Actually, I rack up most of my dividend elsewhere. I signed up for the REI MasterCard (which they discontinued and replaced with Visa a couple of months ago) and I get 1% back on all of my non-REI purchases.
This year’s dividend is $236.54, but I don’t know what I should get. I already have two tents, three sleeping bags, a stove and a backpack. The backpack is army-surplus, so I suppose I could get a Kelty or REI pack. Or maybe a Coleman two-burner stove for car camping. I’d put it toward a kayak or a bicycle, but I’m not in Washington yet. I’d like to get some new skis, but they don’t carry Kneissl. I suppose I could always wait until July and just redeem it for cash. All in all, I think I’ve had a pretty good return on my $10 investment I made back in 1983.
Well, some of their stuff is relatively cheap. REI brand gear is excellent quality and is generally less expensive than other well-known brands. I could have got a better REI tent than the on-sale North Face I ended up with, for a little less money. Oh well; live and learn. And I got a pretty good deal on that Yakima rack system (20% off). But for some of the stuff you’ll pay the same as anywhere else.
The best thing is that using the REI credit card amounts to “free money”. I mean, I have to pay for stuff with something; why not get a nice cheque after the new year?