MB131174 wrote:If you're looking to find swipes to make a "swipe quota", could you actually be spending more than the rewards are worth in the end?
It is possible that I'd spend more using plastic than cash, yes. There is a lot of research that shows people tend to spend more.
If I took the vending machine route, then I would be spending more. On the other hand, it might make me less inclined to buy more bulk junk food than is good for me at Costco, so there is perhaps a health benefit there.
It's very rare for me to go any grocery store for just one item, so I could just split what I would buy into two groups. I'm not spending more, just wasting a bit of time.
If I give myself 10 $1 gift cards on Amazon, and then redeem later them to cover 2/3 of a $15 book I wanted anyway, then I don't think I am likely to overspend based on a transaction target.