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Kiplinger Notices Shrinking Credit Card Rebates

In other breaking news… Kiplinger reports that credit card companies are cutting back rebates [3]. 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 [4] 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 [5], then you experienced some shrinking… from 5% to a mere 2%. Finally, if you had a Discover Gas card [6], 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 [7]) and find it quick!