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December 9, 2020

Amex Trendex: ‘Tis the Season for Gift Cards, Offers and Quarantine Pods

December 9 —According to the Amex Trendex, a trend report from American Express, consumers surveyed in the U.S. are prioritizing safety this holiday season -- from the types of gifts they hope to receive to the way they plan to celebrate.

Gift Cards and Clothing Top Holiday Lists This Year; Consumers Start Planning for 2021 Purchases
After an unpredictable year, consumers surveyed are putting practical items that they typically buy for others at the top of their own wish lists. In fact, 58% said they want to receive a gift card, followed by clothing (34%) and new tech or tech accessories (28%). They’re also starting to plan ahead for 2021. Sixty-two percent of consumers plan to focus on their finances more in 2021 than in previous years, and are saving for big purchases such as travel (22%), home improvement (17%) and a car (14%).

Consumers Turn to Their Credit Cards for Offers and Deals This Holiday Shopping Season.
Consumers are continuing to shop smart this holiday season with over half of adults surveyed (51%) looking for deals and offers provided through their credit cards, and 35% seeking out these offers more actively this holiday season. Consumers surveyed are most interested in travel deals from their credit card (52%), followed by dining/food delivery (40%), and retail/clothing (25%). Seventy percent of U.S. adults say they are saving more of their rewards points than they are spending, and over a third (36%) of U.S. adults are planning to use their credit card rewards points to pay for flights.

American Express’ own digital offers program, Amex Offers, saw a 67% increase in the number of unique U.S. Card Members who redeemed an offer through Amex Offers compared to the previous year1. The number of Amex Offers redeemed this year has more than doubled – topping 35 million redemptions – with dining and shopping the most frequently redeemed categories. 

U.S. Adults Look to Ring in the Holiday Season Safely
According to the Amex Trendex, 72% of consumers reported in mid-November are planning to stay at home for the upcoming winter holidays and 67% of adults plan on spending the holidays with a quarantine pod. Those who are planning to travel are in it for the long-haul. Twenty-nine percent of adults are willing to drive longer distances than usual this holiday season for increased safety, and 25% are willing to drive 10-25 hours per trip. Looking ahead to future travel, 55% of adults plan to take the trip of their dreams once they can travel outside of the U.S. safely, and 63% agree that in 2021 they will take a trip they had originally planned to take in 2020.

What is the Amex Trendex?
The Amex Trendex is a trend index that tracks how consumers, small businesses, and merchants are feeling about spending, saving, traveling and more. Data will be sourced on a monthly basis in the U.S. and bimonthly globally, including in the U.K., Australia, Japan, Mexico, India and Canada.

Methodology
***The Morning Consult poll was conducted between November 16-18, 2020 among a national sample of 2,000 general population travelers with a household income of at least $70K, and defined as adults who traveled by air at least once in 2019. Results from the survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

1According to internal Amex Offers data YOY growth from January - October 2019 compared to January - October 2020.


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