62

Your experience might vary depending on the mileage program, but in most cases, buying extra miles is a waste of money. Some legitimate uses: If you are close to a redemption value you want, there's no other reasonable way to get the miles, and you're able to buy the amount you need without going over too much. You have a lot of miles saved up, and your ...


49

I can't give you proper legal advice, but if I called their customer service and used half an hour of my time to wait and explain the situation in detail, and their official response was "just use the points," I would do just that. Of course you would have stronger legal standing if you had recorded their answer, or had it in writing from them. But I don't ...


44

They make you do it (click the mouse a few times to activate the rewards) because X percent won't do it. Those that don't click get nothing. If it was automatic people who didn't make an effort would accidentally get a benefit. But If you are aware of which category gets the bonus you might make an effort to boost your reward. Of course that extra usage ...


38

I would behave exactly as I would expect it from others. If you were the one giving away too many points by accident you would be thankful if somebody notifies you about this error. You can write a letter or call them. I would not use the points (of course only not use the points which are added in error). Other options are possible but I would advise ...


25

The most practical (though not necessarily cost effective) reason for buying miles is to reset your mileage expiry date. Most programs have some some of expiry built into them so that if you don't earn/buy any miles for a certain period of time you forfeit your accrued miles. Buying miles will generally count as activity on your account and reset the ...


22

If you had a CC issuer that allowed you to do bill-pay this way, I suspect the payment would be considered a cash advance that will trigger a fee and a pretty egregious cash advance specific interest rate. It's not normal for a credit payment portal to accept a credit card as payment. If you were able to do this as a balance transfer, again there would be ...


21

In addition to mhoran's answer, I think it's a behavioral thing. It makes it seem like it's a benefit if you actually have to click around and do something, whereas if it was just a universal thing that always existed you might take it for granted. So every few months it's like you get something "new". Usually "new" benefits comes with unplanned spending, ...


19

If you want to maximize your expected benefits, at minimal risk of financial repercussions or sleepless nights, I would suggest the following. Send an email explaining the situation, and announce that you plan to use the points if they do not advise otherwise. Here is an example message: Dear sir/madam, I recently contacted your helpdesk to mention ...


19

It makes a lot of sense for the airlines, obviously. If you are very near to a free flight, it might make sense to buy a small amount, but generally, it is a very bad deal for the buyer. Not everyone realizes that, though.


15

There are a few potential downsides but they are minor: If you forget to make the payment the interest hit the following month could be significant. With many cards the new charges will be charged interest from the start if the previous payment was late/missed. Just make sure you don't forget to pay the entire bill. If the $5K in monthly bills is a large ...


13

US: This came up recently on The Consumerist - the rewards themselves are not taxable, however anything you receive as an incentive to open the account, e.g. X bonus miles, may be taxable, and if it exceeds a certain amount, a 1099 is issued.


13

No, there's no reason to worry. I called Discover's customer service line about this and got a great explanation from Alex in Salt Lake City. To paraphrase/summarize: The website shows that warning because not all Discover cards earn Cashback Bonus in the same way. Your Discover it® card always earns 1% (plus more for rotating bonus categories), but the ...


12

If you go to a grocery store and purchase retail gift cards along with other products, and you pay with a credit card, your credit card company generally does not know what you spent the money on; they don't get an itemized receipt.* If this is the case with your rewards card, then yes, you would get the cashback reward on the gift cards, because all the ...


11

If you are purchasing something you would have purchased anyway, and if the rewards purchase yields a higher purchase power than would cash, it makes sense to shop using those rewards. If not, it makes sense to simply put the cash back towards the balance. That's what I do pretty much every time. Some folks "reward" themselves by using the points for ...


11

Either get it as cash or as a balance credit. Unless there's a specific reason to do something else, these would be the most beneficial options. Using the reward balance towards purchases reduces the rewards you'd be getting for these purchases. Since the reward used towards the purchase is not your "money spent", you don't get the reward on that amount. If ...


