The Insidious Nature of Rewards Points or, why I bought awesome headphones
I am a sucker for rewards points, the marketing people totally have my number. And, for the really good ones, I don’t even mind.
Lots of things I use have points systems: Moosejaw for outerwear, Delta for travel (although Delta calls them miles and makes them impossible to actually use), Zingerman’s for mail-order food, and American Express for buying all sorts of stuff.
I always forget about my Moosejaw points, can never figure out how to use my Delta points, and Zingerman’s takes care of my points for me by occasionally sending me a gift card. In that pool, Zingerman’s wins, because I don’t have to do anything other than give them lots of money in exchange for excellent gifts for friends.
The one that tops them all, though, is American Express. We spend enough on our AmEx that we accrue points at a rate that keeps me engaged in buying things from their Rewards Points store. For a while all I was buying were Bowers & Wilkens A5 speakers, until I was forbidden from buying any more (by then, though, I had enough for all of the rooms I wanted them in). Then for a while I was using points to pay parts of the monthly bill—that turns out to be totally boring so I stopped doing that. So points started accruing again and pretty soon I had enough to make things interesting…
Lately I’ve been using in-ear Shure SE115m+ ear-buds more and more at home (by the way, flying without these is torture—these are the perfect airplane ear-buds), and Status Classic headphones more and more at work and I’ve noticed that people leave me alone more when I’m wearing the bigger headphones, so another pair of headphones was in order.
All headphone research starts out at looking at headphones in the $50–$100 range and escalates in about 0.5s to “monitors” in the multiple hundreds of dollars range and then starts to involve multi-hundred dollar headphone tube amps on top, then I get bummed and stop.
This time things were different… because of POINTS!
… end of detour.
Now I have three facts in hand
- I have gobs of AmEx points
- AmEx sells Bowers & Wilkens stuff
- I want the B&W P7 headphones (well, need, really)
So anyhow, some new headphones are on their way.