I have very little experience using rewards tickets. I can muddle through the process, but I can't even guarantee myself a 1% return on my dollars spent on the card when I exchange miles for a ticket. It's getting harder and harder to find an available reward ticket given the industry's problems so I don't need the extra challenge (even with the Travel Gnome helping me)
I want to be guaranteed a better than 1% return...which is where my Citi card comes in. We don't do much pharmacy spending, but with the 5% back on both gas and groceries we accrue about $15-20 each month and then of course 1% on everything else we spend which usually adds another $10 give or take because we put almost *everything* on this card.
The plan is to cash out the rewards every $50+ and stuff it somewhere earning 4% (or in my Roth). Since I've only had the card since August, I've only been able to do this once so far, but I think I'll be able to cash out again in late December.
Then I can do anything I want with the money....buy cheap airline tickets or even shares of PAXWX!
It's just what works for me and turns my crank. To each his or her own. But for me, the key points still remain:
- Greater than 1% return
- Gas costs 5% less
- Groceries cost 5% less
The card (like many other "cash rewards" cards) is running a promotion through the end of the year for 5% cash back on "department store" purchases. I'm not sure if I do much holiday shopping in department stores, their definition is as follows (according to the promotional terms):
Department Stores are defined as large stand-alone merchants selling a general line of merchandise from departments that usually have separate checkout countersAnd the merchant has to ID as a department store. I wonder if Target counts? Or. Gasp.
Probably not IKEA. Whew. THAT was close.