11

In a similar situation I wrote about How I Made $4,000+ on a Cash Back Credit Card Offer. The total was actually $4550, and was from an insane offer from a new credit card my bank advertised. 10% cash back on all spending during the first 90 days. I wondered if gift card purchases counted, and more than store cards, I saw that Visa gift cards with a $500 ...


11

Three things prevent you from doing this: Credit cards generally don't accept other credit cards as payment. You could do this with a cash advance or balance transfer, but Cash advances and balance transfers usually have fees associated with them, negating any reward you might earn. Your card might have a no-fee balance transfer promotion going, but Cash ...


10

Credit card companies organize types of businesses into different categories. (They charge different types of businesses different fees.) When a business first sets up their credit card processing merchant account, they need to specify the category. Here is a list of categories that Visa uses. Grocery stores and supermarkets are category number 5411. Other ...


9

These two categories ensure you will carry the card in your wallet (since they only work for physical locations), but don't tend to have excessive spending (most people maxing out at $200 or so per month, so $2 for the bonus). You then use the same card for other purchases, because you have it on you, where you only get the 1%. It worked for me, I started ...


9

There absolutely is a specific model that makes this so popular with so many credit card companies, and that model is "per transaction fees". Card companies also receive cost-sharing incentives from certain merchants. There is also a psychological reasoning as an additional incentive. Think Of The Merchants When you want to accept credit cards as a source ...


8

Every reward program has to have a funding source. If the card gives you x percent back on all purchases. That means that their business is structured to entice you to pump more transactions through the system. Either their other costs are lower, or the increased business allows them to make more money off of late fees, and interest. If the card has you ...


8

Of course, as a 'good' person (or maybe a 'stupid' person), I should call them, (wait 30 minutes in the queue), and then try to explain the issue to the service desk. I actually did that, and the guy thought I am nuts to even call, and told me to 'just use them they are yours now'. I don't feel like calling again and again until I get someone that believes ...


7

Or is it just a marketing strategy to attract more customers? Attracting new customers is not the main goal. Keeping frequent customers and getting them to be more frequent (spend more) is the goal. Most of the money is made from frequent customers. When I am an infrequent customer, I am sometimes annoyed, I feel like I am being cheated, why not just ...


6

How would you respond to these cases: Limited card options - If someone has a bad credit record the cards available may only be those with an annual fee. Not everyone will have your credit record and thus access to the cards you have. Some annual fees may be waived in some cases - Thus, someone may have a card with a fee that could be waived if enough ...


6

Not everyone pays their balance in full every month. They may not make interest off of you or me but they do make interest off of a lot of cardholders. In many cases, the interest is variable and the larger your (running) balance, the higher your rate. If you're close to your limit and making minimum payments, you can literally take decades to pay off $2,000 ...


6

An ideal option for you would be to use as many or as few as you choose, but have all of them available to you. The service desk guy told you you can do exactly that. Problem, though: you have no proof that a representative of the company told you that. Get proof. Recording, written statement, whatever. If writing a letter, make it clear you expect a ...


6

Per IRS Private Letter Ruling 141607-09 : "The portion of the credit card purchases that Taxpayers can either receive back in cash or request Company to pay to a charity does not constitute gross income under § 61" Your cash back should be considered a discount which would go into a contra-expense account when received by you.


5

Just to make this a little less vauge, I will base everything on the Mercedes Benz American Express (MB AMEX) card, which is the closest to a $100 annual fee I found on American Express's website. The benefits of a card with an annual fee generally are worth the cost if (and only if) you spend enough money on the card, and avoid paying interest to offset ...


5

Cancelled cards don't fall off the system for a long time, up to ten years. Card terms change, with notice of course, but it can happen at any time. I had a card with a crazy perk, 5% back in Apple Gift cards. This was pre-iPod days, but it was great to get a new computer every two years for free. But it was short lived. Three years into it, the cards were ...


5

Looks like a user-contributed list is the only good solution to this question, so I'll start one by making this answer community wiki, meaning anyone can edit it. We only aim to add major chain, not every mom&pop store (which probably don't qualify). How to contribute Log into your American Express account At the bottom of your activity, switch from ...


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible