We Americans love to be rewarded, don't we?
A quick look at my keychain reveals Meijer Rewards, Walgreens Balance Rewards and Speedy Rewards, just to name a few. With so many rewards programs floating around, it can be difficult to keep them all neat and organized, let alone remember to have the barista swipe your loyalty card as well as your credit card.
That's why I was intrigued to read about the Dynamics ePlate credit card which claims to be "like over 40 rewards cards in one." The card is just one of a number of different ways credit cards are seeking to pull in customers who want to make the rewards redemption process easier.
Don't toss the store rewards cards yet
While the ePlate rewards credit card can be redeemed for a number of different incentives, from charitable donations to movie vouchers, don't plan on it replacing your grocery store loyalty card anytime soon.
Customers can load two different offers on their ePlate card at any time. Then when it comes time to pay, they push a button on the card to select which reward they'd like credited for the purchase. Offers can be swapped out at any time, but let's be honest. It's more like having two rewards in one card, not 40, since you can't use or access them all once.
Mobile payment apps that offer store loyalty rewards
While the ePlate rewards credit card might not replace your store loyalty cards yet, other companies are making progress in that direction.
LevelUp is a mobile payment app that allows customers to earn rewards by making purchases with a linked credit card at affiliated locations. A few years back, the app teamed up with American Express to pilot a rewards program that allowed cardholders to redeem deals at select Levi's stores.
Today, credit cards linked to the app can be used to earn rewards at hundreds of independent shops and restaurants across the nation. For example, you may earn $1 in rewards for every $10 you spend at qualifying eateries.
Making it easy to redeem rewards points
If getting a new credit card or using a mobile payment app isn't in your future, you still have hope for easy rewards redemption. Many card issuers have been working in recent years to make it easier to cash in your rewards points or miles.
American Express teamed up with Ticketmaster to allow members to redeem points for purchases. Meanwhile, several issuers, such as Visa, have partnered with Amazon to do the same. In addition to Amazon, Discover Card's Pay with Miles program allows for direct mile redemption at iTunes and Facebook.
As consumers continue to have more choices regarding how to pay for purchases and how to be rewarded for loyalty, it is probably safe to assume rewards credit cards will continue to improve their earning and redemption practices in the years to come.
For now, it is a buyer's market when it comes to rewards options. Whether you want to save the world or simply save a few dollars on your coffee, there is bound to be a rewards credit card or app available to help every purchase you make pay you back.