Save On Medical Expenses With Healthcare Credit Cards

Citibank and Bank of America both offer special credit card programs based on health and medical expenses. If you’re disciplined about not carrying revolving debt, and you have recurring medical expenses, they can help reduce your total cost over a year. Bank of America’s cards are point-based programs—if you’ve got Aetna insurance, you can accumulate points that you can turn into “cash direct deposits to a health savings account, or other standard rewards.” Caremark members can redeem points for awards only, although BoA’s standard awards catalogue “includes health and wellness products like fitness equipment and blood pressure monitors.”

Citibank’s card is open to anyone, and offers prescription discounts through PrescriptionDiscountBenefit.com. “For a fee of $8.95 a month, you can add on a vision and dental discount program, with discounts of up to 60% on services and eyewear.”

For all three cards, the interest rates are in the 10-11% variable range.

“Credit Cards Offer Discounts on Medical Expenses” [SmartMoney]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. NotATool says:

    This whole thing sounds like a ripoff. A fee to get a discount?

    If you’re eligible, you should just get an HSA with a debit card. Earn interest on your tax-free money, get a debit card for the account, and spend it on any IRS-approved healthcare service or item.

  2. Imaginary_Friend says:

    Yeah, this isn’t a disaster waiting to happen. I’m sure they’ll have the inevitable “Whoopsie Daisies!” with customer/patient information disclosures and break all manner of HIPPA laws.

    [en.wikipedia.org]

  3. DJShay says:

    Sorry, this is awful. Healthcare should be a right not a privilege. And what if you can’t pay your total bill each month, (most of us don’t). You’re paying interest on that doctor’s visit.

  4. bohemian says:

    Why? Most people can get an FSA card through work to use pretax dollars and no chance of racking up some crazy interest fees. I have to wonder if these cards have some sort of universal default on them too.

    Most of these programs where you pay to get a discount only give you a discount off of venues where the product or service is grossly over priced anyway. On vision you could probably get a better over all deal by waiting for a sale at Pearle or Vision World. Not to mention many employer sponsored health plans already have the same kind of discount program off of related services as part of your core health plan. It is usually some sort of discount off of supplements, fitness memberships, vision and sometimes dental discounts. Ironically every one of these discount programs we have gotten either thrown in or for a fee with something else, they never seem to be on any place or service we can use.

    None of this junk addresses the real underlying issue. People are having a hard time accessing and affording basic health care even when they have insurance.

  5. rhombopteryx says:

    @Imaginary_Friend:

    Or even better – HIPPA violations leading to things like “universal default” rate increases or transaction denials…

    CC Customer Service:
    “Yes JoeBob, we denied your transaction to buy tickets to the Bahamas, $2000 in liquor and party supplies, and we had our sister bank deny your new home equity loan.”
    “No, it’s not related to the uptick in spending to the oncologist on your healthplusMax credit card. We have no way of knowing you have a rare type 4 lymphoblastomyeloma with a 5 week life expectancy, honest!”

  6. galatae says:

    Just got a card offer in the mail for a Pet credit card, to help with vet bills. Anybody who thinks CSM software is a crock apparently doesn’t have big brother offering to offset the last 50 visits to the vet with a pet rewards card.

    It’s a little bit north of creepy.

  7. hills says:

    I made my own medical visa card – just a regular visa rewards card with “medical” written on the front with a sharpie – That way I remind myself to use it only for medical stuff, and it makes my tax deductions much easier.

  8. Parting says:

    Cool photo :)

  9. cheesebubble says:

    Nothing can save you from the horrors of the American health care system. Move to Canada!

  10. Imaginary_Friend says:

    @rhombopteryx: Exactly!

    CC Customer Service: “…and, incidentally, during our periodic review of your account, we felt that your spending habits indicate you’d be better served by utilizing the offerings of our competitor, so we’ve taken the liberty of canceling your account. Have a nice life! Er, I mean, day!”