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Financial Innovation April 13, 2022

Sun’s out, fun’s out: consumers ready to pay more creatively for leisure activities this spring & summer, Bread Financial study finds

38% of consumers plan to use Buy Now, Pay Later, installments, cash back/points rewards or cryptocurrency to pay for their fun in the warmer months ahead

COLUMBUS, Ohio – April 13, 2022 – Bread Financial (NYSE: BFH), a tech-forward financial services company that provides simple, personalized payment, lending, and saving solutions, today released findings from a national[1] survey highlighting the spending plans of consumers as we approach the warmer months. The study found that consumers are itching to get out and about – and are planning to spend more on fun and experiences as COVID wanes, with nearly three in five (59%) saying they plan to spend more on domestic travel, while about the same (62%) said international travel. However, affording travel costs up-front remains a challenge for most consumers, with 27% (nearly three in ten) having already turned down an upcoming summer activity because they couldn’t afford it.

Despite this, the survey found access to financing at check-out would drive more spring and summer activities – particularly for Gen Z and Millennial consumers. Fifty-five percent of respondents say they would do more activities like traveling, going to concerts and attending sporting events if Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) were offered at checkout. This number jumps to 65% for Gen Z and 70% for Millennials. The same amount (55%) of consumers also say they would do more activities if they had access to credit at checkout. Once again, this is the case for an even greater percentage of Gen Z and Millennials, 62% and 71%, respectively.

Additional interesting findings from the survey include:

Consumers plan to use everything from credit to crypto to fund their spring and summer fun: While a majority of respondents plan to use cash/debit (69%) and credit (50%), 38% plan to use other forms of payment, including BNPL, installments, cash back/points rewards or cryptocurrency to pay for their fun in the months ahead. In fact, about one in five Gen Z and Millennial consumers plan to pay for travel using BNPL (17% and 19%, respectively).  One in five (21%) Millennials plan to use cryptocurrency and one-third (32%) plan to use rewards (points, miles or cash back).

Younger generations of would-be jetsetters are ready to get creative to afford their return to travel: The survey showed that two in five Millennial (41%) and Gen Z (40%) respondents are willing to pick up a side gig (e.g., Uber, DoorDash) in vacation destinations to defray costs. Other top outside-of-the-box ideas for young travelers to afford travel costs included house-swaps, with 24% of Millennials and 21% of Gen Z ready to take this on, and providing labor to worksites like farms and ranches (30% of Millennials and 24% of Gen Z).

Spending on outdoor activities is expected to increase across the board: When asked where they planned to spend more money this summer, after international and domestic travel, top categories included concerts (55%), weddings/other large gatherings (52%), outdoor recreational activities (51%) and sporting events (50%).

“Our survey uncovered a strong desire from consumers for choice in their payment options, from credit cards and reward points to Buy Now, Pay Later and installment lending, as they get back to engaging and spending on fun activities and experiences. “Consumers want to be able to fund that long-awaited cross-country trip or destination wedding or night out at the ballpark without having to wait for the ability to pay for it all up front.”

Val Greer, EVP and Chief Commercial Officer, Bread Financial

[1]A sample of 1,930 US consumers ages 18+ participated in the Spring/Summer Spending survey conducted by Bread Financial in partnership with Lucid Holdings through an online quantitative survey that took place March 14-16, 2022.