Benefits of Rewards Debit Cards

Most [big] banks such as Citibank, Chase, and Wells Fargo give new checking account customers the opportunity to use a debit card that could, well, “give something back.”  That “something” may be points or even cash back.  When someone swipes his or her card at a particular retailer, he or she is able to get either a percentage of cash back into his or her checking account or rewards points that would be redeemable for that cash back or merchandise or even gift cards.  The process of using such a debit card is really simple, and here is how it works:

Let us take my bank, for example, Chase:  Now, I know that in order for my card to work, I would have to pay up an annual fee of $25, but believe me, that $25 is really well worth it.  Whenever I go to a place that accepts Visas or Mastercards such as restaurants, retailers, electronics stores, or even the supermarkets, I always have to swipe it as CREDIT, and never enter my PIN number.  If I use my card as DEBIT and type in my PIN number, I would never get the points I want to get; hence, you should not do it that way either.  Chase lets me earn up to 4 points for every $5 spent, which is pretty close to the $1 to 1 point ratio; once I earn up to 2,000 points or more, I am able to redeem those points for a minimum of $20 back into my checking account.

Citibank is a bit different when it comes to its rewards debit cards.  They do not have any annual fees like Chase or Wells Fargo, and when you swipe it as DEBIT or CREDIT, you will still earn points no matter what; when you enter your card as debit (like if you were going to Target to pay a bill, and they ask for “Debit”), you can enter your PIN number, and you will earn 1 point for every $3 you spend, and when you enter your card as CREDIT, you will be able to earn 1 point for every $2 spent.  Now, that may not seem like much, but they do add up once you keep spending.

I used to bank at Wells Fargo, but not anymore; not just because my account was inactive for a while, but because their debit card rewards program was not as good as either Chase or Bank of America.  I mean, how many points can I actually earn with a dollar-to-point ratio of 4 to 1? 

Like I have said before, however much you spent would determine how many points you would earn; this works just like your credit card with rewards, but the money will be deducted straight from your checking account.  These points do add up, so keep on spending, but try not to overdo it.  Remember, these funds will be deducted straight from your checking account, so tell your bank to opt out of the overdraft protection so that whenever you have insufficient funds, the retailer will not be able to make the transaction of that DVD you are thinking of purchasing from Best Buy.