May 2017: Rewards Sites and Redemption Options

All Credit Card Monitor coverage group firms offer at least one loyalty rewards program to help promote products and encourage engagement with its digital platforms. While rewards earnings vary by card and by firm, the payoffs generally consist of cashback, retail and travel redemptions. Two factors influenced our grading in this report: the breadth of redemption options, as diverse choices appeal to a greater customer base, and the ease of using rewards sites themselves, particularly their redemption process, as without an intuitive platform card holders may eschew participating in rewards programs entirely. Aside from rewards site navigation and redemption options, this report also evaluated rewards management options and any unique tools or features.

On the design side, Wells Fargo, Citicards and Chase provide the most in-depth, well-organized and unified rewards microsites, housing nearly all options in a single location with dedicated navigation. As far as redemption options, Citicards, American Express and Wells Fargo stand out for their variety of options, offering more choices than other firms in the coverage group. Of note, American Express and Citicards allow users to redeem rewards for recent purchases and Wells Fargo facilitates points transfers and sharing. The most unique redemption options include sharing and pooling points, offered by three firms (27%). Only four firms provide calculators related to rewards redemption, two of which are for cash back and two of which cover best-value redemption. All firms in the coverage group provide redemption history, nine (82%) offer rewards-earning activity and only four (36%) furnish rewards-redemption related alerts.