Credit Card Rewards

  1. Arcade tickets for adults
  2. Rewards program that failed geography class

Usage Example: “Why does my credit card rewards program think that Los Angeles is 25,000 miles away from New York?”

Background: As children, many of us would go the arcade and happily spend $50 in quarters to win an armload of tickets. At that time, approximately 10,000 tickets would win a pencil. In spite of this fact, and for some unexplained reason, we were excited about the prospect of spending 50x the value of an item in order to “win” it. We would stare longingly at the 20-year-old, dusty, handheld television – knowing that we wouldn’t live long enough to earn the 20,000,000 tickets that it would take to bring it home.

Credit card companies understand that humans never outgrow this insane way of thinking, so they happily offer arcade tickets to adults in the form of “credit card rewards”. Want that $25 Applebees gift card? Spend $18,000 to get it. Interested in that set of golf clubs? It will only take 980 years to earn them.

Are you interested in cashing in your credit card airline miles? If so, it’s time to learn some “credit card geography”. If you live in New York, you might assume that 6,000 credit card miles could get you a round-trip ticket to the west coast. However, you might be surprised to learn that most credit card companies think that New York is approximately 25,000 miles from Los Angeles.

In order to maintain one’s sanity and financial security, it is important to fight this organized manipulation. Now, it’s time for me to hit Amazon… I’m only 50,000 points away from my Beats headphones.