To make a long story short, I filled out a form and got a card. The good news is that it was an american credit card. The bad news is that I didn't get to pick which one they gave me. I was aiming for a cash-back card that'd pay out 1% or so, but instead I got a points reward card. (Citi Diamond Preferred Rewards, to be specific)
Now I'm sure you all know as well as I do how these points rewards things work. You spend like a rabid consumer whore for 5 years, and finally after all that time you get to surf through their skymall-esque catalogue of useless consumer trinkets and find you've maybe saved up enough points for half a snuggie.
So, after 6 months or so of owning this card (and maybe only a month of using it, I only got it in august), my morbid curiosity got the best of me, and I decided to check out the points catalogue to see what was what.
The first surprise: their catalogue wasn't some low-rent skymall knock-off. In fact, it wasn't too hard to see that the majority of the catalogue was actually just a front-end for amazon.com!
The second surprise: I somehow managed to rack up roughly $60 worth of points.
Needless to say, I was quite pleased by these two discoveries. After surfing the site for a bit, I settled on buying a pair of harmonicas. I was originally planning to buy just one (a Hohner Special 20 in C) with some money I got for christmas, but with my new found "wealth" I decided to go all out and picked up one in C and one in G.
Of course, the one downside is that they can only ship to the US, so I had them shipped to Palm and hopefully they'll eventually find their way up to me.
This might just change my opinion of points rewards programs... maybe.