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Under this program, you can convert the rewards points you earn with these credit cards into everything from gift cards to home electronics to hotel stays and ocean cruises. The program is free. But as you shop the online home of the Ultimate Rewards program, you’ll find that certain rewards result in a better bargain for your dollar.
You may prefer to turn your rewards points into cash. That’s one way to make sure that you get the most bang for your buck.
But if you’d prefer to turn your rewards points into laptop computers or restaurant gift certificates, you’re going to have to do some savvy shopping on the Ultimate Rewards site.
It’s the only way to make sure that you spend your hard-earned rewards points wisely.
For The Adventurous
Maybe you’re the type who prefers adventure to merchandise? If so, you might just find what you’re looking for on the Ultimate Rewards site.
If you cash in 7,800 points, you can jump off the Bridge to Nowhere in Azusa, Calif. — while attached to a bungee cord, of course. For 9,900 points, you can take beginning scuba diving lessons in Alpharetta, Ga.
The Gift Card Bonanza
The Ultimate Rewards site is a virtual paradise for fans of gift cards. Log onto the site and you’ll find gift cards for restaurants, department stores, hotel chains, airlines and golf courses.
The good thing about these gift cards? Most of them are created equal. In general, 100 rewards points will earn you a single dollar on an Ultimate Rewards gift card.
For instance, you can order a California Pizza Kitchen gift card worth $25 after you amass 2,500 rewards points. You can up that card’s balance to $50 if you’ve earned 5,000 points.
The same formula holds true for the site’s Marriott hotels gift card. Your 2,500 points will convert to a $25 gift card. And if you’d like to pack on some fast calories for breakfast, you can turn those same 2,500 points into a $25 Dunkin’ Donuts gift card.
There are a few bargains, though, to be had. For instance, the $25 Macy’s gift card requires just 2,250 rewards points, a savings of 250 points when compared to most of the site’s gift cards.
Electronics Are King
The Ultimate Rewards site is also filled with home-electronics offers. And most of these are solid bargains.
For instance, with 18,600 points, you can nab a sixth-generation iPod Nano — the latest version of this music machine — with 8GB of memory. And for 12,700 rewards points, you can grab a Garmin Navigator GPS unit. A total of 39,000 points will get you the hot iPod Touch with an amazing 32 GB worth of memory.
If you have a song in your heart, you can turn your rewards points into music. As an example, the Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits CD was selling for 2,000 points.
You’ll have to ask yourself, though, if spending so many points on one CD is a smart move when just 500 more rewards points will get you a gift card for most major retailers and restaurants.