During a recession… shift happens. New research shows membership in credit card rewards programs is decreasing significantly while debit card rewards programs are gaining popularity. Also, most consumers are not willing to pay a higher interest rate for rewards and those that do are only willing to pay slightly more. The study by First Data Competitive Intelligence found that the number of cardholders holding a rewards credit card declined from 71% in 2008 to 67% this year, while the number of cardholders holding a rewards debit card jumped from 34% last year to 45% this year. About 70% of those who have a credit card with a rewards program are not willing to pay a higher interest rate for the rewards. Cardholders who are willing to pay extra will only pay an average of 1.6% more for a bank credit card with rewards. First Data found debit card rewards programs are used “every time” or “most of the time” by 66% of debit card rewards members. This compares to 51% of credit card rewards members who use their credit card rewards program “every time” or “most of the time.” The April study involved more than 2,000 consumers.