M&I Bank Informative - No rewards reward program
MADISON, WISCONSIN -- We enrolled in the rewards program about 4 years ago. We decided to save our points for travel. We tried to redeem the travel reward for overseas travel. This requires 50,000 points. We only have enough for one ticket and need 4 tickets. In order to book the ticket, we must go through Visa rewards 1-800 number. The cost is 1061.00 the cap is 1,000. We must pay the difference and if we want to purchase other tickets i.e the other three we must also pay a "service charge" of 25.00 for each additional ticket. This is 75.00 for the 3 extra tickets. The cost of the airline ticket seems somewhat comparable but we have also found travel website offers for tickets about 100-200 cheaper than what M&I rewards offers. I then looked into the Marriott rewards. Figuring if we can't use the airline miles maybe we can stay somewhere with our points. There are restrictions there as well. The M&I representative could not answer my questions about the restrictions and gave me the Marriott number. The Marriott rep also could not answer all of my questions about restrictions because she needed to know what the name of the M&I rewards certificate was called. She told me the restrictions are listed on the back of the certificate. Seems odd you have to redeem your points to know what the restrictions are. She did tell me if we tried to use them overseas the dollars are converted to local currency and at what the hotel exchange rate is not the market rate. If you have ever paid long distance charges at a hotel, you know hotels are not the best for exchage rates either. Given where the dollar is at compared to the British Pound or the Euro- not a good deal. There is an expiration date on the rewards for Marriott.
For the additional fees, we pay and then the extra fees for trying to redeem the rewards we calculate we are getting about a 1/2 cent back on purchases but that is only if we can use the rewards. At 50.00 a year for the program fee and 75 for each ticket plus the price difference its hard to see where the reward is? We will try to redeem all the points before we close the account. It would seem the $500 Visa card would be the best option- I am just waiting to find out what the "catch" is. We will be looking for another card. :(