Wilmington, Del. May 16, 2012 - Chase today launched the Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index, a barometer of consumer trends related to simple pleasures and special occasions based upon aggregated Chase Freedom cardmember spending data. The initial findings point to an increase in spending on popular leisure activities, including movies and recreational facilities like ski slopes and golf courses, in 2012:
Additionally, based upon last year's data, celebrations of Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduations are driving springtime spending on gifts and consumer wish list items, such as flowers, jewelry and electronics:
"The Chase Freedom Lifestyle Index was developed to examine the ways that our cardmembers, who represent a significant segment of the American credit card market, are enjoying simple pleasures and special occasions throughout the year," said Matt Kane, general manager, Chase Freedom. "While surveys and opinion polls ask how consumers plan to or would like to spend their money, our Index tracks actual spending."
Moms, Dads and Grads Drive Spring Gift-Giving
Compared to the first quarter of 2011, the same period in 2012 saw a larger increase in spending on popular leisure activities than on material gifts and items. The spring season includes several gift-giving occasions for rewarding loved ones - including Mother's Day, Father's Day and graduations. Based on trends from last year, popular gifts for loved ones celebrating these holidays will include jewelry, flowers and consumer electronics.
Spending on flowers increased slightly in the first quarter of this year compared to last year (by four percent), whereas the jewelry category held steady and consumer electronics declined slightly (also by four percent) compared to 2011 data. Overall spending on flowers was 47 percent higher in May of 2011 than in February - suggesting Mother's Day trumps Valentine's Day as the top gift-giving occasion for flowers. While men spend nearly twice as much as women on flowers for Valentine's Day, both genders spend roughly the same amount in May on bouquets and blossoms. In the consumer electronics category, a popular gift choice for dads and grads, spending increased by 21 percent between April and May.
Springtime Spending Tips from Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom offers the followings tips to consumers for making the most of special occasions this spring:
Chase Freedom Cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at gas stations and restaurants from July through September, and on accommodations purchased directly from the hotels and tickets purchased directly from the airlines and at Best Buy and Kohl's from October through December. Cardmembers can activate 5% cash back online, over the phone, via text message, on Facebook, or at one of Chase's 5,500 branches.
Chase Freedom cardmembers earn retroactively - so if a cardmember enrolls late in the quarter, he or she still earns 5% cash back on purchases already made. Chase Freedom cardmembers earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all their purchases - from the first dollar spent, and a total of 5% on categories that change quarterly. For more information, visit Chase Freedom's Website or Facebook page.
Chase is the U.S. consumer and commercial banking business of JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM), a leading global financial services firm with assets of $2.3 trillion and operations in more than 60 countries. Chase serves more than 50 million consumers and small businesses through more than 5,500 bank branches, 17,500 ATMs, credit cards, mortgage offices, and online and mobile banking as well as through relationships with auto dealerships. More information about Chase is available at www.chase.com.