Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should I use the milkthepoints.com Rewards Card Advisor?
A: Our premise is that there is no one-size-fits-all "best" rewards credit card. What's best for you depends on a number of factors: how much
do you spend, where do you spend, and what types of rewards are most important to you? Our Rewards Card Advisor generates a "best-of"
list based your spending habit input in several rewards categories via simulation.
Q: How do I use your Rewards Card Advisor and interpret its results?
A: We hope that the presentation of the results is easy to interpret and digest. Just in case there's some confusion, we've prepared step-by-step
instructions on its use and interpretation.
Q: What is a rewards credit card?
A: Rewards credit cards are issued from many card issuing entities including banks and some merchants. The terms of the rewards program vary,
but they share one commonality: use their card for purchases and they will "reward" you with something in turn. This "something", can take the form of miles that can be
redeemed for flights, cash back on a percentage of your spending, or points that are redeemable for merchandise, hotel stays, gift cards,
and, in some cases, cash back.
Q: Why does your Rewards Card Advisor have an option for 1st year and 3rd+ year results?
A: Many credit card offers have a first year bonus incentive (some even carry into the 2nd year) to entice new credit card applications. These incentives can include
waiver of the first year's annual fee and a one-time, bonus miles/points grant, provided that the offer requirements are met. We offer the
option of 1st and/or 3rd+ year results for two reasons:
1. Cards with generous 1st year incentive programs skew the results to their favor and diminish the results of other strong credit card contenders that do not have a similar program. The 3rd+ year results level the playing field so that all credit cards can be compared on equal footing if identifying a good, long-term-hold card is desired.
2. You are interested in the bonus incentive and do not plan to hold the card for greater than a year. While we neither endorse nor condemn this practice, the 1st year results assist in identifying the most lucrative programs that factor both the bonus incentive and normal accumulation of points, per your spending habit input.
Q: Can I use rewards credit cards and pay the balance over time?
A: For the large majority, yes. But, rewards credit cards generally have higher interest rates than non rewards-type cards.
As a result, the benefits of rewards cards are very quickly erased if you don't pay off the balance in its entirety every month
and on time. If you do not plan on paying off the entire balance each billing period, we cannot recommend rewards cards as a good choice.
Q: I already have my card of interest, can I apply again to take advantage of the first year bonus?
A: In almost every case, no. The 1st year incentives are for new applications. This even applies to transferring cards within the same bank.
In other words, if I have card A from XYZ Bank, I cannot obtain the 1st year bonus incentive offered by card B (also from same bank)
by transferring card A for card B.
It must be a new application. Having said that, credit card issuers change their
program requirements and you should call their customer service number to confirm.
Q: Why do you ask for annual roundtrip air travel total in your Rewards Card Advisor?
A: Some credit cards' bonus structures apply not only to purchases but miles flown as well, provided that you used their card to
purchase the flight.
Q: Why does your analysis include hotel and flight rewards for cash-back cards?
A: Our calculations and analysis convert each rewards program redemptions in terms of real-world currency based on market prices (updated periodically).
This then, offers the means of comparison between all rewards card programs.
Q: How do you calculate the value of flight rewards?
A: We calculate the redemption value of flights using the card issuer's travel program or through transfer of points to a partner airline. The
best value for a business class, transcontinental flight across the United States is used in the comparisons. Your specific results will vary and depend on
availability and participation of airline partners with respect to the selected rewards program.
Q: Do you store the information I enter into your Rewards Card Advisor?
A: No, your input is only used to drive our simulator. No input entered into the simulator is ever stored into a database. You'll note that we don't ask your name, login, contact
info, etc. Please be assured that your anonymity is safe.
Q: Why don't you provide more commentary on the customer service aspect of these cards?
A: We may share our experiences, both good and bad from time to time, but we don't focus on this aspect due to its subjectivity.
Customer service representatives have a difficult job who can have bad days, a difficult customer, or other factors that
lead to better or worse experiences. We will avoid making blanket statements on the whole from isolated incidents. But, by all
means, feel free to comment on your own experiences.
Q: How are annual fees handled in your calculations?
A: We convert the annual fee to points and deduct this value from the hypothetical points balance earned. We use the commonly accepted
redemption ratio of 100 points/$1 for this purpose. For example, a $100 annual fee converts to 10,000 points deducted from the earned
points balance. In this way, we factor the effect of the annual fee to your net bottom line.
Q: Do you receive affiliate referrals for your recommendations and/or other advertising revenue?
A: Some, but why we believe it won't impact the quality of your experience:
our primary premise is that there is no single "best" card that applies equally to everyone. As such, we encourage the use of our
Rewards Card Advisor which simulates the performance of multiple reward programs at once, according to their rules. It then ranks them by performance
and by category in response to your spending habits entered. Therefore, the strength of any rewards card product and its rank is determined by your budget
entered, not by our opinion.