Top Reasons Why Credit Card Rewards are Not Redeemed

by Susanna Hamilton, Contributing Editor on September 6, 2012

Credit Card RewardsRedeem Your Rewards – You Have Earned Them

Why would anyone throw away wonderful (and FREE) gift rewards? The funny thing is that every day millions of credit card consumers don’t take the time to contact their credit card companies to redeem reward points that are rightfully theirs.

And guess what, the credit card companies are gambling on the fact that you won’t bother to redeem your rewards either.

So why don’t people do it? Here are a few reasons:

1)   They Are Not Completely Sure How They Work:

For the most part, reward points go un-redeemed simply because the customer doesn’t know what they are, how they are awarded or how they may be used.

It’s amazing how much stuff you often get in the welcome packet regarding your new credit card. Some of this includes terms, conditions, disclosures, etc. all of which are required by law. However, much of this paperwork often includes several explanations on the reward points.. exactly how they work.. and what the process is for redeeming them.

Each credit card issuer has a slightly different policy as to the requirements for earning and redeeming reward points. You should take the time to familiarize yourself with the reward programs of each of your credit cards.  It’s your right.. those free rewards belong to you and it often takes nothing more than a phone call to redeem them.

When you apply for a credit card, sit down and take the time to read the information that arrives with your new card. This information will normally explain any benefits you may be entitled to.. including the reward points, how they are accumulated, and how you may redeem them.

If there is something you are confused about in regard to the accumulation or redemption of your reward points.. simply call the customer service number listed on your credit card statement.  The customer service representatives are there to help.. and will be happy to assist you and explain any parts of the program that you may not understand.

2)   The Rewards Program Doesn’t Fit Your Style:

Sometimes, consumers actively make the decision to choose one credit card over the other due to the reward program. However, once they receive all the paperwork in the mail they fail to read what may be required of them in order to take full advantage of the rewards.

Don’t assume the rewards on one card work the same as the rewards on another of your cards that you are more familiar with.  You may find out at some point down the road that you have inadvertently cost yourself a lot of reward points.

There are several cards on the market which have rotating rewards.. meaning that each quarter there will be rewards offered in a different category of purchases.

In some instances, these card offers will require that you call at the end of the previous quarter to tell them whether you are interested in “enrolling” for the rewards program in the upcoming quarter.

Personally, I find this practice very annoying.. and for that reason I do not apply for credit cards with the rotating reward programs.  It would seem if I am a card member I should automatically be enrolled for each quarter’s reward program without having to mark my calendar to remind myself to take the time to call and enroll every three months for the following quarter’s rewards.

I am obviously interested in the rewards program.. that is very likely why I applied for the card in the first place.. so just keep me enrolled and don’t make me waste my time calling in every three months to enroll for the next quarter.

I mean really.. what is that all about?  If the issuer has a credit card offering rewards, then it seems easy enough to just credit my rewards balance for the rewards I earned on eligible purchases during that quarter.

3)   Rewards Don’t Equal Value:

It’s like a gambler in Las Vegas who loses $10,000 gambling.. so they give him a free bottle of wine and a free dinner.  When you look at that comparison, it’s quite relevant to this discussion. Is receiving the equivalent of a couple hundred dollars in food and beverage credit a good value for having just lost $10,000.00?

Some consumers don’t think their particular rewards package is a great value either. That is why they don’t redeem their rewards.  If you find yourself in this situation.. the best way to handle this issue is to simply to take what you’ve earned thus far. Then, if you feel the reward program does not provide you with the value you are looking for, find one that does.

It’s sad to consider this, but basically most credit card rewards go un-redeemed simply because the consumer is either confused.. or not willing.. or not sufficiently interested in the rewards being offered to claim what is rightfully theirs.

To maximize your reward points earning potential when you are using your credit cards, make sure to take the time to learn all there is to know about the rewards program. Take the time to learn how to accumulate your reward points, as well as any and all bonus points you may be entitled to.

Then, learn what the steps are to redeem your points.. and enjoy!

 

Article Courtesy of Credit Card Approval Center

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