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11 Dec
The holiday season is a popular time to apply for new credit cards, particularly cards that offer incentives like a percentage off the first purchase or a sign-on bonus reward. A recent survey asked consumers what they look for when deciding to apply for a new card and found that a no-interest promotional period and cash back rewards were the top two reasons they would apply for a new card.

Fifty-four percent of respondents said that a 0% APR would prompt them to fill out an application for a new credit card, and 50% said that getting cash back rewards on purchases would do the trick.

The Raddon Financial Group surveyed 1,200 people in the United States during October 2015. Respondents were broken into four age groups, classified as follows:

• Traditionalists, born between 1922 and 1945
• Boomers, born between 1946 and 1964
• Generation X, born between 1965 and 1978
• Millennials, born between 1979 and 1999

Credit card rewards programs were popular with all age groups, as were zero-percent interest incentives and cash back rewards. Eighty percent of people who said they had a credit card that offered rewards reported redeeming those rewards on a regular basis.

Instant issue, ID theft, and low interest are popular perks

Other credit card perks that proved popular with cardholders were identity theft protection, low interest rates, and no annual fee. Another feature people like is instant-issue credit cards. These cards offer consumers the chance to save on their first purchase at a store when they apply and are approved for a card right away. Accounts are opened immediately and a discount is applied at the register.

Holiday sales such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday are times when many people open instant issue credit card accounts, as well as throughout the holiday shopping season. When people tend to be spending large amounts, the payoff for opening a card that offers a percentage off the first purchase is greater.

As for other features people want in a credit card, no annual fee is a favorite perk for 64% of survey respondents, while 58% look for low ongoing interest rates. Forty-two percent of folks said that identity theft protection was a major bonus in a credit card.

Cash is the most popular credit card reward, favored by 56% of those surveyed, while rewards points come in second with 40% of respondents, and 17% prefer frequent flyer miles.

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