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.

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4 Replies to “Beware of credit card points”

  1. You’ll love the mini, especially if you ever go travelling. I use it WAY more than I ever used my previous full size ipad. I look forward to a future blogpost about how you find it.

  2. Or get a Nexus4 (or 7) I’ve got them both. Advantage over the larger ones is you can wrap your hand around them in portrait orientation for book reading, and flip pages easily. The Kindle app is easily the killer app for both iPad and Android.

  3. What mike said… The nexus 7 is easily held one handed in portrait mode.
    Same cannot be said for the overpriced ipos mini which is just a little to wide to hold comfortably one handed IMO.
    What’s the attraction of these crapple devices exactly? The reassuringly expensive price tag? The locked down os? Itunes / appstore?

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