NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Chase is out with a new program that allows customers to bid on gift cards from major retailers. So how does it work, and is the auction worth it?
Chase has been especially aggressive on the rewards credit card front, at a time when some big banks are cutting back on rewards programs due to restrictions placed on card fees by the Dodd-Frank Reform bill from 2010 and the Credit Card Reform bill from 2009. Chase Ultimate Rewards program already offers some interesting perks:
- Chase’s Online Mall enables card users to earn points by shopping online (only for Sapphire and Freedom card users). Plus, card users can earn 10 Chase rewards for each dollar spent.
- Chase’s travel rewards program allows card users to earn additional rewards points for booking travel plans via the Chase Online Mall.
- Points are redeemable for special events, as Chase Ultimate rewards customers can redeem points earned for tickets to a concert or ball game, for example.
With Chase Rewards, card carriers get their very own online auction that enables them to bid rewards points for use on discounted gift cards at major retailers. The auctions are actually fairly user friendly and are organized by auction category (i.e. travel or retail stores). The Chase auction technology keeps track of your auction so you can monitor your bid.
You’ll need to periodically check the Chase auction web page for news on upcoming auctions, but past auctions have included access to vacation getaway discounts and a links lesson from a certified Professional Golf Association instructor. The current auction for Home Depot and Best Buy will run from July 18 to Aug. 12.
Chase auction customers can bid on up to $2,500 worth of gift cards from the two retailers. Auctions start at 1,000 rewards points, or $10 in Chase cash back rewards. Keep in mind that only Chase Sapphire, Ink from Chase and Chase Freedom card users qualify for the auction.