Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fine print


I received an offer for an American Express Blue Sky card.  It boasts travel free with any airline, hotel, cruise, car rental and travel package, no annual fee, no expiration date on points, no limit on the points you can earn and no restrictions.  Its only reward program is sky miles, there is no monthly maintenance fee or annual fee.  But look at the fine print:

“You will accrue one point for each US dollar of net purchases charged on your Blue Sky Card account.  Points can only be redeemed in the form of a statement credit on eligible travel purchases (airlines, hotels, car rental, cruise lines, travel agencies, tour operators, and online travel sites billed to your account and submitted by the merchant using the proper industry merchant or product/service code). … Points may only be redeemed in increments of 7,500.  Each 7,500 point increment is equal to a statement credit of up to $100, up to the amount of the eligible travel purchase.”

Now isn’t that blatant robbery?  You earn one point for every dollar you spend, but 7,500 points are only worth $100 when redeeming them.  Rule of thumb: no company is going to give you a deal that benefits you.  A company will only do whatever benefits itself.  But they sure are good at making it seem like they’re out for your benefit, don’t they?

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