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Thread: Rewards gift cards

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I read an article about the credit card reform bill and it said that consumers could expect that rewards programs could be curtailed or cancelled. I have over 50k American Express rewards points so I was going to just quickly redeem them for a gift card. I'm dithering about a straight gift card that would be worth $250 or, I can get a gift card at a several retailers worth $500. Big difference there but I don't really shop at the places listed. They do have Restoration Hardware and Crate and Barrell which I might like. They also have Home Depot and I guess there are lots of things to choose from there like plants, lamps, other home accessories.

    What would you do? A cash card or a retail card worth twice as much?

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    If it's a place that you would like to shop at, take the gift card, you can still use them on sale items. If it's not places that you need anything, maybe the cash.
    Do you really think that we will loose our rewards that we have built up? Or are they just going to discontinue giving new rewards?

  3. #3
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I remembered that there is something I want that I can get at Home Depot... a patio set for the deck. I also need plants for the back yard. Now I get to do some online browsing to see what they have.

    I don't know if credit cards are going to cancel rewards programs. The article said that they would be trying to make up in fees and such what they will be losing because of the reforms. I have a couple more credit cards that I will look at to see if there is something I want to do about it.

  4. #4
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    I cannot imagine that American Express would curtail their program. Depending on the "color" card - you pay LOTS more $$ than other cards for the honor of carrying it.

    With that being said, when we built the house I had not redeemed points for about 5 years and turned all those points into Home Depot cards. Worked Great. I have shied away from the AmEx gift cards - you only get about 1/2 the value of other cards so if you can find a suitable retailer that would be your best bet.

  5. #5
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Yeah, I am not sure I want to keep the "honor".

  6. #6
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    I heard about this too. They were also saying that if you pay your credit card bill in full every month, they were going to charge you. How does that make sense?!!

    I think if you could buy something with the specific cards, go with them.

  7. #7
    Super Member Justquilting's Avatar
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    I'd go with the gift cards. Get your money's worth!!

  8. #8
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I'm sure they'll find a way. Maybe start charging a percentage of what you charge on it each month instead of just an interest charge?

    If they hadn't been so blatant in charging outrageous fees, hiking interest rates for sometimes no apparent reason, and the worse is the "universal default" where they would raise your rates because you had a late payment or something on ANOTHER account, then the reform bill wouldn't have been necessary.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LoriJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearpaw
    I heard about this too. They were also saying that if you pay your credit card bill in full every month, they were going to charge you. How does that make sense?!!

    I think if you could buy something with the specific cards, go with them.
    They are talking about taking away the purchase grace period so that interest would begin to accrue from the day you charged a purchase and not 20-30 days later. This would effect every card holder, but especially those who pay thier bills in full each month. Even if you pay in full each month, you would still have to pay interest.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Rose Hall's Avatar
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    My husband and I took a class at our church a few years ago, called Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. Since then we have closed our credit cards. I believe the credit card industry as a whole is a scam on the middle class. The only "person" who benefits from a credit card is the credit card company!
    Just my humble opinion (JMHO)

    Rose Hall


  11. #11
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I use them for the rewards, mainly for things that I am going to buy anyway. I really like the different rewards catagories every quarter with Discover Card, things like gas and groceries. Why not get 5% cash back on things I buy anyway? Now American Express is doing the same and I enrolled the other day. My Citibank card is a Dividend card so I get cash back there too.

    If they start charging interest from the time of purchase I won't use them anymore. No savings there.

    I don't carry much balance on cards, normally pay them off each month. I do have one at 0% until October that I am paying a little bit each month. Why pay it off when I can keep that money in my high yield savings account and earn interest on it until September? The only other thing I owe besides mortgage is my auto loan, which is paid of in THREE MORE PAYMENTS!! Yoo Hoo!

  12. #12
    bearpaw's Avatar
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    Well, if they start accrueing interest from the day something is charged, I'm not using it anymore. I'll find a different way.

    Yeah Pam!! Congrats on 3 more payments!! It feels so good to have a loan paid off!!!

  13. #13
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Hall
    My husband and I took a class at our church a few years ago, called Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. Since then we have closed our credit cards. I believe the credit card industry as a whole is a scam on the middle class. The only "person" who benefits from a credit card is the credit card company!
    Just my humble opinion (JMHO)

    Rose Hall
    I understand managing credit but closing them hurts you too, your credit score anyway, and that can hurt you in a lot of ways. It hurts you in not getting credit if you need it, having a low credit score because of not using credit wisely and showing that you can manage credit, which equates to being charged higher interest rates if you do get a loan for anything.

    It's a personal decision on what's most important... having no debt and never using credit or, having a higher credit score by using them wisely.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Hall
    My husband and I took a class at our church a few years ago, called Financial Peace University with Dave Ramsey. Since then we have closed our credit cards. I believe the credit card industry as a whole is a scam on the middle class. The only "person" who benefits from a credit card is the credit card company!
    Just my humble opinion (JMHO)

    Rose Hall
    My dh and kid did this too....:)Everything is broke up to the envelopes...works great! Highly recomm. even his book!Skeat

  15. #15
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    The changes don't become law for 9 months - take your time!

  16. #16
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    The law doesn't go into effect for 9 months. The Friday night PBS analysts seem to think the credit card companies probably won't change their award programs - they'd just lose customers. Besides, if they do, you still have the 9 months to decide what to do.

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