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Nov 1, 2021

Credit Card Points vs. Stock-Back® Rewards

By Team Stash
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U.S. consumers can often choose from a variety of rewards credit cards or cash-back programs, which can earn you free flights, trips, rentals, or even get you a check in the mail. But there’s another program in town—Stock-Back® rewards¹, which allows you to invest where and whenever you shop.

But how does Stock-Back®¹ stack up to a rewards credit card? Let’s compare.

Stock-Back in a nutshell

Here’s how it works: If you make a purchase with your Stash Stock-Back® Card card¹, at more than 11 million businesses in the U.S, and you can get rewarded in the form of a fractional share of stock for every qualifying purchase. Pretty simple. You can get a small percentage of stock for every dollar you spend—and you can get stock in well-known brands..

Note: You’ll need a Stash account that you’ve added money to in order to earn Stock-Back® rewards¹.

Rewards credit cards are cards that earn users—you guessed it—rewards. Those rewards are typically doled out in the form of proprietary “points” or “miles,” which can be redeemed for cash, prizes, airfare, etc.

In practice, earning credit card rewards is similar to earning Stock-Back®¹—you swipe your card, and you can watch the rewards points pile up.

Stock-Back® Rewards vs. credit card rewards

You can earn Stock-Back® and credit card rewards in virtually the same way. So, when it comes down to it, consumers are choosing between what they’d rather accumulate: stock, or points/miles.

Here are a few things to consider, and or ways to compare them:

1. Stock-Back® Rewards are fractional shares.

It’s important to remember that Stock-Back® rewards are fractional shares of ownership in a company, and they can fluctuate in value. Remember, that there is an inherent risk when owning stock—but with Stock-Back®, you can truly own what you buy and build a portfolio that reflects your individual spending habits.

2. Expiration dates

One big drawback to rewards points or miles is that they often have expiration dates—if you don’t use or redeem them within a certain time period, you lose them.

Stock, on the other hand, is an asset. It doesn’t expire, and you own it until you sell it. Studies have shown that there are approximately $100 billion of loyalty points that sit unused. And the Covid-19 pandemic has kept more people at home, giving them more reason not to spend points.  Further, about 30% of credit card users never redeem their points—so, for many, rewards points are ultimately wasted.

Unused loyalty points
Credit card users that never redeem points

3. Appreciation

Another thing to consider is whether or not your rewards, stock or otherwise, will appreciate with time. In the case of rewards points or miles, the answer is no; they will not gain value over time, and will likely depreciate as rewards systems evolve.

Here’s something else to think about: The average consumer had credit card debt of more than $6,500 as of 2021. In other words, most people don’t pay off their credit card balances each month. And the interest they have to pay on those balances can quickly erase the value of any points or rewards they may earn for credit card purchases. (Stash wants to help you get out of debt, and you can earn Stock-Back® based on debit card purchases², with funds that come directly from your banking account.)

And again, stock won’t expire—so, buy (or earn) and hold it!

4. Rewards that reward

Finally, think about what your rewards are doing for you. Are airline miles or reward points earning you dividends or interest payments?

Probably not. Stock can and usually does, though. That’s effectively using wealth to build more wealth.

And it’s smart.

You can start building your investment portfolio whenever you spend. Sign up for Stash to kick things off.


Written by

Team Stash

1 All rewards earned through use of the Stash Visa Debit card (Stock-Back® Card) will be fulfilled by Stash Investments LLC. Rewards will go to your Stash personal investment account, which is not FDIC insured. You will bear the standard fees and expenses reflected in the pricing of the investments that you earn, plus fees for various ancillary services charged by Stash. Stash Stock-Back® Rewards is not sponsored or endorsed by Green Dot Bank, Green Dot Corporation, Visa U.S.A., or any of their respective affiliates. What doesn’t count: Cash withdrawals, money orders, prepaid cards, and P2P payment. If stock of the merchant is not available for a qualifying purchase, the security will be in shares of a predetermined ETF or from a list of predetermined publicly-traded companies available on the Stash Platform. See full terms and conditions.
2 Bank Account Services provided by and Stash Visa Debit Card (Stock-Back® Card) issued by Green Dot Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. Visa is a registered trademark of Visa International Service Association.
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