Credit, Personal Finance 

Kiplinger Notices Shrinking Credit Card Rebates

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In other breaking news… Kiplinger reports that credit card companies are cutting back rebates. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably had one of your cards change their rewards program for the worse this year and chances are it won’t be the last change. In this year alone I’ve seen three type reductions – entire reduction of rebates, reduction of percentage cash back, and a reduction of annual rebate award maximums — all this year. If you had an AT&T Universal Cash Rewards card this year, then you experienced first hand reduction of credit card rebates from 5% at supermarkets, gas stations, and drugstores to exactly 0% – the card was canceled. If you had a Citi Dividend Select card, then you experienced some shrinking… from 5% to a mere 2%. Finally, if you had a Discover Gas card, you still get 5% on gasoline but you’ll find that your now limited in the annual amount you can collect.

Kiplinger’s warns against switching to another card for a better rebate because, and they’re right, that new card you jump to may decide to change their program too! While Kiplinger’s is correct, there’s really nothing consumers can do except jump to the next card with a good rebate program. So… if you lost a good rebate card, find an alternative (here is what’s in my wallet) and find it quick!

{ 5 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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5 Responses to “Kiplinger Notices Shrinking Credit Card Rebates”

  1. samerwriter says:

    I’ve been interested actually seeing several new 5% cards join the fray lately. I haven’t been keeping track for that long, but while it seemed like for a while there were only 2-3 cards offering 5% back on gas (and some other miscellaneous thing), now there are perhaps half a dozen, including an offer from every major card (amex, discover, visa, and MC).

    Originally I was jumping on every new program as soon as it was offered, but lately I’ve been quite a bit more selective because of the choices available.

  2. they should offer more and more rebates to catch more and more business

  3. dianefromPA says:

    I’m not sure why but I am still getting the 5% cash back for gas grocery and drugstores on my Citi card. I was never notified of any change and each month the 5% shows up. Makes me wonder how all this is managed. Why have some had their rebate reduced and others have not (at least not yet)? Guess I’ll just keep a close watch. I have a Chase card with the 5% rebate which I use when I reach the annual limit of the Citi so I am ready to stop using Citi if it does change for me.

  4. Miller says:

    Definitely a noticable trend. It’s also harder to find those perfect 0% BT offers too (they’ve been replaced with 0% APR on purchases — which is less of a free loan since you have to spend the money instead of just withdrawing it). I’d like to think maybe Americans aren’t as financially stupid as CC companies had once assumed… but I doubt it. =)

  5. Rob Carlson says:

    You’d think that with the prime rate rising, the credit card companies would be tripping over themselves to get borrowers on the hook.

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