This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

“Reader Questions” are answered twice a week — Mondays and Fridays — by TPG Senior Writer Julian Mark Kheel.

Most folks use credit cards entirely for making purchases, and if you’re smart, you pay your balance in full every single month. But what about those credit card checks that sometimes arrive in the mail? Will using those checks also help you earn travel rewards, as TPG reader Dave asked us in an email…

A lot of credit cards will give you checks to use in addition to the plastic card. Do those checks usually count toward rewards points?

TPG Reader Dave

Credit card checks, which banks variously refer to as “convenience checks” or “access checks” or “balance transfer checks,” can look really tempting, right? Well, there are two great reasons not to use them in an effort to earn points or miles.

The first reason is straightforward — you will not earn travel rewards when using a credit card check. Almost every credit card account specifically notes in its terms and conditions that only purchases earn rewards, and many specifically state that checks are excluded. Even the checks themselves will often have disclaimers along the lines of “miles cannot be earned with this offer.”

But the other reason not to use credit card checks — and this is separate from points and miles — is that unlike normal purchases made with a credit card, interest gets charged on credit card checks as soon as the transaction posts. That means you won’t get the usual “grace period” — the time between the purchase posting, your statement closing, and then up to as many as 30 days to actually pay the bill — before getting hit with interest. Instead, you’ll be paying interest right from day one.

IMG-aviator-transfer-checks-interest
Offers like these that come with checks won’t earn you any rewards, and you’ll get charged interest right from the start.

Even if you got offered a low teaser rate with your checks or even 0% to start, the transaction fee for using the check — which can range from 1% to as high as 5% — means it’ll cost more to use the checks than it’s worth, especially since you’re not going to earn any points for the transaction anyway.

So, Dave, we don’t recommend using credit card checks at all since you can’t use them without paying some sort of interest or fee. But even if you decide to go ahead and use one, you can definitely assume you won’t get any travel rewards for doing so. Sorry for the bad news, but thanks for the question, and if you’re a TPG reader who’d like us to answer a question of your own, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

Featured image by Tetra Images via Getty Images.

The Business Platinum® Card from American Express OPEN

LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
  • Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
  • Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
  • Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
  • 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
  • You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
  • You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
  • Terms Apply
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
N/A
Regular APR
N/A
Annual Fee
$450
Balance Transfer Fee
See Terms
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.