Getting in on the credit card points scam

Unlike all these clever people I hear are using points to go on free vacations, I am actually allowing Bank of America to scam me.  They offered me a better points situation with a cash bonus for my card, then proceeded to ignore the bonus they owed me and closed my account due to “inactivity.”  It was really weird (not to mention annoying because of credit score implications), but I decided to let the account stay closed.  This was a cheap enough way for me to learn that BoA is tedious and terrible, and that I should earn my credit points somewhere else.  I have a big-ticket auto service coming up, so I should pick a card soon.

The two cards that come to mind are

  1. JetBlue AmEx
  2. Amazon Visa

Because I would like to travel more, and already use Amazon a lot.  These cards seem the most applicable and useful to my life.  But how do they stack up?

JetBlue

  • 70,000 points after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • $40/year annual fee after first year
  • 1 point per eligible purchase
  • One roundtrip from BOS to DEN for example is 22K points, yielding approximately 3 “free” trips based on 70K sign-on incentive

Amazon

  • $50 cash incentive on startup
  • No fees
  • 3%/2%/1% points structure (Amazon purchases = 3%), with 100 points = $1
  • The $800 I spent on Amazon in 2014 would come to 26 points or $0.26.  Womp womp.  $800 already sounds like a lot of money and I can’t see spending more than that just to make points.

Surprising, but it looks like JetBlue has better perks even with the $40 fee.  At least until the 3 trips from the sign-on bonus are up.  I can see why people do crop rotation with credit cards – unlike with crops, however, crop rotation with credit cards will scorch the land of your credit.

Do you have a reward points credit card that you like?  And do you use it to make “free” cash or for less tangible incentives like airline miles?

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Getting in on the credit card points scam

  1. So sorry to hear of the poor treatment you have experienced. I will, however, stand by my discovercard Cashback card. They have never held me accountable for fraud experienced 2-3 times in the past 15 years, have extended credit limits while shuffling $$ for short term during relocation without interest (providing security in uncertain times) and have a user friendly website. Customer service is outstanding, but you were interested in the bonus program… no annual fee, 1% cash bonus on all purchases, quarterly programs to earn 2%+ cashback for gas, groceries, or restaurants, partnerships with businesses to provide 5/10/15% off purchases made with the card (at the partner websites including travel services), and deeply discounted gift cards, merchandise, services and travel that can bought with the Cashback for no out of pocket expense. I should also note, I have been able to shop Amazon with great ease and can utilize Cashback $ after registering the card with paypal (hooray for no out of pocket purchases!l). I typically earn enough to cover Christmas gifts for immediate and extended family and random purchases throughout the year such as 2 sets of luggage and a Garmin in this past year alone. And I should admit that I do not fully leverage these benefits and could probable earn 50% more each year with some changes in habit. But I am all about convenience and this card has served me well with both service and bonus program earnings. And it also stands up when compared to the security and protection of family and friends’ experiences with local bank and national/international bank with fiercely promoted earning program credit cards. I hope you find a card that serves you well!

    • Hey thanks for the tip Emily! I will have to consider that. I did not realize that CC companies team with other companies for discounts. Sounds like your card has served you very well!

  2. haha– that crop analogy! I do cashback rewards… I know that airline rewards typically give you “more” rewards but I really don’t travel much so I’d just rather have cash! Also I had a terrible experience with BoA so I totally know what you mean… ugh.

    • Yeah I find all these cards to be tedious. If it were totally up to me I would not use credit cards at all. But the credit bureaus insist that we play the game…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s