charged wrote:Statement credits work for me. Amex only allows me to redeem this way, but with other cards like the quicksilver I still opt for this simple approach. It seems silly to redeem in checks just so it can go back to paying the same credit card balance. It's fun watching free money pop up on the rewards icon even if it's not much. I don't like gift cards because that's money being used where I'm not getting more cash back rewards lol.
The free hotel stays on some cards sound really cool but I don't make that kind of money where I'm spending enough to live that kind of lifestyle unfortunately.
1. Free money popping up...there was a study that found that people get a greater emotional thrill from getting $10 twice than $20 once. It's irrational, and I try to keep it in mind and control my behavior accordingly. Still, I know I experience it with Sallie, even though the card hasn't provided me as much in rewards as other cards. I suspect that this psychological factor fuels the popularity of QS and other cards with no $25+ threshold. If I redeem a lot of points brilliantly for travel, I don't know if I feel 20x the enjoyment that I feel from simply taking $25 on Sallie. Rationally, free travel should feel much, much better than a comparatively small statement credit.
As far as gift cards, I totally understand. No rewards or perks.
As far as hotel stays, keep in mind that several decent cards have only a $1k minimum spend requirement and a waived AF or the first year.