Last Friday’s mail contained our Costco Visa card reward certificate for 2016.
The amount was just over $200. Yippee!
Like other Costco Visa cardholders, we earn cash back at the following rates: 4 percent on gas purchases, 3 percent on restaurants and travel, 2 percent on purchases at Costco, and 1 percent on all other purchases.
The mailer’s instructions state that we can redeem our certificate for “merchandise or cash” at any Costco location prior to December 31st.
Choosing the “merchandise” option, many cardholders will present their certificate at checkout and use it to buy Costco products.
This is a mistake.
By using the certificate for Costco purchases instead of their Visa card, they give up the 2 percent cash back they’d otherwise receive in next year’s reward mailer.
A better approach: take the certificate to the customer service counter and redeem it for cash there. Use the proceeds somewhere that won’t take reward cards or deposit the money in the bank.
If you hold a $250 certificate, this single move yields a $5.00 reward on next year’s Visa reward certificate.
End of tip!