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Monday, April 11, 2011

Gift Cards with Credit Card Points: Worth It? Too Much Trouble?

I just discovered that Chase Freedom Card occasionally lets you swap points earned for discounted gift cards. Some come with a 10% discount, others with 20%.

As it happens, I have a bunch of points which I planned to swap for good old cash. I feel rather pressured by gift cards. 20% is a lot, though, especially if (and only if) you were going to buy an item anyway. Here is the info.

I have almost enough points to get something I want from Pier1: a rattan stand in which I want to put fruit and veggies. Lands End also has a 20% discount and I JUST spent about $40.00 there for some luggage. You can also use Lands End gift cards at Sears, if you want to get a washer there.

I don't know how often Chase offers things like that. I mostly use a Cash Back AmEx. But I spend a few hundred dollars a year at Lands End, so waiting for those discounted gift cards may be the better deal.

Or is it too much trouble to even think about? What would you do?

6 comments:

Pearl said...

I cleaned up on gift cards this past Christmas, as gifts for everyone (see http://pearlinparis-pearl.blogspot.com/2011/01/new-frugality-smart-decision.html). But I also received cards that I have been using slowly. I first fell in love wiht gift cards when I bought my sofa at Ikea and received a $200 gift card back--was that ever sweet! And useful! Like coupons, gift cards are useless if the recipent won't shop there. But thoughtful if they will and do use a particular site or store.

Frugal Scholar said...

@Pearl-Thanks for the link. I DO visit your blog--thanks for reminding me. I guess I was late to the party on the gift cards.

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Duchesse said...

I think it's worth it IF you have a specific item you want, like a washer from Sears or your rattan piece. (Can you use A GC for a sale item?)

Otherwise you'll just fritter away the GC on 'something' and usually people spend more than the GC value, which is what they hope you'll do.

Suzy said...

I use Discover and have always done the cashback instead of giftcards but if I knew I would buy something at a particular store I'd do the card. My other card I use next is a B&N mastercard that earns B&N giftcards - not sure how much I have to spend but buying carpet last summer helped me out! Both of these are easy though and dont' require much thinking other than to check the balances. I'm sure glad I used the Borders card I got with mypoints though! the one near me is going out of business.

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