Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Warning: Pay Your Rewards Cards or Lose Points/Miles

This one is worth coming out of our slumber for. According to Yahoo Travel News/Associated Press, American Express will begin withholding rewards points/miles earned by customers who are late paying.

We’ve stressed that reward credit cards only make sense if you pay your bill in full each month, but this is onerous. According to the article, while Chase and Citi also withhold rewards on some cards for late payers, only Amex is charging a “reinstatement” fee for lost points/miles. (This fee is in addition to late-payment penalty fees and much higher interest rates on late-payment balances.)

If we didn’t enjoy the benefits of our Delta and Hilton Amex cards, we’d ditch them because of this (even though we’re never late), just on principle. (The article notes that the other two big-name Amex cards that will be affected will be the Starwood and JetBlue cards.)

So again, beware. The credit card companies do NOT have your best interests at heart.