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Thrilled with Valentine’s Day Cashback and Reward Point offers? Here’s the catch

Priyadarshini Maji
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It generally starts with an SMS or a mail that says, for instance, a cashback of Rs 2,000 has been deposited into any of your online wallets. We jump at that opportunity to avail the cashback offer but end up spending another Rs 5,000 to get the deal. Free money is something that everyone looks for when shopping online. We try to accumulate cashback and reward points to reduce our shopping bills. These deals are common with e-commerce websites, mobile wallet providers, credit card companies or companies offering loyalty programmes. Experts suggest all of these rewards and cashback offers are promotional tools that come with various conditions attached, which shoppers should be aware of.

Though cashback offers and reward points may sometimes be beneficial, they come with conditions attached irrespective of whether they are offered by a website, app or banks. Most of these have limits on the amounts that you can avail and on the number of transactions, which are not mentioned upfront. Such as, there is a limited number of transactions you can do in a day. Similarly, the reward points and cashback earned can t be redeemed at a time, there are limits on how much points or cashback you can use at one go. For instance, if you are booking a hotel worth Rs 5,000 and you have 3000 points, there will generally be conditions that you can redeem up to Rs 500-800 per transaction.

For using these points, all online websites and apps have their own time-frames. There are also limits for using up reward points, which usually range from 1-3 months. If you do not use it by then, they lapse. Other restrictions such as you can only avail certain cashback if you transact through a particular merchant or a certain network, are mostly faced during payment of phone bills.

Uploading images of restaurant bills is another way of earning cashback that has become popular in recent times. Apps like Dineout (an app for restaurant bookings) offers reward points cashback on uploading restaurant bills through the app which can be used for future bookings in select restaurants using the app.

Experts suggest one should not end up spending in excess as these types of rewards create a high propensity to overspend. Be aware of these caps such as the limit on the number of reward points or cashback you can use in one transaction or using the cashback or reward points the number of transactions you can do in a day, as they are generally limited.