Check Out These Tips Before You Lose Your Credit-Card Rewards Points

Credit-card companies are slashing their rewards programs, leaving many cardholders in danger of losing their hard-won points. Using your credit card to make purchases in your practice may help.

With credit-card issuers struggling to bridge revenue gaps caused by the new regulations, many have slashed their rewards programs. In addition to making it harder to earn rewards points, now they’re making it easier to lose the rewards points their customers have already earned.

Make a late payment or use your card sparingly? You could lose all your rewards points.

If you’ve accumulated substantial rewards points, check the terms and conditions of your card to make sure you accidentally don’t run afoul of the rules and lose your hard-won points.

If you’re in danger of losing your points because you don’t use credit often, consider using the card for your medical practice purchases. Not only can you accumulate points more quickly, but your purchases are tracked automatically and card issuer can serve as a go-between when dealing with any payment disputes.

Another possible trap for cardholders is expiring rewards. If you’ve been building up a cache of points over several years, you may be at risk of losing them. Several card issuers will cancel your rewards if you don’t use them within a certain period of time.

If your points are about to expire, but you don’t have enough to trade for free airline tickets or other goodies, try to find something of lesser value. Also, some card companies will let you buy extra points if you’re close to getting that airline ticket you’re after. Buying miles or trading them through online sites such as Points.com can get expensive, however. Purchasing 1,000 American Airlines miles, for example, will set you back $27.50, plus a $30 transaction fee.

If none of these options are appealing, consider donating your rewards to charity. Contact your airline for more information, or go to JohnnyJet.com for a partial list. Another option is to donate your miles to the Hero Miles program, which gives free airline tickets to military personnel who are being treated at a military or Veteran’s Administration medical center for conditions resulting from their service in Iraq or Afghanistan.