I predict that within the near future there will be an economic meltdown rivaling that of 2008. It will have nothing to do with sub-prime loans, hedge funds or derivatives. It will have a lot to do with the new economy that is thriving these days. The dollar has been supplanted by points; those points that you earn on your loyalty card or your credit card. The competition among department stores, supermarkets and credit cards is fierce. There are double points, triple points, bonus points, gas discounts and air miles. Deciding which credit card to use in order to maximize your points or where you should buy your groceries can be mind boggling. I daresay it easier to understand derivatives. I wouldn’t be surprised to soon see ads touting the advantages of employing a ‘Rewards Management Advisor’.
I’m old enough to remember Green Stamps. Life was simple then - you bought what you needed, received some stamps, pasted them in a book and redeemed them for a piece of junk. We still have an ice bucket to remind us of the good old days. Credit cards? The only challenge was qualifying for a card with super low interest and an astronomical credit line. Loyalty to a supermarket? No card necessary; just good quality at a reasonable price.
So do you play the game? To each his own. Personally, I'm too old for games. I can however envision the day when the rewards market will come crashing down. People will suddenly find out that there is no pot of gold at the end of the rainbow and that the only rewards in life come through hard work and a little luck. In the real world there are no points given for greed. ( I'm writing this on a Sunday morning and felt that the last two lines were appropriate for the day.)
Having concluded my homily, I must admit that it was a bit idealistic. Actually I'm a pragmatist and I'm willing to play the rewards game.I’m considering increasing my readership by awarding points for every hit on my blog. I hope to find a rewards advisor willing to take on this formidable task at a reasonable price - like free. Well maybe I could offer him all those points I’ve accumulated on my cards.