Act fast to cash in credit card rewards
If you have a Home Depot Rewards MasterCard--and have been counting on tapping that line of credit for a big job--you need to go shopping, and fast. Citi, which issues the card, has announced that cardholders can use them to make purchases only through Saturday, Oct. 31. And Rewards Points must be redeemed by Jan. 31, 2010, or they expire.
Samuel Wang, VP for Public Affairs at Citi, said in an e-mail that they mailed letters to card holders in late August announcing the changes and have repeated the warning in subsequent billing statements. But those are easy to overlook among the credit card solicitations that still pour through mailboxes. And people who receive their statements online may not bother to open such mail. Wang stressed that Citi is still continuing its regular Home Depot credit card--the one that doesn't pay rewards.
Discontinuance of the Home Depot rewards card is just one of many drastic changes big banks have unleashed in recent weeks, as they position themselves in advance of government restrictions on credit card practices, set to go into effect in February. Given all the new fees, interest-rate hikes and restrictions being announced, it's not a bad idea to cash in rewards points on any credit card you now hold. You never know when they will discontinue a program--or make their credit terms so onerous that you decide to discontinue their card.
October 27, 2009; 8:00 AM ET
Categories: Remodeling and repair , The economy
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