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Shrinking CC Points value
Old 07-16-2015, 06:47 PM   #1
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Shrinking CC Points value

I'm upset how my credit card company is reducing the value of the points I've earned.

The Barclay travel card offered 2x miles with a 10% bonus using points.

They just reduced that to 5%. Effectively retroactive.

In other news,
Upgrades on Delta¬*Will¬*Cost More SkyMiles Next Year - Bloomberg Business

It's just not right


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Old 07-16-2015, 09:23 PM   #2
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It could be worse. They could redefine points.

I always take our CC rewards in cash.
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Old 07-17-2015, 06:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lsbcal View Post
It could be worse. They could redefine points.

I always take our CC rewards in cash.
+1 We have a grandfathered Discover card that pays 2% on all purchases that is our main card. DS has that Citi card that pays 1% when you do the charge and 1% when you pay the bill and he has it on autopay so it is effectively the same thing.

Plus on our card you can get more for your balance by redeeming for gift cards from some merchants that offer a bonus... for example, a $25 card for $20.
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Old 07-17-2015, 07:24 AM   #4
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Barclay's has been at the forefront of what many characterize as aggressive (or "insane") in terms of their rewards, so its not a surprise that they are pulling back...here is an interesting link on how one blogger gamed the deals:

I'm Closing Our American Express Accounts After a Decade

I used to be quite loyal to one credit card company (Citi). They gave me my very first card in college and had a decent points program (which they later terminated) but many years ago they had an offer that you could have the card fee-free for life with a one-time payment of something like $ 200. Since the annual fee was probably $ 35 a year back then and they tend to creep up, I thought it was a good deal, and I used them a lot when I was a CC junkie at the time and took the bait.

Fast forward to 2009, and the financial crisis, and Citi terminates my account (along with millions of others who had 0 balances and high credit lines, which are the "worst" kind of cardholders), in order to shore up their capital ratios and reduce expenses, etc.

So much for the lifetime deal. Of course in the fine print of the agreement it allowed them to do this, and I appreciate they had very touch choices to make, but it just shows it is a commodity business and I know many members of this forum make a good game of optimizing their personal economics on the back of card offers....which is kind of fun to do!
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:45 AM   #5
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That's why I always get cashback rewards cards, no ability for the credit card company to do fuzzy math by changing point values. If they switch the amount of cashback for a card then its crystal clear immediately and I can adjust my card usage accordingly.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:52 AM   #6
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Yep. Cash back is the only way to go. Things like "points" and "miles" are redefined at will - or even cancelled. Of course, one could make a similar point about US$, but that's for another discussion.:cool smiley: YMMV
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:56 AM   #7
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Count me among the group that takes the reward in cash and considers the miles/points to be a speculation, not to be more than 5% of one's total travel/entertainment budget.
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Old 07-17-2015, 09:57 AM   #8
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f they switch the amount of cashback for a card then its crystal clear immediately and I can adjust my card usage accordingly.
Yes. Currently Discover card is offering 5% cash back points on places like Amazon, hardware stores (dangerous!!) and department stores. Thus, my trusty 2% back CC will be less used this quarter.
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Old 07-17-2015, 02:06 PM   #9
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I'm a cash back guy. Had an old MC that had accumulated ~80,000 points that I just knew was going to evaporate (don't use the card anymore). Finally had a call for domestic air travel that allowed me to burn nearly all those points. Glad to be done with it. For that matter, the "miles" on the airlines are not all that attractive to me either. I'll use them if I can but they are difficult at best.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:35 PM   #10
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I like cash back. I can't keep track of miles. I think I have lost a few hundred thousand miles with various airlines since I retired due to expiration. Cash back doesn't expire.
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Old 07-17-2015, 04:46 PM   #11
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Cash back for me...2% on all purchases on my AmEx and a Visa card. I also have a hotel card that gives me 5x points when used for hotel charges as well as 1 free night per year. Yearly charges on that card equal 2+ free nights per year.

