It’s hard to listen to a podcast or read a news article without hearing about Millennials. They’re the group that everyone’s trying to market to and they’re also the ones who are seemingly the savviest and can avoid their tricks.
First of all, who’s a millennial anyway? According to Pew Research Center, anyone born between 1981 and 1996 (ages 23 to 38 in 2019) is considered a Millennial, and anyone born from 1997 onward is part of a new generation.
Millennials are the generation who were born during the digital revolution. The ones who are co-working, changing jobs every few years and were driving the economy until COVID-19. Whether for work or for leisure, they were also traveling, a lot. They also carried many travel-related credit cards.
For better or worse, Millennials don’t seem to have a long-term sense of brand loyalty. They’re willing to ditch the old and embrace the new if it suites their needs. Should it be any surprise that 41% of them have canceled their travel credit cards during the coronavirus pandemic?
More than 4 in 10 millennial travel rewards cardholders say they’ve closed a card since the pandemic began, while another 34% of millennials have considered doing the same
That means that since March, over 40% of Millennials have closed a card. I can understand this since travel cards have lost some of their appeals when you’re not traveling. However, banks have tried to add benefits to counter the loss of value either through bonus categories or additional credits.
I’ve held off on canceling many cards in 2020, convincing myself that the cards still have value and it will be harder for me to sign up for them again should I want to. That’s not the mindset of a millennial. If it isn’t providing a benefit right now, better to cut it loose and worry about if you want it again later.
My fellow Gen Xers and the Gen Z youngsters are also ditching travel cards, but at a lower rate than Millennials. Who’s right? Maybe the older generations are set in their ways and those in Gen Z are still building their credit and don’t want to cut ties with a bank too carelessly.
I guess the decision on whether to ditch a travel credit card in the middle of a pandemic is a balance of your current value of the card benefits and the long term effects on your credit if you cancel. On the other hand. the ones least likely to cancel a card right now are the baby boomer generation. Only 5% of them have canceled a card in the past 6 months because of the pandemic. I guess the longer you’ve lived, the less you’re influenced by temporary world events. In their minds, this will eventually normalize and who wants to be worried about applying for a card again when you can just pay the $95 annual fee for more one year if you’re already held the card for 20 years.
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary