Beware of credit card points
I was thinking of using my Commonwealth Bank credit card points to get myself an iPad, or an iPad Mini. After much consultation and trying them out, I thought I’d go for the Mini, which I have about enough points for.
There’s a catch — ordering stuff from points can take quite a while for delivery.
And, as I discovered, it can be cheaper to use the points to get money back or gift cards.
For an iPad Mini, 16 Gb, Wifi only:
- Target: $359. You could get $350 in Target gift cards using 59,300 points (169 points per cent), thus spending only $9 in cash and still having 27,200 points left. Or you could get $500 in gift cards for 82,000 points (164 points per cent), having $141 left.
- Myer: $369. $350 in Myer gift cards would use up 61,200 points (174 points per dollar). Add $19 cash and as above, plenty of points left over.
- JB Hifi: $356. Using the points cash back, this would use up 71,200 points (200 points per dollar)… but has the advantage that if you can afford to temporarily be without the money, you can get the knick-knack straight away.
- CBA Award Points: 86,500 (based on RRP this is 234 points per dollar; some 43% more than via Target gift cards)
It’s only one example of course, but the lesson here is to not blindly use your points to get stuff — check if it’s better to cash in the points for money or vouchers and then buy your gizmo.
I haven’t actually bought my Mini yet — still decided which purchase route to go down.