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I just saw a Bank of America commercial that had this use of redeem:

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Is the use of redeem with the preposition into standard...or possible? To me, it doesn't make sense. I looked on Google and found other prepositions that can be used with redeem such as "at" or "for." It also seems that redeem is usually followed by an object such as "coupon," "tickets" or "points." There seems to be an exchange process at work with redeem, not a one way arrow into something.

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  • Could it be possible that customers get bonus if they redeem points and (somehow) put it back to their BoA account and thus the phrase redeeming into? I am certainly not an expert in point redemption policies of major North American banks and this would be my best guess. If not, I think BoA marketers should create an account in ELU :P
    – BiscuitBoy
    Dec 12, 2015 at 15:16
  • That sure does sound odd. The OED says that redeem into is obsolete; their last citation for that is: 1688 Norris Theory Love 203 ― As to the redeeming us into the ability of closing with what is discern’d best.
    – tchrist
    Dec 12, 2015 at 15:28
  • @tchrist: That's not what I see in OED. There's nothing about sense 6a being obsolete, and they have 6 more citations after 1688 - the last two being 1949 and 1991. I don't see anything remotely unusual about OP's cited usage, where redeeming "reward points" gets you a better "exchange rate" if you redeem into a bank account run by the same outfit that provided you with the credit card. Dec 12, 2015 at 17:19

2 Answers 2

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I think this is the usage meant in the ad:

  • to convert (bonds, shares, etc) into cash.

Collins Dictionary

You redeem (sell/convert) a bond into a cash account.

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  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account. It is just what it means in the dictionary.
    – user140086
    Dec 12, 2015 at 15:12
  • Could be what they mean. I've never seen the word redeem followed by into, so I just thought I would check with some other sharp people and see what their thoughts were on this. Dec 12, 2015 at 15:18
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I think it sounds funny because we expect redeem to be a transitive verb, but here it's used as an intransitive verb. Thus, I don't think it's solely the presence of into immediately after the word, but the absence of an object to receive the result of the action. The object appears to be an ellipsis of a phrase such as "your points" or "your cash rewards." Perhaps they omitted that as being understood, in order to save space and make it faster to read.

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