You can now redeem points for crypto — but you may not want to
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. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
Alternative ways to redeem your points on things besides travel are nothing new. But it’s accelerating fast and evolving in new ways.
The latest way to redeem your stash of points is part of a wave of developments in the world of, you guessed it, crypto.
Crypto is hot these days, and for good reason. The value of certain cryptocurrencies has seen exponential growth in recent months and while some believe this is purely a speculative bubble, there is no denying that crypto is entering the mainstream consciousness.
For more TPG credit card news and travel tips delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
Brex, an all-in-one financial services provider for businesses that awards points you can redeem with travel transfer partners, cash in at a fixed value, etc., announced that you can now exchange its reward points for crypto — either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH) — in the same fashion as redeeming them for miles, cash or travel.
The company says this is the first-ever crypto rewards program for businesses. But the big question remains, even if you believe in crypto — is it worth it?
A new redemption option
Brex relies on its rewards partner, TravelBank, to fulfill crypto orders on behalf of its customers. In turn, TravelBank leverages crypto exchange Coinbase to store, hold or exchange crypto accrued by Brex’s customers.
But unfortunately, even if you believe in the future of these cryptocurrencies the redemption rate will be pretty measly. For every 1,000 Brex points you redeem, you’ll receive $7 of either Bitcoin (BTC) or Ethereum (ETH). In other words, you’ll receive just 0.7 cents per Brex point towards crypto.
To get a better sense of how this is not a valuable redemption, consider that you can cash Brex points out at a full 1 cent each via a Brex Cash account. From there, you can buy crypto directly through a crypto exchange — all without incurring a fee. You also have the option to transfer Brex rewards to travel partners at the same rate.
Clearly, getting 1 cent per point is clearly a better value than 0.7 cents per point. So while you can convert Brex points directly to crypto using its new partnerships, the value just isn’t there compared to doing it yourself. You do, however, get the convenience of having it all done on one platform. And that’s what Brex hopes you’ll care about the most.
For years now, it’s been possible to redeem credit card points on non-travel purchases such as on Amazon, gift cards, cash, online shopping and much more. But the value of those redemptions typically is quite low — especially when you compare using those points on travel.
TPG publishes a monthly valuation of most credit card and travel currencies — and we derive those numbers from how much you can extract from points and miles towards travel. Redeeming Chase Ultimate Reward points for Amazon, for instance, at a paltry rate of 0.8 cents per point is not the most worthwhile usage considering you can get 2 cents per point in value or more (our TPG valuation for Ultimate Rewards) when used with transferable travel partners.
The new ability to redeem points for crypto with Brex just mirrors this phenomenon. Companies and issuers may be providing ease-of-use for some enticing, new redemption opportunities, but this may not always provide the best value when it comes to using your points.
Related: Best business credit cards of 2021
Featured photo by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
- Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees