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Friday, June 6, 2008

Rewards Programs

I've been sort of half-heartedly using MyPoints.com to try to rack up some points for gift certificates. I've never shopped through the sites, but I read the e-mails, and they do have offers for some pretty great free sites (unfortunately, mostly sites I already belong to like SparkPeople and Kaboodle). I realized that I was getting close to a reward level and decided to look at what sorts of rewards I could get.

Admittedly, the list is limited, but there's a decent enough variety that I found a few different gift certificates I would like. But now, my question is this: Do I spend the points for something practical, like a CVS gift certificate, or do I spend them for fun on something like an iTunes gift certificate?

I tried to think about what I do with other rewards programs. The two I use the most are on my Amazon.com Chase Visa and my Discover Card. With the Discover Card, rather than cashback, I tend to bump up to a gift certificate, as you get more - $20 cashback gets you a $25 gift certificate for some merchants, for example. I've used those for both a shoe store (which I spent on shoes for work) and for Lands End (which I spent on new sheets). Sort of practical, I suppose.

I treat the Amazon rewards differently. These are used for either fun items or for gifts for family and friends for birthdays and holidays. I have bought grocery items from Amazon, but never used the Amazon rewards gift certificates for the purchase.

I'm not sure what I'll do with my rewards at MyPoints. Maybe I'll wait and see how my budget looks before I make a decision.

How do you treat these types of rewards? Are they fun extras or are they just more funds to be used in your normal budget?


Pam said...

I use mine for CVS gift cards specifically for the purpose of combining them with Extra Bucks purchases. It helps me avoid paying out of pocket if I have a balance of $1 or so (or less) after coupons and Extra Bucks.

Momma said...

I plan to continue to accrue points at My Points until October, and then cash them all in for gift cards to do Christmas shopping with.

Anonymous said...

I use mine to send to my parents. They are still fighting me about paying them back for school (they say I paid up and I don't agree) so I order gas cards or CVS cards or something that they can use and send it on (it's like working to pay them back without them realizing it).

Mrs. Accountability said...

Before we had the credit card debt, I viewed my Amazon gift certificates as fun money to buy a book I'd been wanting for a while. After we went into debt, it wasn't so sweet since I was paying more in interest! I'm also a half-hearted MyPoints reward gatherer... I have all the emails funnel into a folder, but forget about them week after week. By the time I remember to do the click-throughs many of them have expired. Thanks for the reminder, I'll go do that this morning.

Catherine said...

I use my Mypoints rewards as fun extras. I have a few other programs that I use that pay cash and I use that towards my vacation funds.

Kelly said...

I use my points as giveaways for my blogs. So far I have three different gift cards saved up that I will be using for blog promotions in a few weeks.