Consumer Payment Card News

Reward Options

As the popularity of earning free air travel from credit cards wanes, major credit card issuers are launching new options for rewards cards. This week, American Express introduced the “Your Reward” program and Capital One added more redemption options to its “MilesOne Rewards” card. The new AmEx “Your Reward” program is a new feature to the “Membership Rewards” program that, for the first time, allows enrollees to create their own unique redemption packages. Under the “Your Reward” program, cardholders call a toll-free redemption line and are connected with a concierge specialist who will make suggestions, provide advice, research options, and make all arrangements for the reward that fits the cardholder’s point balance. Some of the ready-made “Your Reward” redemption packages include season tickets for two to big league baseball for 950,000 points; three-day polo instruction from a world renowned player, at a beautiful polo club in Palm Springs, California for 180,000 points; and a personal chef, who will teach expert food preparation techniques and make a meal of a lifetime for up to nine people for 95,000 points. Meanwhile, Capital One has revamped its “MilesOne Rewards” card. In addition to earning miles for airline travel, consumers now have a choice of redeeming miles for one percent cash-back, electronics and merchandise, gift certificates at select merchants or donations to a charitable organization. Under the “MilesOne” program, miles are redeemable on any U.S.-based airline, with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. The new cash-back feature enables cardholders to earn one-percent cash back for miles. Miles can also be redeemed miles for gift certificates from retailers such as Banana Republic, Bloomingdales and J. Crew. Miles can be donated to charities such as the Habitat for Humanity; Christian Children’s Fund; United States fund for UNICEF; or St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

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