Study: More people willing to switch banks for loyalty rewards

According to SmartMoney, the average American household participates in 18 consumer rewards programs.

According to SmartMoney, the average American household participated in 18 consumer rewards programs in 2011.

However, that doesn't mean they're willing to settle for any offer. A recent survey from Pinnacle Financial Strategies revealed bank customers would switch their financial institutions in order to receive cash-back rewards for their loyalty.

Specifically, researchers found that 63 percent of respondents would consider switching banks with the promise of earning cash-back rewards.

"Not surprisingly, people want to be rewarded for their loyalty," said Joe Gillen, CEO of Pinnacle Financial Strategies. "But we were surprised to see just how many people are now willing to switch banks in order to get the rewards they want."

He added that this represents an opportunity for small institutions and credit unions to steal market share from larger banks by offering the debit card reward programs that big banks "can no longer support."

Cash-back rewards are designed to "increase interchange income and improve operating efficiency," Gillien notes. The more accolades for customer satisfaction and loyalty a bank offers, the more likely it is to retain customers and thrive in the retail banking industry.