Know your credit card rewards!

Before I started traveling for work, the Home Warrior and I had a Citi credit card with “Thank You” points. We didn’t really know citicardwhat that meant or what to do with them, so they just sat there. After a few years, the Home Warrior actually went to the Citi Thank You site and realized he had tens of thousands of reward points, but that they were basically worthless. Over the past several years, we’ve used a few here and there, but for the most part they just sit there.

Apparently, we are not alone in not redeeming credit card rewards. CardHub released a report today  saying that while $48 billion in loyalty rewards are dispensed each year, a whopping one-third of rewards are not redeemed every year. That’s about $16 billion every year! Crazy. CardHub examined the fine print of rewards credit card offers from the 10 largest issuers and rated them on several things, including how friendly they are to consumers. Here are some of the key findings.

  • While other rewards may be more lucrative at times, if you are in doubt about which type of card to get a cash back card is your best bet.
  • Capital One cards have the fewest reward limitations, with all of them receiving an overall Rewards Friendliness Score of 96.43%. Capital One also received 100% in the Rewards Earning and Rewards Redemption categories.
  • The Discover It Card has the most rewards limitations, earning the lowest overall score in the study (35.71%). Discover also received the lowest score in Rewards Earning (16.67%).
  • Rewards expiring after a missed payment and requirements that consumers meet a minimum threshold before rewards could be redeemed were the most common limitations found amongst all reward cards, accounting for 90% and 79% respectively.

They also have some tips for avoiding reward limitations. The report is long and pretty detailed, but has some fantastic information. It’s making me want to spend some time re-thinking my entire credit card strategy!

Readers, have you ever left rewards unused? What’s your current strategy?

Have a travel question or suggestion? Send it to RoadWarriorette @

Follow Road Warriorette on TwitterFacebook, and Pinterest!

This post may include affiliate links. Thanks for your support!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.