Money Talks Blog by Oxford Planning Group

At Oxford Planning Group we hope you will be amazed by a unique experience. In our two blogs we will include periodic information and viewpoints that we hope you will find interesting. Seasoned Savers is geared towards financially experienced individuals. OPG Basics is aimed towards younger generations just starting out.

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Credit Card Reward Miles – Not always What they Appear to Be


Many of us use credit cards with reward point systems.  These programs offer discounts, air miles, cash rewards, gift cards, magazine subscriptions, discount gas and numerous other options.

Do you really know if you're getting the best deal on your reward points versus other options available?

When reviewing reward point systems, it’s important to review the rewards in terms of the amount of dollars of benefit received for the dollars that you spent.  This is generally not how these point systems are reported.  In fact, with one card you might get triple points for every dollar spend and for another card you might get double points for every dollar spent.  At first glance, the triple points look like the better deal.  The reality is that the dollar value of both rewards points might be identical.

So how do you know what’s best?

First, review how many points you get for each dollar spent.  Some plans give different points for different types of spending (dining out, groceries, gas, etc).  If that’s the case, you may have to figure out an average amount spend and what points you received for that.

Next, review how those points convert into your rewards.

We all have different things we like, so limit your comparison to only those things you would normally use.  If you travel a lot, look at air miles/tickets.  If you shop at amazon, target, staples, see if they offer a gift card.  Review what cash reward options are.  You'd think they all converted to the same dollar amount, but generally they do not.

We’ve seen cases where a cash reward option was for example $100, but that same points reward in a gift card offered was worth $200.  That’s double the value and could have easily been missed.

Now that you better understand how your rewards points work, don’t forget to compare to other cards you have or to other offers you get occasionally.  Make sure to give yourself the best dollar value rewards possible.  It’s in your best interest.

As always, we are here to help.  If you have any questions let us know.

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Woodstock, MD  21163
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