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December 12, 2011


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Regarding the Chase Freedom card, I'm baffled by anyone who would redeem points for a gift card when they can redeem for the same value in cash. Why in the heck would I want $50 at ABC Widget Co. when I can receive $50 in cash money? Now if I can get a $50 gift card for the equivalent of $40 or $45, then I'm all over that (provided that it's a store where I normally shop).

Jeff's right, gift cards are not as valuable as cash because they are restricted as to where they can be used. Granted, if you spend money all the time at a given location, the gift card to that location is just about the same as cash.

Jeff --

Me too. I always go for the cash, but would go for a gift card if I got more back that way.

BTW, you know the Chase Freedom card gives cash, correct?

Yep, I also go for cash first unless there's a "sale" on a good gift card.

If you watch the rewards, there are frequent "sales" on giftcards. For example, 2000 points for $25 cards. And if you want to give a giftcard, that's a way to give a larger one.

I also sometimes convert points to travel awards. Twice I have had to rent a car in prime season, and points were MUCH cheaper than the best price I coild get with real money.

One interesting note - I have both Chase Sapphire and Freedom cards. Often the discounted giftcards are on one but not the other. But I can transfer points freely from one to the other so I transfer to the one I get the deal on.

I used my Chase Freedom rewards points on Cyber Monday and got an iPad 2 32Gb Wi-Fi only for about 46000 points. It was normally 61000 points so when you equate that to dollars, $610 marked down to about $460. At Best Buy (which is where I picked it up), they cost $600. So I let my points accumulate until a really good deal comes along. I would have gotten more if I had more points!

Love my cash rewards Amex Blue Cash! I have a backup Visa though that accumulates points.

I wish my Discover card let me redeem cash back in increments smaller than $50. Other than that, I'm pretty happy with it.

I love my Citi Dividends cash reward card. Cash and gift cards are two different things. I redeem my cash and put it aside for a major purchase, say a TV. When I get a good deal that I want, I can just buy it with the cash I have. If I have a gift card, I'm limited to buying it on that particular site and if I see a deal that I want on another site for which I can't get a gift card, it's not possible for me to use the rewards the way I want. So there is a difference and I would give the advantage to cash.

But, that's for how we use it.

I love my cc rewards. I always take cash. I have an older Chase Freedom card and a Citi Dividend Card. I usually wait until I have $1-200 and then cash them in.

I do appreciate the article on Get Rich Slowly that told about "found" money to save for specific items. I plan to start doing this. I will have a start in the next week, as I qualified for the $20 check from Mastercard online buying. Over 1/2 the $200 you needed to spend was on something I had planned on buying right away. The rest of the buying was at Amazon. I bought several DVD's new from Amazon, as they had an amazing sale on. Their new DVD's were as good as or better than used. And buying from Amazon, no S/H on those. This was my Christmas present to myself.

In the 7-8 years I've had these cards, I've gotten pretty close to $4k in rewards. I'll definitely keep them in my pocket. Oh, and I do pay them off each month. In that 7-8 years I have not paid them a cent. Marvelous!!!

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