CIBC of Toronto has released the results of a poll on consumer usage of loyalty programs. According to the survey, which was conducted by Leger Marketing, Canadian consumers are using loyalty rewards to supplement their budgets during difficult economic times. Seventy percent of respondents hold credit cards that include a loyalty program, while 82% stated that they try to maximize the potential rewards of these programs, while 38% said they use loyalty points to buy things they couldn't otherwise afford. Among loyalty program users, 48% said they use their points for everyday items, while 41% said they are saving their points for travel and 34% said they are saving points for cash-back rewards. Of those who said they would use their points to travel, 71% are saving for a "dream vacation" to a distant destination, while 29% said they would use points for a smaller trip closer to home. "It's no surprise that with higher costs at the gas pump and the grocery store, Canadians are more focused on getting value for their money and finding ways to stretch their budgets," said Cheryl Longo, executive vice-president of card products at CIBC. "Canadian consumers are looking to loyalty rewards to give them something extra for the purchases they are already making, and these poll findings show they are taking a budget conscious approach to their spending in doing so. Some prefer to save money instantly, and some prefer to save those points for a bigger reward down the road. The dream vacation is still a big reason that consumers hold loyalty reward credit cards. This speaks to the aspirational goal of many Canadians to use their points for a vacation that they may not otherwise be able to afford."