Now that its retail partner Costco has moved on to different credit cards, AmEx is apparently looking for some new customers who are a little downmarket from their old ones. Like its pal Bluebird, the card is reloadable and can even accept direct deposits from your employer. It offers one extra thing as an incentive to go prepaid: cash-back rewards like a credit card. [More]
I carry a lot of store loyalty cards around. I have a separate wallet for them. I have five different cards just for different pet stores. “Another loyalty card” is not something that America seems to need. Yet last month, American Express introduced a loyalty program called Plenti, which promises to let you accumulate points on purchases at different retailers and other businesses. The problem is that the rewards aren’t as flexible as the card’s ad campaigns imply. [More]
While we hear almost daily reports of retailers having their payment systems hacked and customer records stolen, it looks like cybercriminals are increasingly realizing they can turn a profit by stealing assets many consumers treat as an afterthought — loyalty rewards. [More]
Perkstreet wasn’t a bank. It partnered with online banks and gave users a debit card that provided rewards just as rewarding as those from the best credit card rewards programs, but without the temptation to get into debt. Seems ideal, and also seems too good to be true. It was. Perkstreet executives have explained the problem very bluntly: they’re out of money and can’t pay out everyone’s accrued award balances. [More]
Summer and her fiancee returned from an out of town trip this weekend to find that the Stupid Shipping Gang had paid them a visit while they were away. But instead of a tiny thing packed in a giant box, it’s several tiny things packed into an excessive number of envelopes.
Reader “Ann” works at Borders, and wants Consumerist readers to know that many employees there find the constant flogging of the rewards program problematic. Ann, for one, found a sales script that employees are encouraged to use so troubling that she wrote in to Consumerist about her concerns.
Stumbling book store chain Borders has said that it would delay payments to landlords and vendors for the 2nd month in a row. In a terse press release, the company said the move was meant to “help the company maintain liquidity while it seeks to complete a refinancing or restructuring of its existing credit facilities and other obligations.” In other words, they’re trying cling to cash and stave off bankruptcy. Borders also announced receiving a $550 million loan from GE Capital. Better keep pushing those loyalty cards to customers that could become worthless pieces of plastic if the company goes belly up, Borders clerks, you’re our only hope! Customers, if you got a Borders gift card for Christmas, now might be a good time to cash it in.
Do you use Office Depot’s Worklife Rewards program? Have you been receiving your rewards? Jesse had a problem with his rewards account, and we hope that no other readers have experienced a similar problem. He writes that a customer service rep told him that many customers aren’t receiving any of the rewards in their accounts, and must call in order to have them credited to their accounts.
Last week, we learned that at least one Gamestop employee won’t even sell to you unless you sign up for a rewards card. Why might that be? Reader Dragonfire81 has mysterious inside knowledge, and warns all good Consumerists to stay far, far away from the new rewards program that Gamestop is pushing.
Did you know that GameStop is a membership-only establishment, like a warehouse club? You’re only allowed to shop there if you have their rewards card. I didn’t know that, and neither did Jeff. He tells Consumerist that he foolishly tried to purchase a game, but refused to join the rewards program or give the cashier his phone number. The cashier, in turn, refused to sell anything to him.
Reader Neurocat says he loves the rewards on his Capital One “No Hassles” Visa card. Cashing in points for $100 gift cards to Home Depot, Sears and the like is handy when you’ve just bought your first fixer-upper house. Then he was slightly late on two of his payments and the honeymoon was over.
The annual fee for the Starwood American Express card is going up from $45 to $65. Is it worth the price to pay for the right to use a credit card?
Like the nerdy girl in the movies who loses her glasses and gets a new haircut and all of a sudden she’s popular, consumers who pay off their credit card bills in full every month may soon find themselves the center of some unexpected courting.
The Starbucks Duetto Visa card seems like a relic of another time. A time when everyone thought that both coffee-infused sugar bombs and huge amounts of credit card debt were a good idea. Well, Starbucks is still with us, but the Duetto Visa card’s run is over. You can no longer earn Starbucks cards while racking up debt.
If you’re sick of grocery store rewards cards clogging up your wallet, and you love whipping out your iPhone in public, have we’ve got an app for you. CardStar lets you punch in all your reward cards into your iPhone. At checkout, just click the CardStar icon, select the merchant from your saved list, and show the screen. They can scan the barcode right from the image. Usually $.99, the app is currently free for a limited time. A handy way for iPhone users to reduce clutter and fumbling for rewards cards when shopping.
Ok, so it’s pretty obvious that when picking a rewards card, you want one that gives you beer money, not free toasters. A toaster is a depreciating asset, which are for rappers, not smart persons like yourself.