I’m with multiplexer. The world is far too depressing to write serious blog posts. Instead, here’s a bit of analysis:
I have an American Express card for Business Expenses. I use it for all my travel stuff, mostly, plus the occasional piece of software. I’ve bought DiskWarrior, like, four times. Turns out that AmEx has a pretty sweet “rewards” program that I never bothered to look into. After six years of brutal travel – I have a fair number of points.
Looks like there are three broad ways you can redeem points. After a bit of googling – here are the values:
* Stuff. You can redeem your points for stuff, and the redemption value is remarkably consistent at $0.005 per point. I.e: With 100,000 points, I could get $500 worth of stuff.
* Store specific gift cards: These appear to be the way to go – since they redeem at exactly $0.01 per point. You get double value over “stuff,” and (even better) most of the stuff-providing-stores also offer gift cards.
* Amex “same as cash” cards. These drop back down to exactly $0.005 per point.
I’m told that one can play truly insane games by turning points into (for example) frequent flier miles and thence into travel – but I have no idea how to do that and I don’t want to burn a bunch of time figuring it out