I’ve had Chase credit cards for probably over a decade. One of them was just converted to an “Ultimate Rewards” card and today a huge glossy brochure arrived in my mailbox.
23 pages, bucketloads (technical term) of words, and one ridiculously obscured very-plain fact: This card offers 1% cash back.
Now mind you, that’s nothing to sneeze at… the 1% cash back part, I mean. I currently have (and mostly love) my Schwab no-annual-fee 2% cash back card, but Schwab has ceased offering it to new customers and who knows how much longer the rest of us saps will be grandfathered in. Discover Card offers a higher percentage cash back, but only once you’ve spent $x per year with $x being a very large number. And how many places around the world — especially outside the U.S. — take the Discover card, anyway?
No, 1% cash back on a no-annual fee card isn’t awful. You know what’s bad, though? Insulting your customer’s intelligence. Let me explain. Here are some of the zillions of offers breathlessly touted within the brochure:
- 2,000 points = $20 check
- 2,000 points = $20 statement credit
- 5,000 points = $50 gift card (lots of variety, but, yep, same ratio)
- 10,000 points + $191 = $291 airfare ($100 + $191 = $291, get it? And whoa, “fly without restrictions”! Amazing!)
- 10,000 points = $100 Hyatt Check Certificate