It’s a bit like winning an Olympic medal

Redeeming points looks easy, but months and months of work went into it. A bit like watching an Olympian do that 25m dive seamlessly. As we said in previous articles, earning points is the easy part. Now, earning ENOUGH points to actually get a good reward is a bit of a different story. Redeeming points for a good prize is a discipline: one needs to be aware of the special offers available, the points’ value, and their expiration date. These points (which often turn to miles) can be collected either by traveling or by spending on branded airline credit cards, but they can be redeemed on a multitude of things. Let your imagination run wild.

How can one redeem points?

Well, well. It is important to consolidate points and miles before redeeming them. This means one has to collect all their points together from different compatible loyalty programs before redeeming a prize. Think about a potluck. It’s a similar concept: different foods are collected to have one awesome, large meal. Each reward program works a bit differently when it comes to redeeming points, but it’s always a best bet to see which points can be combined. When doing this it is important to remember that it takes some time for some points to transfer.

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Time to cash out! Or is it…

One needs to make sure to stay in the loop regarding the special offers available from reward programs. These can be freebies, but also expensive perks which are equally satisfying. There are always promotions that help bring points further, so one can save even more (keeping expiration dates in mind).

The bank of points

When talking about points, credit cards are a big topic as they give you points based on the money spent with the card (think one point per dollar spent). Once one has collected enough points, they can be redeemed in various ways, such as with merchandise offered by the rewards program, cash, gift cards, or travel. There isn’t a right answer to which is the best way to spend the points. It is common to spend the points on traveling or on gift cards, as they often offer additional discounts on top of the reward.

Why will your future self thank you?

Everyone likes presents, and you can see rewards as a gift you have given to yourself (we say - pamper yourself). The goal is to make sure that you get your prizes with the smallest investment possible. And, since we are on the topic of investments, it’s important to mention that reward programs today are (finally) moving away from only offering instant gratification rewards. Yes - going on vacation is very very nice. Yet, realistically speaking, many of us would like to save our points for later. That is why it’s worth exploring Bits of Stock™ which aims at turning points into an investment

Extra bits:

  • One of the strangest activities on offer to redeem with rewards is a 3-day bullfighting and rodeo clown school (offered by Wells Fargo)
  • Merchandise in return for points is almost never a good idea. It is likely that those products are actually more expensive with points than not (an easy way to check is through price comparison, just divide the points by the dollar value).
  • Small pointer: points can take you far, but Bits of Stock™ can take your rewards into the future