-54.

Those earning over $12,000 a month are least likely to switch

Only 27% of those earning over $12,000 said that they’d made the switch from a travel credit card following the COVID-19 pandemic. Interestingly, the group most likely to have made the switch is those from the income bracket immediately below ($9,000-$11,999), with 41% saying they’d ditched their card.

Singles not actively dating are least likely to switch cards

Those who are single but not dating were the group least likely to drop their travel card in favour of another credit card, with only 22% moving cards. Married couples were also less likely than other relationship categories to say that they’d switched their card (28%).

At the other end of the spectrum, singles who are actively dating (47%) and those who are in a relationship (42%) were much more likely to say they’d switched their credit card.

Why aren’t people switching credit cards?

As with most things in our lives, laziness is a core driver, which is probably why “I can’t be bothered” was tied with being happy with their current card as the number one reason that Singaporeans didn’t switch their cards (36%). Rounding out the top three reasons was that people were planning on cashing in their points (26%).

ReasonOverall
I can’t be bothered36%
I’m pleased with the measures my card provider has offered (e.g. cancelled annual fees, etc)36%
I plan to redeem points for other non-travel rewards (e.g. gift cards, appliances, etc)26%
I’ve taken out another rewards card11%
Some other reason not listed9%
I haven’t switched, but plan to if travel doesn’t become viable within the next year15%

Men and women are just as lazy as each other

36% of both men and women said that they couldn’t be bothered switching, which was the top choice for women and the second top choice for men. The top reason men didn’t switch cards was that they were happy with their current provider.

ReasonMenWomen
I can’t be bothered36%36%
I’m pleased with the measures my card provider has offered (e.g. cancelled annual fees, etc)39%33%
I plan to redeem points for other non-travel rewards (e.g. gift cards, appliances, etc)26%26%
I’ve taken out another rewards card12%9%
Some other reason not listed8%11%
I haven’t switched, but plan to if travel doesn’t become viable within the next year19%12%

Apathy is strong in young people

Not being bothered to switch was the overwhelming choice for those aged 18-24 (57%) and was also the top choice for those aged 35-44 (36%). Being happy with their current provider was the number one reason to stay put for those aged 25-34 (39%) and 45-54 (38%) and those over the age of 55 (51%).

Reason18-2425-3435-4445-5455+
I can’t be bothered57%36%36%34%25%
I’m pleased with the measures my card provider has offered (e.g. cancelled annual fees, etc)24%39%22%38%51%
I plan to redeem points for other non-travel rewards (e.g. gift cards, appliances, etc)20%27%31%30%19%
I’ve taken out another rewards card12%12%14%8%8%
Some other reason not listed10%9%14%5%9%
I haven’t switched, but plan to if travel doesn’t become viable within the next year14%22%17%15%10%

Image: Getty Images

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