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Credit Cards Cutting Reward Programs

Here’s another way credit cards are abusing customers — reducing the value of their reward programs.

The ability to earn points or miles towards everything from cash rebates to airline tickets is often touted in credit card ads.

With credit cards on a rate-raising, fee-charging rampage it's no surprise that they're devaluing their reward programs, too.But the terms of how those points can be earned and redeemed can change at any time. With credit cards on a rate-raising, fee-charging rampage it’s no surprise that they’re devaluing their reward programs, too.

Just look at some of the changes Citi and its partners are making.

The Citi Hilton HHonors Visa, for example, allows holders to earn points toward free hotel rooms. But starting next year you’ll need at least 12,500 points, up from 10,000 points, to get one.

The Citi mtvU Visa card allows students to earn points that can be converted into payments toward student loans. But instead of earning $100 for every 10,000 points, you’ll now need 12,700

The Citi Home Depot Rewards MasterCard is being dropped altogether. The cards won’t be honored after Saturday, Oct. 31, and reward points not redeemed by Jan. 31, 2010 will be wiped out.

That’s the ultimate devaluation for those contractors and do-it-yourself types who were lured into this reward card, eh?

Let us know if you’re seeing any of favorite reward programs making it harder for you to earn and redeem points and miles.

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Comments (2)
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2 Existing Comments
  1. mark said:
    on October 28th at 12:00 am

    Chase Freedom Visa is doing the same song & dance by eliminating the $250 bonus on $200 in earned rewards (extra $50) which was the absolute best return ever.
    Then, as of Oct. 2009 they scrapped the dollar rewards for a complicated and misleading point system (get out your slide rule & calculator…) that actually works out to just 1% cash back, after all is said and done.
    Unfortunately, they have gone from the best to the worst in the 4-5 years they’ve been marketing that card.
    Confusion is what they are hoping for, and I refuse to participate.
    Going to Amex/Fidelity Rewards where the return is a flat 2% on everything with no limits or restrictions.
    It is simple, straight forward and clear.

    Do not encourage dishonesty.
    Vote with your spending choices.
    Avoid Chase Freedom Visa’s game of mis-direction.

  2. Peggy Miller said:
    on November 2nd at 12:41 pm

    I’ve had the same with Chase. Fortunately I read the mail they sent to me in September notifying me that as of October 31, I would not get the $50 bonus for $200 in rewards. I put a lot of my daily purchases: drug store, groceries, etc on the card for my October billing. I was able to get my rewards up to $200 before the end of the month, then called them to cash it in and received the $50 bonus. They are also only paying the 3% rewards quarterly on revolving categories, instead of the top monthly purchases. Of course, they haven’t told me what the categories they are for this quarter……