09/13/2011 12:13 pm ET Updated Nov 13, 2011

Redeeming Rewards With the Sony Rewards Card

The Sony credit card abides by a rewards system that, at first glance, looks like a great way to earn rewards on electronics purchases. You earn 5 Sony bonus points per $1 you spend on Sony products, 3 bonus points per $1 you spend on movies and dining, and 1 point everywhere else. What's more, Sony bonus points actually seem to be worth the standard 1 cent apiece, so they're not trying to nickel-and-dime you by giving a lower rewards rate. So, by all metrics, the Sony credit card is a good branded credit card.

But here's the thing

Redeeming your points isn't exactly easy. Before actually receiving your rewards, you have to download, fill out, and mail in a purchase claim form, proving that you did indeed buy something from Sony and that you're willing to go the extra mile to claim your rewards.

Filling out a form is not the end of the world, but it isn't exactly convenient, either. If you're just a buying a couple expensive items, then submitting a purchase claim form for your TV and new laptop is just fine. But if you're trying to trade in your points for a multitude of smaller doodads and gizmos purchased at the rate of one gadget every two weeks, it's a bit more tedious.

Just give me my rewards

This particular redemption method is frustrating simply because there are easy alternatives. Take the American Express Clear, for example. You automatically receive a $25 American Express gift card in the mail every time your spending hits $2,500. Easy as that. Granted, the rewards are considerably lower, earning you a mere 1% cash back on all purchases, but actually obtaining and using your rewards couldn't be simpler.

If you find the Sony rewards system particularly enticing, or if you find yourself buying an inordinate amount of Sony products, the Sony credit card might be worth the hassle. But if you're not already spending large sums on Sony products, a simpler card with more readily accessible rewards might be the better choice.

How much do you really care?

It all boils down to how much you value your rewards. If you are adamant about your earnings and willing to put in a little extra effort to ensure a maximum return on your rewards, then by all means, sign up for the Sony credit card. But if you're not concerned enough or interested enough to really pursue those extra bucks, find something a little more convenient.