That's the point!
Imagine you could spend a day out without really spending much, yet still getting a real treat.
It's entirely possible!
Miss Pimmie, a freelance language teacher with a hectic schedule, finds it very convenient to use her credit-card reward points for her everyday shopping.
Today, for example, she had been waiting for a midnight sale at her favourite department store. But when she rushed there after class she found that the cute dress she wanted was not in the sale. Pimmie's dilemma was obvious: should she buy it at full price?
The shopkeeper easily read her mind, and came up with a recommendation that she redeem her bonus points for an attractive cash discount. What a relief!
Hurrying back to her next lesson, Pimmie had no time for a proper lunch. Eyeing a yummy sandwich and freshly baked doughnut on the way, she again found it more convenient to burn just a few of her points for a quick lunch.
When her busy schedule ended for the day, she suddenly realised today was her significant other's birthday. So she decided to surprise him with a special treat at a cosy family restaurant. Again, she had enough bonus points saved up to get a good discount on the delicious meal.
In the old days, we tended to dismiss reward points as not very rewarding. People thought they were only good for a blender, a saucepan, an iron or a meal voucher. Those who had more patience and spent more on cards opted to accumulate their points as air miles for a "reward ticket".
But in today's increasingly competitive market, promotional airfares are more attractive than reward tickets, which force you to burn a huge number of points and don't include taxes or ease of seat confirmation.
Meanwhile, household-appliance lovers often find that by the time they have collected enough points, their chosen models, colours or brands are already out of stock or even obsolete.
Bonus points do not merely add a "disguised" credit line to your credit card in a different form of currency. Credit card companies have come up with a more sophisticated alternative where bonus points act as a pass for particularly exclusive campaigns.
For instance, as little as 99 points will earn you a chance to win flashy dream prizes. Or upping your spending by just a little can get your extra points for a purchase multiplied by 10. Obviously, card marketing teams have been thinking hard about ways to hold onto their loyal customers.
Now you know there are more ways to utilise your rewards points, it's best to keep your cash in your pocket while maximising the benefits of point redemption.
Don't miss out on this great opportunity!
Janejit Ladpli is vice president of Travel & Leisure Marketing at Krungthai Card (KTC).