Credit card companies offer varying benefits and promotions to entice their customers to use their credit cards not only in their everyday purchases but also for major buying decisions. One of the promotions that credit card companies have is the rewarding of points to their users for every purchase that they make.
Credit card holders are often enjoy reward points raining on them. Frequent festive seasons always induce the card holders to enjoy shopping with reward points. Today’s customers are debt-shy and they spend like anything. They enjoy earning reward points while spending. Credit cards are heavily loaded with reward points give the opportunity to enjoy holidays at exotic locales, shop for jewellery, fashion accessories, apparel, electronic equipment, cosmetics, etc. Banks have a penchant for giving a reward with their left hand, and simultaneously charging for it with their right hand. Card holders must be aware of a host of complicated rules and regulations before letting themselves be swayed away by these so-called lucrative offers. To begin with, banks do not conform to a uniform set of reward point schedules. For instance, while in case of American Express Bank, card members receive one point for every Rs 40 charged on their credit card, ABN Amro Bank credits one point to the customer for every Rs 50 spent. Standard Chartered credits one point for every Rs 125, whereas Citibank rewards you one point for every Rs 100 spent. Private sector ICICI Bank awards you one reward point for every Rs 200 charged on their card. Also, ICICI Bank links the reward points to the slabs of amounts spent, i.e. upto Rs 75,000 or above Rs 4,00,000. The main hitch here is that redemption of reward points is only after accumulation of minimum required points of 500.
This apart, banks also follow a pattern wherein they credit varying amounts on every point earned, depending upon the card categories. Citibank rewards cardholders Re 1 for every point earned on the Citibank Platinum Card, while the Diners’ Club International and Citibank Gold cardholders receive only Rs 0.65 for every point gathered. The Citibank Silver cardholders on the other hand get Re 0.50 for every point they manage to accumulate. The difference in redemption structures also creep in, based on the outlets offering you redemption facilities.
Whereas to avail of vouchers, redeemable at Zodiac, Wrangler, Arrow or Titan, you should have accumulated a minimum of 500 points. Being a cardholder, it is mandatory to find out the cash transactions that curtail your eligibility to these programmes. Most banks restrict their customers from treating cash withdrawals, interest charges, card fees, demand drafts, service charge transactions, disputed transactions, purchase of foreign exchange, EMI transactions, travelers cheques and other insurance charges as opportunities to accumulate reward points. The rewards points can also be redeemed online by logging in to the concerned bank’s Web site and visit the “Reward Points” section on the credit card page. To web-enable the credit card, fill up the account linking form available on the site. Select the rewards catalogue for the card and accordingly, choose the products or vouchers for which an online order has to be placed. The product or the voucher is then delivered at doorstep.
Card-issuing banks offer cardholders the facility to seek an annual fee waiver, by adjusting the amount against the reward points. One also should check on the available timeframe within which cardholders need to redeem their points. Cardholders cannot exercise redemption rights on expired or delinquent cards. A frequent traveler credit card rewards system for example, a card user who purchases groceries, gas or technically his daily purchases, may have an equal travel reward points awarded to him for every dollar he spends on his regular purchases. On the other hand, should he ever buy plane tickets from an airline company co-sponsoring the credit card he’s using, the reward points that he may earn may be higher as this is also one way to help promote the airline company’s latest promotions or travel packages.