Don’t Make These Mistakes – Ways You Can Lose Your Credit Card Rewards

By Stephen Fisherton on September 24, 2013

Anyone who currently owns a credit card with a rewards program may think that their benefits and perks will always be there to enjoy, but this simply is not the case. The fine print in many contracts allows credit card companies to revoke or otherwise alter these perks if you commit one of a series of actions. Are you aware of these stipulations and how they could affect your frequent flier miles or bonus points? In the following article, we will discuss a few of the most common ways that people can lose their rewards and benefits from improper use or through a lack of awareness of how their rewards program works.

Credit Card Mistakes

Lack of Credit Card Use

There are many rewards credit cards out there that come with activity stipulations. If you do not use your card for a certain amount of time, you can often end up losing all or part of your rewards programs. Since reward programs are designed to encourage frequent credit card use in exchange for perks and bonuses, an idle credit card offers little for the issuer. If you currently have one or more credit cards with rewards programs, then be sure to read the fine print on your agreements or call the issuer to verify if there are any activity limits imposed on the account’s rewards program. Some cards may automatically expire entirely without use, which can also result in a loss of accumulated rewards.

Closure of Credit Card Account

If you have considered the elimination of a credit card from your portfolio, then you will want to be sure that you utilize all of your rewards points or perks before you make that final decision. Since the rewards program is tied to the card directly, there is no way for you to save these perks or accumulated points if you suddenly close your credit card account – these are the property of the credit card company and provided to you at their discretion.

Missed Payments

If your credit card statement becomes past due as a result of non-payment, then your rewards program may be subject to revocation. Most rewards programs also do not give you credit for purchases when you make them, but rather when you pay them off – failure to pay these debts off means that you do not gain the promised rewards. While this is more variable from card to card, it is a smart move to always pay your rewards card balances on time in order to ensure that your benefits are not suspended, temporarily withheld or revoked altogether.

Conclusion

If you miss a payment, close an account out suddenly or do not use your credit card regularly, then you may find your rewards points and perks are suddenly gone. In order to avoid this fate, be sure to pay your bills on time, cash out any rewards before the closure of an account and use your card as often as necessary to avoid inactivity penalties.

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