MasterCard is betting that consumers are willing to put up with the hassle of carrying an extra card in their wallets if it means they can instantly redeem reward points.
Well, almost instantly.
The Pay With Rewards program announced Monday allows cardholders to convert points they earn on their purchasea into cash credit. This credit can be applied when they make a purchase at any merchant that accepts MasterCard. But this credit will reside on a separate card - think of it as a prepaid debit.
That's a lot quicker than waiting for a credit to appear on a monthly statement, but it's not quite the Holy Grail of real-time rewards. To apply the credit, consumers have to remember to pull out that second card swipe it to convert accumulated points to a discount on their purchase. It remains to be seen whether this will provide the desired reinforcement for the consumer to use the card more.
In an online poll this week, roughly one-third, or 35%, of respondents said consumers would be willing to carry an extra card in their wallet if it meant redeeming rewards points faster. Another 27% said carrying an extra card around is too much of a hassle, while 38% said it's moot point, since many people have no idea how many points they’ve earned, let alone how to redeem them,
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