People Globally Want to Expand their Minds, Unwind from the Daily Grind and Seek Selfless Self-Care, According to New Mastercard Experience Research

August 3, 2021 | Singapore

The Pandemic Has Driven People to Redefine their Expectations of Experiences, Demanding Long-Lasting Impact

  • 77% say they prefer experiences where they can learn something new
  • Almost half say they value spending time “unplugged” from their devices; over indexing on outdoor adventures
  • 64% agree taking good care of themselves helps them connect with others

Findings from Mastercard’s inaugural Experience research reveal that people recognize the value of self-enrichment and are willing to invest time and energy in experiences that leave them feeling uplifted long after the moment ends. They prefer experiences that they can do with family and friends (81%) and want to visit new places so they can see and do things they’ve never done before (71%), while being open to cultural influences and learning about new cultures (66%). A bonding experience between themselves and people they care about is the number one thing that makes an experience truly “priceless”.

“Mastercard has long been a brand that connects people to each other and their passions,” said Raja Rajamannar, chief marketing and communications officer, Mastercard. “The pandemic forced people to reconsider what they need from experiences, and brands to reimagine how to deliver them. Findings from the research help us understand what is most meaningful to people today, and what experiences we can bring them to help create moments and memories that are truly Priceless.”

The Pandemic Taught Us to Prioritize Our Own Wellbeing to Better Connect with Others
People increased their focus on tech enabled wellbeing (22%), rest and balance (29%), and soothing activities (30%) during the pandemic. Their proactive focus on self with an eye toward increased resilience lead them to prioritize mental wellbeing (85%), emotional wellbeing (83%) and physical wellbeing (83%), all to find energy to connect with others.

People Crave a Break from Everyday Pressures, Looking to Connect with The World Around Them and Those They Care About
With more time at home, people were reliant on technology to stay connected to work, family and friends. Now people are ready to focus on relaxation, whether that be through leisure activities like online gaming or by escaping to the great outdoors. Nearly half of people surveyed agreed that it is important to spend time unplugged without interruption from any device. In fact, when asked about their preferred unplugged activities people over index on outdoor adventures.  Globally, there is above average interest (Index 100) in using nature and open spaces as an escape from everyday life, preferring road trips (175), exercise (138), remote/secluded getaways (138), and camping and hiking (125).

Experiences Are Truly Priceless When They’re Had with Others
Companionship and quality time with loved ones is a priority for people, with nearly three quarters stating they make a real effort to have this quality time with friends and family, and what makes an experience truly priceless is the bonding opportunity with the people they care about. People are defining quality time as with people they care about (60%) and doing something they are interested in (40%). 62% of people globally prefer inclusive experiences, which are welcoming to diverse groups of people (68% of Gen Z and 67% of Millennials) and 41% say it’s essential that they can feel accepted and true to themselves when spending quality time with others.

“After a year of lifestyle limitations, consumers have a pent-up demand for experiences that are memorable and shareable,” said Wayne Levings, President Kantar Global. “Post pandemic, we don’t expect consumers to seek a volume of experiences but rather experiences with perceived longevity—things that they will never forget and that they can relive through stories, personal betterment, or community impact.”

“Brands spend years and millions of dollars trying to drive behavior change in their audience. And then a moment like the one we are living through arrives, which changes everything instantly. The brands who will successfully grasp this moment are the ones who put consumer interests at the heart of everything they do, have the greatest social empathy and consciousness, and are digitally agile to pivot at a moment’s notice. Mastercard has chosen to serve rather than sell at this point in time, and while we look forward to taking you around the world in the future, the team is doing everything possible to bring a little slice of the world into your home in the meantime,” said Rustom Dastoor, Senior Vice President, Head of Marketing and Communications, Asia Pacific, Mastercard.

Mastercard is leveraging these learnings to bring people new experiences that connect them to their passions, help them pursue deeper levels of happiness, change them for the better and maybe, even the world around them. All featured on Mastercard’s experiential lifestyle hub, new and regularly updated experiences span passions around the globe:

To see the full report of global findings click here.

Survey Methodology:

  • 20-minute online survey of 17,895 consumers in 18 countries in five regions worldwide (NAM, EUR, LAC, MEA, Australia)
  • ~1,000 completed interviews per country
  • General population, age 18+
  • Research conducted on behalf of Mastercard Global Foresights, Insights and Analytics by Kantar, December 2020

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About Mastercard (NYSE: MA), 
Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

About Priceless
The Priceless Platform ( is Mastercard’s experiential lifestyle hub designed to uplift and inspire people by enabling exclusive moments that allow them to strengthen their relationships with family and friends, expand their horizons, and enrich their lives. Informed by Mastercard’s proprietary research, a global research initiative that tracks experiential trends and what people value most, it hosts a global marketplace of lifestyle experiences – physical and digital - across travel, music & entertainment, culinary, wellness, arts & culture, sports and more. Exclusive to Mastercard cardholders, its unique multicultural proposition and capabilities cover over 40 destinations, accessible from 90+ countries, and provides the opportunity to gift experiences, enter sweepstakes, and participate in special auctions to benefit important causes, as well as access to custom editorial content.

Mastercard Communications Contact
Ilona-Jade Errington, +65 6390 6009

Agency Communications Contact
Fazirah Sa’im, +65 9009 2760