When More is Less: About Point Value

June 30, 2005 · 0 comments

Every now and then I get an email from someone with a comment like:
“I shop at Milesource because I earn more points there than at MyPoints.” Or, “PCHPoints pays a lot more points than other programs!”
And while these comments may very well be true, they ignore one very important aspect of the calculation — the value of those points. More points may be worth LESS money.
I’ve talked about this in the past but I think it’s something that needs repeating.
You CAN’T compare points across the board, from one program to another, because they have DIFFERENT point costs to cash out for the same reward! Yes, you may earn more points at Program A, but it probably takes more points to cash out there than at Program B!
An example.
Say you’re going to spend $100 at Sharper Image.
At PCHPoints, you’d earn 2500 points.
At Milesource, you’d earn 1500 points.
At CreationsRewards, you’d earn 1200 points.
At MyPoints, you’d earn 400 points.
So if you just look at total points across these programs, it seems that PCHPoints is the place to shop, right? And why even CONSIDER MyPoints?
Well, here’s the thing: points are worth different values at each of these programs.
At PCHPoints, 2500 points is worth about $2.91.
At Milesource, 1500 points is worth about $3.41.
At Creations, 1200 points is worth about $5.88.
At MyPoints, 400 points is worth about $3.33.
Now you can see that although PCHPoints pays the most points for this order, they’re actually worth the least! And Creations, although it pays less than half the points that PCHP does, is actually the best place to shop because their points are worth more!
SOOOoooooo… PLEASE don’t compare points from one program to another. It’s irrelevant how MANY points you earn, what matters is what those points are WORTH.
Lecture’s over, class. You may go now. :)

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