Does ANYONE redeem rewards points for gift cards or merchandise?

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Does ANYONE redeem rewards points for gift cards or merchandise?

Postby Luxe » Sun Jul 27, 2014 7:24 am

Was just browsing some of the reward redemption sites. All had gift cards at face value (2500 points for $25 card) and merchandise at MSRP or worse -- UR Mall has Apple earpods for $5 above

Hmm... use points on a limited selection of goods at 1 point <= 1 cent, or redeem as cash back and buy gift cards and goods with my card to get a further 1-3% back? From a customer's perspective it's obvious. Not sure why the banks even bother when their incentive is to encourage card usage as well.

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Postby rockyrock » Sun Jul 27, 2014 8:34 am

Discover always has GCs offered at a discount, that's when I redeem my CB for them. I haven't seen any at a discount from Amex CB but I know Amex MR used to put them on sale now and again. I've found good value of UR for traveling.
Sapphire Reserve: travel & dining
Blue Cash Preferred: groceries & gas
Freedom: 5% cats
Double Cash: everything else

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Postby CarefulBuilder14 » Sun Jul 27, 2014 10:33 am

Chase offers Kohl's gift cards at 10% off, which Discover matches. Everything else I can see on Chase is at face value.

Discover offers gift cards at least 10% off face value on everything, it looks like. You can get 20% off on cards of major retailers (Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, LL Bean, etc). Cruise lines and car rentals are 50% off. There are a few other 50% and 66% off offers for stores I'm not familiar with.

With Chase, cash is the way to go. With Discover, cards are the way to go if you can find something you like at a good discount.

Now if I can only figure out what to do with MR points other than fly. I was going to get gift cards at face value, but it seems a waste when I can get them cheaper at Discover.
Warranties and sketchy merchants: Schwab Platinum
Price rewind: Costco
Travel insurance: Prestige, CSP
Perks: IHG, Hyatt
Rewards/Offers: Discover, Freedom, ED, BCE
Taxes/Misc: SPG

Limited value, might close: Arrival

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Postby websteth » Sun Jul 27, 2014 3:54 pm

Prior to traveling as much as I do now, I have used my American Express and Discover points at which a nice bonus. My Discover Cash Back pays for my Starbucks for the year as I usually just use it to get Starbucks cards. My Chase and Amex points are almost strictly for travel now for me.
American Express: Platinum, Zync, Platinum Delta SkyMiles, Blue, Starwood Preferred Guest
Barclaycard US: iTunes Reward Visa, US Airways Premier World MasterCard
Chase: Sapphire Preferred Visa Signature, Freedom Visa
Citi Bank: Hilton HHonors Visa Signature, AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard
Bank of America Virgin Atlantic World Elite MasterCard
Discover: Discover it
Other:Macy's Star Rewards, Target REDCard

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