Except for the Macy's one, I have never subscribed to any of the Rewards programs anyway. I got into Macy's only because it is the second oldest account I have and because I once worked there. It is nice every once in a while to get this credit for $25. I guarantee you I don't make purchases to get the points. They just cash in from time to time.
Like so many other people, I am interested and inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement. There is so much I don't know or understand but so much that I want to know and understand. For example, as pitiful as this sounds, I will admit that I never even thought about the big banks and how they take advantage of the working people. I just didn't know anything other than that my paycheck goes to Bank of the West and I have a debit card from there. The automatic deposit is convenient and the debit card can be handy. End of awareness.
And now my eyes are open. Imagine my incredulousness when I realized that my folksy so called neighborhood bank with the all American name of Bank of the West is actually headquartered in Paris, France. They are a huge band and they take my Sonoma County dollars and use that to get themselves the best return. Maybe it will go towards a hotel construction project in Dubai or a manufacturing plant in China but it's likely NOT going to be sweat equity home project in Santa Rosa or a small business loan to a solar company in Sebastopol. I feel really stupid not knowing this and I wonder how many other things I don't know. I will move my (very limited) money out of Bank of the West as soon as is practical.
An intriguing offshoot of this process has been my own rededication to reduce/reuse/recycle. I am loving the concept again of reduce. I have never been a big consumer but I am looking around and thinking I can do better in this department. I can stop and reconsider the purchase of yet another sweater or pair of boots (NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! - but ..... yes). I don't want to fuel the production of more things, fuel the waste of more resources. I have been on this train since college for sure and I am all about recycling and riding my bike or walking places. I love that I live three blocks from work and that Oskar can sometimes sit alone in the garage for two or three weeks without his steering wheel being gripped by my hands. But I can say stop to the purchase of more luxuries.
Truth is, I will never stop buying reading materials and likely not art supplies. I will always be interested and open to technology innovations. I will buy dinners out and bottles of wine and good fresh produce and breads. But more jewelry? more jeans? more BOOTS???? Not so much. Not never but not so much.