Which Rewards Card is Right for You?

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Rewards credit cards offer so many features and benefits that it may be difficult to determine which one – if any – is best for you. If you’re looking to maximize the rewards offered by your credit card(s), here’s a primer to help you choose the best card for your lifestyle.

How do rewards work?

It’s simple: the more money you spend, the more rewards you earn. The catch is choosing a card that offers the type of rewards that will benefit you the most.

What types of rewards are offered?

Determining whether you prefer to have cash back or points to redeem for merchandise or travel will help you choose the right card for you.

  • Cash back – Earn cash back for every dollar you spend. For example, with the Merchants Bank Visa Platinum Cash Back Card, you would earn a certain percentage, up to 1%, based on the cumulative purchases made that calendar year (click here to see specific percentages – link). The cash you earn is credited to your credit card balance each year on November 15.
  • Rewards points – Earn points for every* net dollar you spend. For example, with the Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard Credit Card, you earn one point for every* dollar you spend. Spend $1,000 and earn 1,000 points**. Points can be redeemed for airline flights, car rentals, merchandise and much more.

What else should I know?

Before you apply for a rewards credit card, ask these questions:

  • Do my points expire?
    Rewards points may expire if they are not used. Make sure to shop around to find a points expiration timeframe that makes sense for your spending habits. Points for the Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard Credit Card don’t expire for five years.
  • How do I redeem my points or receive my cash back?
    Make sure that it’s easy to check your points or cash back balance. For points rewards cards, you also want to review the process for redeeming your points. On Merchants Bank Credit Cards, your current points and cash back balance are available on mycardstatement.com. Points can be redeemed through scorecardrewards.com, both available through the Merchants Bank website.
  • Is there an annual fee?
    Some rewards cards charge an annual fee. Research if the charge can be offset by the value of your rewards benefits or waived completely by spending a certain amount in a month or year. Merchants Bank only charges an annual fee for the Visa Platinum Cash Back Card ($30/year).

Searching for the right card? One of our credit card options may be right for you. Click here to learn more or apply online.

Credit cards are subject to credit approval
*Every net retail dollar spent earns rewards points. Cash advances, finance charges and fees do not qualify for points.
** Points are rounded up or down based on the transaction amount. For example, a transaction of $150.52 would equal 151 points.

Meet Kathy Simon, Credit Card Assistant Merchants

Kathy and her husband, David

Kathy and her husband, David

How long have you been with Merchants?

Kathy: Six years. I started as a File Clerk, then went to the Loan Servicing department and now I’m in the Credit Card department.

What is your top banking tip?

Kathy: Make sure to check your credit card statement each month for purchases you did not make. There’s a lot of credit card fraud. Sadly, it is so common and happens every day. It’s important to be aware of what is going in your accounts.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?

Kathy: Save. Save for a rainy day. I think that was probably the thing they drilled in my head. I started babysitting when I was ten and had opened my first savings account at that age. When we were growing up, I loaned my older siblings money because I was the only one who listened to my parents’ advice.

If you won the Powerball (currently estimated at $194 million) what’s the first thing you would buy?

Kathy: I would pay off my mortgage, give to my family members and give to charity. Then, I’d take a great tropical vacation.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Kathy: I would say trees. We used lived in Wyoming and it felt like everything was brown there. When we would travel home to Minnesota, we would get off the airplane and drive straight to Lake Calhoun to walk around the lake. Everything was so green and lush…we missed it.

Click here to learn more about Credit Cards at Merchants Bank. Credit cards are subject to credit approval.

Meet Emily Buxengard, Credit Card Assistant at Merchants

Emily with her family (from l-r): Celia, Bailey, Marcus and Allen.

Emily with her family (from l-r): Celia, Bailey, Marcus and Allen.

How long have you been with Merchants?

Emily: I was hired on October 31, 2003 as a Teller. In the beginning, I worked at our Lakeside branch in Winona for about a year and then moved to the Downtown location. Eventually, I began helping the Credit Card Department two days a week and started full time in Credit Cards in 2006.

What is your top banking tip?

Emily: Explore mycardstatement.com and the Score Card Rewards website. Both are great online tools for our credit card customers and usually provide answers to common questions you may have about your credit card account, ScoreCard points and more.

What’s one thing your mom or dad taught you about money?

Emily: My mom only gave me one piece of advice when it came to credit cards. She told me that if you won’t have the money to pay the credit card bill when you get it, you can’t have it. It’s something I still follow today. I’ll go into a store and want to buy something, but I know that I can’t have it because I can’t be sure I can payoff the bill when I get it. I think it’s a good piece of advice to follow, especially when you are new to having a credit card.

