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News: Don’t Plan to Waste Money This Year  -

Consumers are looking to spend more wisely this year, save more and get more bang for their buck, according to a study by Bank of America. They also want banks and lenders to give them more rewards for the services they use.

Rewards, rewards, rewards

Nearly four out of five consumers want practical rewards—ones that can help them get more out of their money. Only 20% said they wanted rewards that could be used towards a big-ticket item or special adventure.

When the numbers were crunched, the bank found that the majority of consumers (61%) are looking to get rewards for things they do daily.

Their favorite rewards were ones that would help them grow their bank accounts, including no-fee everyday banking services (67%), no ATM fees (53%), cash back on purchases (50%), and higher savings interest (50%).

People also want to be rewarded for being responsible, including:

  • Making deposits to a savings account (85%)
  • Making timely mortgage payments (74%)
  • Paying with their debit or credit card (72%)
  • Putting money into their retirement account (70%)

“Americans want rewards that recognize them for their everyday banking actions, including daily spending, as well as activities they consider more responsible investment behaviors, such as investing for retirement,” said Aron Levine, head of Preferred Banking and Merrill Edge.

Don't forget about value

Getting value for their money and keeping things simple are also on consumers minds. When they were asked what quality best defines what their spending habits look like, their top answers were:

  • Value-seeking (21%)
  • Simple spending that is focused on the basics (18%)
  • Savvy spending defined as smart, informed decisions (15%)

When it comes to shopping, just about two-thirds (65%) will be bargain-hunting including looking for sales and using coupons. Abou the same amount of respondents said they will be looking to save money by buying generic brands or purchasing in bulk.

Half of the people surveyed said they are spending less on going out, and 41% will be looking to use smaller solutions that help them save money, like taking their lunch to work, and buying reusable water bottles.

The Bank of America Preferred Rewards Consumer Study surveyed 1,017 adults from November 21 to 24, 2014.