Credit card reward redemption works a little differently for every issuer. But generally, you can redeem your rewards online or by calling your issuer’s customer service. Depending on your card, you may be able to redeem for travel, statement credits, paper checks, gift cards, merchandise and more. And you may get more value when redeeming for some things than others. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card, for example, gives you 50% more value for your points when you redeem for travel.
Some credit card companies also have special rules and restrictions for reward redemption. For example, you might be required to earn a certain amount of rewards before you can redeem. Or you might have to redeem rewards in certain increments. In rare cases, like with the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, you might even receive your earnings just once per year.
Given how much reward redemption procedures can vary from credit card to credit card, it’s good to read a card’s terms and conditions carefully before applying.
Here are the basics of credit card reward redemption:
- Credit card users can usually redeem rewards for travel, cash back (check or statement credit), gift cards, merchandise and more.
- Most credit card companies let customers redeem rewards online or over the phone.
- Each credit card company has its own reward redemption rules. Rules may dictate when you can redeem rewards, for example.
- Your credit card’s terms and conditions will include information about reward redemption. Be sure to read them in detail.
- Some scammers attempt to pose as a credit card “reward redemption center” to get your credit card details. Don’t give personal information to unsolicited callers.
There is a common phone scam where someone claims to be from the “Reward Redemption Center.” If you get this call, hang up right away and block the number. Don’t give them any personal information. The caller is trying to commit fraud, not to give you any real reward. Here’s how the scam works: they say you have won a free gift card, but you need to pay for shipping to get it. They do this to get your credit card number, then use it for fraudulent purposes.
So, the bottom line is don’t trust anyone who calls saying they’re from the “Reward Redemption Center.” Your credit card issuer will never call you like this. And if you’ve earned rewards on your card, you can take care of reward redemption on your own. The only true way to redeem rewards you’ve earned is directly through your credit card company.