Credit cards offer extra customer service perks

My new Nordstrom credit card came in the mail, and I was pleasantly surprised. Their rewards program provides 2 points for every dollar spent at Nordstrom’s and provides for 1 point when I use the card elsewhere. For every 2,000 points I accumulate, I receive a $20. Nordstrom “note” which can be used for any Nordstrom store including online purchases as well as  the use at all Nordstrom outlets. This works out to a 2% rebate, and if I use the card to purchase all my merchandise at Nordstrom, it comes out to a 4% rebate.

The only downside is the rebate is only redeemable at Nordstrom’s and points expire in six months, but it is possible to convert the notes to cash. For instance, if I use my points to purchase a pair of shoes for $200 and then return the shoes, the company will give me a credit for $200 and apply it to my balance.

The other credit card I really like for their customer service is my American Express Platinum Card. The downside of the card is the $395  annual fee, but traveling and using the American, Delta, and Continental airport lounges as part of the services provided far out weighs the expense of the annual fee. I can also convert points to miles on many different airlines, and use the points and redeem them at various hotels and Hertz car rentals. The Platinum card offers many room upgrades and commonly a free night at some of the best hotels here and abroad.

The downside of the Platinum card centers around the travel and concierge services. This past Christmas, I was not able to book tickets for a major event I wanted to see, and often times the prices on hotel and travel are far more expensive than if I booked them myself. I was also disappointed last year when I had a problem (not my fault) with American Express; they lumped all of my accounts together, and it wasn’t until I spent hours chasing after an elusive manager that I was finally able to get all of my accounts reinstated.

Why pay for the use of credit cards if they aren’t able to offer some remunerative customer service rewards? Just make sure you always read the fine print.

photo credit: romulusnr