If you won the Powerball (currently estimated at $194 million) what’s the first thing you would buy?

Emily: I would pay off my mortgage and set up my children for life. Then, I would donate to my top five charities. I would also love to pay it forward anonymously…do things like pay for another family’s meal in restaurants without telling them or pay for coffee of the person behind me in the drive through. I want to pay it forward and I want to teach my kids how to do that.

Besides money, what’s your favorite green thing?

Emily: Avocados. Without a doubt. I put avocados on everything: chili, quesadillas, pizza…we put them in our smoothies and use it instead of mayo in egg salad. They are an amazing.

Click here to learn more about Credit Cards at Merchants Bank. Credit cards are subject to credit approval.

Holiday Shopping has Never Been Better

ScoreCardHolidayThe best part about the holiday season is seeing the joy on the faces of your loved ones when they open the gift that you bought for them.  Do you know how you can make this even better?  Use your Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard to make your holiday purchases and get a gift for yourself.

Did you know that you can use points you receive by using your Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard and redeem them for merchandise, travel rewards, or even toward a gift card to your favorite shopping locations? 

Why should the holiday season just be about giving presents to other people when you can treat yourself too?  Use the Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard to buy gifts for your loved ones and use the points you earn for yourself.  

How do you redeem your ScoreMore points?

All you need is a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard credit card.

It’s this easy:

  1. Go to www.scorecardrewards.com
  2. Login to your account
  3. Click on the “Go Shopping” button under “ScoreMore”
  4. Use your ScoreCard Rewards card for all purchases
  5. Watch your bonus points add up

How to Start:

If you already have a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard, you’ve already started. Just go to www.scorecardrewards.com and start shopping.

If you don’t yet have a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard, apply online or contact us and we can help you apply. Happy Shopping!

Credit cards are subject to credit approval.

Holiday Shopping Made Easier for Your Customers

BusGiftCardRefreshedENAre you tired of handwriting all of those gift certificates for your customers? Wouldn’t it be nice to have everything with the gift certificate process electronic so you didn’t have to do the math? With the holiday season around the corner it is only going to become more difficult to track your paper certificates. Why not try Merchants Bank’s Business Gift Card program?

The Merchants Bank Business Gift Card program allows your business to offer gift cards to your customers.  You can even launch the program in five to seven days so that your business will be prepared for the holiday shopping season. You can even personalize and brand the card using your business name.

Increase the average spending of your customers and the frequency of their visits. Reward your loyal customers and attract new ones with the Business Gift Card program at Merchants Bank. 

Make the gift card purchasing process easier for you and your customers.

For more information on the Merchants Bank Business Gift Card program, please contact Credit Card Department Manager Deb Kemp at (507) 457-1160 or by email at dlkemp@merchantsbank.com. Let Merchants Bank help you start offering gift cards or make your gift card process easier today.

Let Your Bills Pay You

ScoreCardHolidayENDid you know you can earn points when you use your Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard? You can even redeem those points that you earn to order a gift card to one of your favorite shopping locations.

 Each qualifying transaction you make earns you valuable Bonus Points. You may redeem your points at any time. The larger your Bonus Points total, the greater the value of the award you may choose.

When you open your credit card account, you will receive your ScoreCard Rewards catalog for your shopping convenience, or you can login to www.scorecardrewards.com and shop away.

For more information contact your local Merchants Bank office or visit our website.

ScoreMore When You Shop for Back-to-School Items for Your Kids

Earn points when you shop

It’s that time of year again. You’ve seen the deals in the paper already, summer is coming to an end and it’s almost time for your kids to go back to school. That means it’s time to start shopping for all of those back to school items on their school list.

What if you could shop for all of this year’s school supplies and earn points at the same time? You can with Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard. The ScoreCard allows you to get 2X, 3X, 4X and more points for making your purchases with participating retailers – in person and online.

Don’t make the back to school process more difficult than it needs to be. Why not reward yourself using the points you earn while you shop for your children’s back to school items?

All you need is a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard credit card.

It’s this easy:

  1. Go to www.scorecardrewards.com
  2. Login to your account
  3. Click on the “Go Shopping” button under “ScoreMore”
  4. Use your ScoreCard Rewards card for all purchases
  5. Watch your bonus points add up

How to Start:

If you already have a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard, you’ve already started. Just go to www.scorecardrewards.com and start shopping.

If you don’t yet have a Merchants Bank Visa ScoreCard, apply online or contact us and we can help you apply.

CreditCardBackToSchool

Credit cards are subject to credit approval.