From cash back bonuses to airline miles and Amazon.com points to free gift cards, there seems to be a rewards credit card
for everyone, and oftentimes these rewards cards come with a premium fee. But is that premium fee really worth it? For many consumers, the answer is no. A recent survey from ThePointsGuy.com
reveals that nearly three in four consumers, 73 percent, don’t know the balance on their rewards cards.
The younger generation is even more oblivious to their possible rewards. When looking at survey participants between the ages of 18 and 29, a full 80 percent didn’t know how many points they had. If you don’t actively track how many points you have then you’re essentially wasting money — both in the premium fees you pay for the rewards card and also in the lost benefits.
"Failing to keep track of your rewards miles and points is like throwing money away," said Brian Kelly, founder of ThePointsGuy.com. "There are good rewards programs for every type of consumer. Whether you're redeeming miles and points for first-class plane tickets, gift cards, cash back or something else, the cardinal rule is that you have to keep track of how many you have. Websites and apps are making it easier than ever to manage rewards, yet almost three out of four Americans aren't taking good care of their miles and points. That's alarming." Source: Bankrate.com
The survey also revealed some other money-wasting trends:
- 27 percent have let some or all of their frequent flier miles expire
- Only 67 percent collect their rewards
- 59 percent of consumers don’t even know how their rewards program works
I have a few cards with rewards and I religiously check my balances, but I’m a bit overzealous about all things personal finance. I typically turn my points into a gift card, for example an American Express gift card, and then I use that card at the grocery store instead of splurging on something fun.
Do you have a rewards card? If so, do you know your points balance and do you cash in your points regularly?