Depending on the card, you will probably have several different options for redeeming your rewards. Cash back is most popular, but be careful because not every program will automatically give you the typical penny per point. For example with the Bank of America WorldPoints program, redeeming 2,500 points will only net you a $12.50 statement credit (that’s a half penny per point). In order to realize a full one cent value, you would need to first save up a windfall of 25,000 points, which is good for a $250 statement credit.
Then there are some reward options which may net you more than a penny per point. Take the Discover It card (and its predecessor, the More) which let you convert cash back to higher valued gift cards. For example, $20 will get you a $25 gift card from Nike, Gap, and Black Angus Steakhouse among others. That’s a 25 percent boost in value, which makes the 5 percent cash back you earned the equivalent of 6.25 percent. The Chase Freedom offers gift cards too, albeit a smaller selection.
– Michael Dolen writes credit card reviews for CreditCardForum, a website he created to help consumers with their credit decisions.