The 2% cash back cards have been great as we do our remodeling. over $1K cash back last year on those charges alone.
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Old 07-18-2015, 06:52 PM   #12
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I have this lousy Citibank "rewards" card which earns me points so I can get small discounts on a limited number of things, all of which I don't need or want. Or, I can "bid" on desirable items that only one person can win. I can't cash the points out or buy outright the items I had to "bid" on using only my accumulated points. This has made the points totally worthless.


Thankfully, I was able to switch to a cashback credit card from BofA a few years ago relegating the Citibank card to back-up status (I use the card once a year for a small purchase just to keep the account open).
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Old 07-18-2015, 07:30 PM   #13
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That's why I always get cashback rewards cards, no ability for the credit card company to do fuzzy math by changing point values. If they switch the amount of cashback for a card then its crystal clear immediately and I can adjust my card usage accordingly.
Same here. We churned credit cards a bit last year and ended up with the Fidelity Amex (2% on everything), the Chase Sapphire (1.5% but not everyone takes Amex) and a Marriott Visa. The Marriott is the last of our travel cards; got rid of the airline ones years ago and got rid of Hilton as they decreased the perks of being Gold (which came with the card) and the airport lounges that were available through the PriorityPass that came with membership got narrowed down greatly. We still keep the Marriott so we have one card with a long-term record.

Travel cards are more valuable when you actually use that airline or hotel a lot, but we've got pretty much zero loyalty anymore.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jebmke View Post
I like cash back. I can't keep track of miles. I think I have lost a few hundred thousand miles with various airlines since I retired due to expiration. Cash back doesn't expire.
If your miles are close to expire, go to the airline reward site and subscribe to a magazine (about 800 pts) or donate 1,000 pts to a charity.

Either step will reset the date of expiration to another 1.5 yrs into the future.
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Old 07-18-2015, 10:55 PM   #15
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I pay the annual fee on an SPG card as I drive a lot sometimes, and have found a couple of their hotels where a night is 3K points vs renting it for $105-$120

Its my default card when I can't get 5% back on some other rotating card special.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:55 AM   #16
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I take the cash back by default, generally $200 at a time since that's the lowest amount where you only "spend" 100 points per dollar on my USAA rewards card. Occasionally there may be times where it's more cost-effective to use the points for travel, but not usually. The cash back is almost always the most cost-effective benefit in the rewards programs I'm involved in.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:00 AM   #17
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We have a Capital One card with about 150,000 points. They are redeemable 100 for $1 for travel/hotel reimbursement and 200 for $1 if you just want a check.

We have a lot of travel planned in the next year so I am just letting them accumlate but I would be pissed if they changed the terms on already accumulated points. A $700 difference is pretty big.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:14 AM   #18
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Ok, so I just logged on and saw I can redeem non travel purchases for 200 points per $1 BUT I can buy Amazon gift cards at 100 points per $1.

Considering my non travel purchases over the past few months have about $1000 in Amazon purchases, I think I have been making a mistake.

15 Amazon $100 gift cards are on the way!
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:19 AM   #19
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I am looking at other credit card rewards programs too. For the past 2 years I have been using an American Airlines Rewards card because that's what we travel with the most. However since they merged with US Air their rewards system has changed a bit. It used to be 1 free checked bag per person and priority seating. Our last trip to Mexico which ended yesterday somehow got screwed up so that they didn't enter my rewards number in time. So we got neither the free bag nor priority seating. And a runaround from the reps on the ground vs the one on the phone.

I do have a Cap One card and guess I will just start using that one for points or cash toward travel but I would like a card with a free bag policy.

AmEx dropped me for non-use and no longer owning a business I couldn't justify the expense of the card.


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Old 07-20-2015, 09:04 PM   #20
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I churn multiple cards at all times reimbursing myself for all the silly fees and interest I gave these guys in my youth. 15k in rewards of various types (flights, rental cars, hotels, disney theme park tickets and cash back) in the past 2 years and no plans to stop now.
Doing some research on the multitude of blogs on this "game" has made this a very profitable hobby for me


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