Discover Financial Services has finalized a new policy that will make it easier for its credit card customers to redeem their cash rewards.

Under Discover's revised rules, its credit card rewards never expire, the company said in a news release Wednesday. Previously, the firm's customers lost their rewards if they closed their account, had 18 months of inactivity, or had two months of delinquent payments.

In addition, Discover customers can now redeem their rewards for as little as a penny, the news release stated. Under the old rules, card holders needed to reach a $50 threshold for cash redemption or a $20 threshold for charitable donations.

As a result of the changes, Riverwoods, Ill.-based Discover will take a charge of approximately $178 million, the company stated Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Discover had indicated last month that the changes were forthcoming, though it did not provide all of the details at that time.

The moves by Discover are the latest development in a years-long competition between card issuers to lure customers with more attractive rewards.

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