January 16, 2011
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Boring night tonight, so I was browsing around virtual-window shopping. A thought came back to me from some junk mail I had gotten from Capital One and their rewards program. It was nice shiny book so I paged through it before discarding it. I recalled that there was some way of getting bonus miles from online stores if you link to the site from Capital One. Why not do my window shopping that way?
So I did and was relatively unimpressed. Then again, I wasn’t planning on buying anything anyway. So while still in the website, I figured I’d check my earned rewards. It’s not really something I pay attention to, I just use my credit card for everything and pay it off each month. I can’t recall the last time I collected my rewards, but I remember it was for $200 in Darden gift cards (all hail Longhorn). Come to think of it, I used those cards to treat my co-workers to lunch and called it a Christmas present, so it must have been about a year and a half ago.
I ended up a little surprised to see that this time I could get $400 in gift cards with my rewards. Just as a mental exercise, I went to see how much statement credit I could get. That would be $310. Hmmm. Now I ‘m wondering about travel… I can get a travel package between $350 and $600. But there’s no cruises. And there’s no deals. $300/night for a hotel?
It looks like my best option is the gift cards. The important thing here is that it’s money I’m going to spend at Longhorn anyway (current spend rate is $100/mo), so why not use the gift cards and get an extra $90 instead of getting the statement credit. If I were to redeem any travel – which would be a cruise – it would be the equivalent of a statement credit, since their site can’t book cruises.
I think I’ve talked myself into taking action on this tonight.