Instead of sending me your rewards catalog, I’m just going to collect a table of information. The reason is that from the catalogs I’ve seen, comparing the items you can get is kind of a worthless process. Most catalogs don’t show a specific model number or other details that would be necessary to actually do any kind of comparison. Besides 99% of the time, getting merchandise is not a good deal through your rewards program so most of us should focus on travel, cash, and gift cards which can truly be used for value, and are comparable across programs. So, instead of sending me your credit card catalog, send me the following information:
1) Name of Rewards Program and Credit Card Associated with it.
2) Number of Points To Convert to Cash (for example, $100 check requires 20,000 points)
3) Number of Points to Convert to Balance Credit or Account Credit (again, $100 credit requires 17,500 points)
4) Number of Points Required for Travel (for example, 25,000 for one round trip ticket, or 10,000 points for $100 worth of travel)
5) Number of Points Required for Gift Card (for example, $100 gift card requires 10,000 points) Please let me know if there are different rates for different size gift cards (slightly common) or different rates for different stores (less common).
That should still allow us to get a good comparison going so that we know not only how fast we can earn points, but what they are worth once we have them.
I did get some email regarding cash back cards. There is no comparison necessary here. 1% is 1% when you are talking about cash. What we’re looking to do here is make an intelligent comparison between a card that you earn 1 point per $1 but at one program 10,000 points equals a $100 gift card while at another program it takes 15,000 points to get a $100 gift card. That would make the second program not as good as the first program despite the fact that on all the published info they look the same.
– The Gourmet