The Last Credit Card Rewards You’ll Ever Claim?

What's Next In Payments®
3:29 PM EDT November 26th, 2012

There are all sorts of useful offers you can take advantage of when cashing in on your credit card rewards points.

And then, there’s this list Bankrate compiled of the 10 weirdest offerings from major credit card issuers and the insane amount of points it takes consumers to earn them. Many of the rewards offered here come with just a bit of risk involved, so we’ve decided to issue a Dangerous Rewards Power Ranking for you to help you weigh your options.

If you have tens of thousands of dollars in rewards points and an addition to adrenaline, this list is for you.

10) Yankee Stadium Turf

OK, so this isn’t dangerous, unless you parade the turf around Boston, but it’s still noteworthy as a pretty strange offering. For $8,500 in American Express Gold Card rewards, you can own a piece of Yankee Stadium turf, freeze-dried and presented to you in a glass display case. We’re sure your family will treasure it for generations to come.

9) Sideline Tickets To Orange Bowl, Discover Tailgate Party

Another event that’s unlikely to kill you, unless you really over do it tailgating, but somewhat of an odd choice for points redemption. You’d have to spend $22,500 on a Discover cash-back card that earns one percent back or $4,500 on five percent cash-back categories to earn this prize. The cheapest tickets to the Orange Bowl, meanwhile, go for about $30 a pop. I guess the premium comes from getting to attend the Discover tailgate, which is reasonable considering the street cred you’ll earn from attending a party thrown by a card issuer.  

8) Clinic With USA Water Polo Team

“How could water polo kill me?” you may ask. Have you ever seen a game of professional water polo? Would you want to wrestle with a bunch of athletes with the builds of middle linebackers in 10 feet of water? Didn’t think so. Capital One offers this reward for 110,000 miles, which comes after spending a mere $55,000 on its Venture Rewards card. This is great, because those of you drowning in cash can now literally drown as well. 

7) Ride In A NASCAR Stock Car With Veteran Driver

Capital One offers this deal for 39,000 reward miles, which equates to $19,500 on its Venture Rewards card. And I mean, really, who wouldn’t pay five figures to drive really fast in a circle for a little while? The added benefit of putting your life in the hand of a “veteran driver” is just gravy.

6) African Safari

American Express lets you journey on this Abercrombie and Kent trip to Africa for 50,000 rewards points, which equals the same in money spent on AmEx’s Gold Card. This is admittedly one of the coolest offers listed, but let’s not pretend you have a non-zero chance of turning into a snack as you drive past Lions, Cheetahs, Hippos and the like. Keep your hands and feet inside your safari vehicle at all times if you want to redeem more points at a later date.

5) Two-Hour Ride Aboard Virgin Galactic Spaceship

Want the inherent danger that comes with traveling to space but without the subsequent scientific discoveries that can benefit mankind? Does Barclaycard have a deal for you! Just $10 million in gas, groceries and utilities or $20 million in all other purchases earns you the right to fly 75 miles above the Earth’s surface in Virgin Galactic’s commercial spaceship.  Unfortunately, this deal is no longer offered, so good luck finding a practical use for your millions in rewards points now.

4) Underwater Cage Diving With Great White Sharks

Want to combine the underwater danger of Water Polo with the predatory perils of African safaris, all with an element of captivity? Just spend $79,700 on a Wells Fargo Rewards Card, or $26,567 on gas, grocery or drugstore purchases, and your wish can come true. This is not recommended for anyone who’s ever seen the movie Jaws.

3) Tandem Skydive From 5,000 Feet

It’s always a good sign when skydiving is only the third-most dangerous activity on a list. Capital One offers this deal after hitting 61,000 miles, or $30,500 on its Venture Rewards card. Like we saw with Discover’s Orange Bowl deal, price becomes an issue – skydiving tickets typically go for between $125-$250 dollars, and 5,000 feet is actually a low distance from which to jump. On the bright side, if the person you’re jumping with is also a cardholder, maybe Capital One will get to close two accounts at once!

2) Three-Day Bullfighting School

No, really. If you spend $37,900 on a Wells Fargo Rewards Card or $12,636 on gas, groceries or drugstore purchases, you earn the chance to be gored by a bull. With unemployment where it is today, this is a great skill to learn if you’re looking to pick up some (very) short-term work.  If the possibility of being trampled by 1.5 tons of bovine isn’t quite daring enough for you, you’ll love the strangest and most dangerous reward you can earn, which is …

1) Six Dogfights In A Fighter Jet

This is a real thing that you can pay to do. You can pay to sit in an airplane, with a pilot, and simulate being shot at by/shooting back at another aircraft. This will cost you $325,000 in Capital One’s Venture Rewards card points, and we must admit to having no idea how much a typical dogfight ride costs. Maybe this is a bargain? We’re not quite sure why you’d choose to use your rewards this way, but if you’re looking to use your last points in style, fighter jet dogfighting might just be the way to go.

Have you been offered any bizarre rewards deals by card companies? Do any of these rewards appeal to you? Let us know in the comments below. 

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