Use factors and miles to provide items with zero out-of-pocket price


Each vacation season, some shoppers discover that they haven’t any more money for items. If you are on this state of affairs, you may put your vacation purchases on a 0% curiosity bank card if you realize you’ll be able to pay the fees off through the introductory interval.

However, in case you have factors or miles tucked away in your loyalty accounts, a greater choice than taking up debt could also be to redeem your rewards for items. After all, these rewards can function a lifeline and make it easier to put a bit of magic beneath the tree throughout troublesome instances.

Here at TPG, we have obtained quite a few questions on utilizing factors and miles for items over the previous couple of years. Many of those readers aren’t eager about giving the present of journey. Instead, they need to give extra conventional items like toys and present playing cards.

For instance, TPG’s Summer Hull acquired this message from one among her followers on Instagram:

Do any rewards packages permit you to use factors for plain Visa present playing cards… [?] I misplaced my job and am searching for a approach to make the most of rewards for Christmas giving to youngsters.

We usually do not suggest redeeming factors and miles for non-travel redemptions since you will normally get the next worth if you redeem for journey. However, that math means nothing if cashing in some factors for non-travel items can put smiles in your family members’ faces on the finish of a attempting 12 months.

If you want to redeem factors for some presents this 12 months, listed here are a few of the finest methods to perform that aim.

Related: 23 wanderlust-y items for vacationers, utilized by professional vacationers

Redeem factors for present playing cards


There are two main methods to make use of present playing cards bought with factors and miles as vacation items.

One choice is to redeem your factors or miles for present playing cards to retailers like Target or Best Buy. Then, you should use these present playing cards to buy items at these shops.

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The different choice is to provide the present card because the present itself. However, some packages solely mail bodily present playing cards to your private home handle. That means you’d have to go the present card to your supposed recipient as soon as it arrives at your handle. Other packages solely supply digital present playing cards.

As you will see under, some packages present a greater return in your factors than others. If you need to redeem your factors or miles for present playing cards, listed here are some choices to think about:

  • Citi ThankYou Rewards: Redeem at a price of 1 cent per level.
  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Redeem at a price of 1 cent per level.
  • Capital One miles: Redeem at a price of 0.8 cents per mile.
  • American Express Membership Rewards: Redeem at a price of 0.7 to 1 cent per level for merchant-specific present playing cards and 0.5 cents per level for American Express present playing cards.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards (just for Rapid Rewards cardholders): Redeem at a price of 0.33 to 0.67 cents per level.
  • Marriott Bonvoy: Redeem at a price of 0.4 cents per level for Marriott present playing cards and 0.2 to 0.33 cents per level for different present playing cards.
  • Wyndham Rewards: Redeem at a price of 0.33 to 1.14 cents per level.
  • Choice Privileges: Redeem at a price of 0.31 cents per level.
  • United MileagePlus: Redeem at a price of 0.3 cents per mile.

Programs might often supply gross sales that allow you to redeem fewer rewards for choose present playing cards. But, out of all of the choices mentioned above, solely American Express Membership Rewards and Choice Privileges permit you to redeem factors for present playing cards that are not merchant-specific.

The reader who wrote to Summer would possibly think about redeeming Amex Membership Rewards factors for Amex present playing cards at a price of 0.5 cents per level. However, as you will see in a subsequent part, redeeming for a press release credit score at a price of 0.6 cents per level could be a greater choice if flexibility is required. Otherwise, the reader might stand up to 1 cent per level by redeeming for choose retailer-specific present playing cards.

Related: The do’s and don’ts on how one can maximize your vacation purchases

Shop with factors and miles

Some packages additionally permit you to redeem factors and miles for merchandise. Here are some choices to buy vacation items utilizing factors and miles:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: Shop for Apple merchandise by the Apple Ultimate Rewards Store at a price of 1 cent per level, or pay with factors at Amazon or PayPal at a price of 0.8 cents per level.
  • American Express Membership Rewards: Pay with factors at checkout when purchasing with varied retailers (together with Amazon, Best Buy, Dell, Grubhub, Newegg, PayPal, Rite Aid, Saks Fifth Avenue, Seamless and Staples) at a price of 0.7 cents per level; store with Membership Rewards factors at a price of 0.5 cents per level.
  • Bilt Rewards: Pay with Bilt factors on Amazon at a price of 0.7 cents per level; redeem factors for merchandise or Bilt Collection gadgets.
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards: Use factors for purchases on the 1-800-Flowers household of manufacturers, Amazon, Best Buy, bp/Amaco, CVS, Dollar General, PayPal, Shell, Walgreens and Walmart by deciding on “Yes” when the checkout display screen asks whether or not you’d prefer to redeem factors (there are buy minimums, and a few gadgets are excluded).
  • Capital One miles: Redeem miles for merchandise by the Capital One merchandise or Capital One Apple shops, or use miles for purchases at Amazon and PayPal.
  • Hilton Honors: Use factors for purchases at Amazon.
  • United MileagePlus: Shop for merchandise utilizing your miles at United MileagePlus Awards, or redeem miles for a journal or newspaper subscription.
  • Southwest Rapid Rewards (solely Rapid Rewards cardholders): Shop for merchandise utilizing your factors at Southwest Rapid Rewards More Rewards.
  • Marriott Bonvoy: Shop for merchandise utilizing your factors at Marriott Bonvoy Shop with Points.
  • IHG One Rewards: Shop for merchandise utilizing your factors by the IHG catalog, or use factors to purchase choose video games, software program, motion pictures, eBooks, eMagazines and eNewspapers by IHG digital rewards.
  • Choice Privileges: Use your factors for choose journal subscriptions by MagsforPoints.
  • Wyndham Rewards: Shop for merchandise utilizing your factors within the Wyndham Rewards on-line factors catalog.

Before redeeming for merchandise, test whether or not there shall be delivery prices in your order and think about the delivery timeline. After all, you do not need to use your factors and miles for vacation purchases and never get the present in time.

Related: Save cash! 7 methods to redeem American Express Membership Rewards factors for vacation items

Redeem for money rewards

Finally, you’ll be able to redeem factors and miles in some packages for assertion credit or cash-back rewards. Here are your choices with a few of the hottest packages:

  • Chase Ultimate Rewards: 1 to 1.5 cents per level (relying on which card you maintain and the acquisition class) by Chase’s Pay Yourself Back characteristic for a press release credit score to cowl purchases throughout the final 90 days; you may as well get 1 cent per level for cash-back rewards to your checking or financial savings account
  • Citi ThankYou Rewards: 1 cent per level for cash-back rewards, together with a press release credit score, direct deposit or test by mail
  • Capital One miles: 1 cent per mile for a press release credit score to cowl journey purchases within the final 90 days or 0.5 cents per mile for different assertion credit or a test to your handle
  • American Express Membership Rewards: 0.6 cents per level for assertion credit
  • Bilt Rewards: 0.55 cents per level for assertion credit

If you have got an eligible Chase card and have costs already in your card which might be eligible for Chase’s Pay Yourself Back characteristic, you may reimburse your self for these purchases and use the cash to purchase vacation items.

Related: 3 issues to think about in your vacation purchasing bank card technique

Bottom line

On paper, redeeming factors or miles for vacation items will present much less worth than redeeming for journey. However, if you do not have further spending cash this vacation season, cashing in your factors or miles could also be one of the simplest ways to purchase vacation items. If you go that route, think about which of the above strategies will present the perfect worth for the rewards you have got and the items you need to give.


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