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Rewards Programs with Professor Wertalik

WalletHub set out to help consumers make better, more informed choices when it comes to choosing rewards credit cards. They sought input from experts, so it is no wonder that they reached out to interview Donna Wertalik, the VT Marketing Department’s Director of Marketing Strategy and Analytics and Professor of Practice. See what Professor Wertalik thinks about rewards programs below and view the full article at:

Why do you think bonus credit card rewards for dining and entertainment are becoming increasingly popular?

Based on the current marketplace environment, rewards and points are now more important than ever. In the past, loyalty programs were built to sustain brand loyalty against the competition. In this day and age, corporations are having ideation sessions of value for consumers and driving more to their business model for long term pay-offs.

Do you think people generally assume the best (a broad definition) or the worst (strict limitations) when faced with vague rewards categories such as “dining” and “entertainment”?

I think most consumers approach a rewards program with the intent of receiving value and not the aspects of data analysis and tracking their information. "Dining and entertainment" have been reimagined with the current state of Covid-19, so more specifics of any rewards helps consumer weigh the benefits versus the drawbacks. For some, these programs represent a chance for gamification and many attempts to figure out how to maximize efforts for their own benefit.

How should people choose between two versions of a credit card offer, when one has better rewards but charges an annual fee?

As always, research and determine what best fits your needs. Consider the short term pay-off versus the long term benefits and read the fine print. Most credit cards have an "upsell" strategy, which coincides with annual cost, but also elevated rewards. I think if the rewards align with the customer's needs, it will result in a positive outcome.