U.S. consumers can often choose from a variety of rewards credit cards or cash-back programs, which can earn you free flights, trips, rentals, or even get you a check in the mail. But there’s a new program in town—Stock-Back® rewards, which now allows you to invest where and whenever you shop.

But how does Stock-Back stack up to a rewards credit card? Let’s compare.

Stock-Back in a nutshell

Here’s how it works: Make a purchase with your Stash Debit card1, at more than 11 million businesses in the U.S, and get rewarded in the form of a fractional share of stock. Pretty simple. You will get a small percentage of stock for every dollar you spend—and it works everywhere.

Note: You’ll need a Stock Invest and debit account to earn Stock-Back rewards.

What about rewards credit cards?

Rewards credit cards are cards that earn users—you guessed it—rewards. Those rewards are typically doled out in the form of proprietary “points” or “miles,” which can be redeemed for cash, prizes, airfare, etc.

In practice, earning credit card rewards is similar to earning Stock-Back—you swipe your card, and watch the rewards points pile up.

Stock-Back Rewards vs. credit card rewards

You can earn Stock-Back and credit card rewards in virtually the same way. So, when it comes down to it, consumers are choosing between what they’d rather accumulate: stock, or points/miles.

Here are a few things to consider, and or ways to compare them:

1. Stock-Back Rewards are fractional shares.

It’s important to remember that Stock-Back rewards are fractional shares of ownership in a company, and they can fluctuate in value. Remember, that there is an inherent risk when owning stock—but with Stock-Back, you can truly own what you buy and build a portfolio that reflects your individual spending habits.

2. Expiration dates

One big drawback to rewards points or miles is that they often have expiration dates—if you don’t use or redeem them within a certain time period, you lose them.

Stock, on the other hand, is an asset. It doesn’t expire, and you own it until you sell it. Studies show that there are approximately $100 billion of loyalty points that sit unused. Further, 30% of credit card users never redeem their points—so, for many, rewards points are ultimately wasted.

Unused loyalty points
Credit card users that never redeem points

3. Appreciation

Another thing to consider is whether or not your rewards, stock or otherwise, will appreciate with time. In the case of rewards points or miles, the answer is no; they will not gain value over time, and will likely depreciate as rewards systems evolve.

Here’s something else to think about: The average consumer had credit card debt of more than $6,000 in 2019. In other words, most people don’t pay off their credit card balances each month. And the interest they have to pay on those balances can quickly erase the value of any points or rewards they may earn for credit card purchases. (Stash wants to help you get out of debt, and you can earn Stock-Back based on debit card purchases, with funds that come directly from your banking account.)

And again, stock won’t expire—so, buy (or earn) and hold it!

4. Rewards that reward

Finally, think about what your rewards are doing for you. Are airline miles or reward points earning you dividends or interest payments?

Probably not. Stock will and does, though. That’s effectively using wealth to build more wealth.

And it’s smart.

You can start building your investment portfolio whenever you spend. Sign up for Stash to kick things off.