7 Pros and Cons of CME with Gift Card Offers

CMEList February 15, 2019

Many physicians turn to CME with gift card offers when looking to complete their CME requirements. There are many reasons, including getting a free gift card back with your CME allowance, why CME gift cards offers are one of the most popular options for earning CME credits. While it may seem like a no-brainer to go with this route, there are also some drawbacks to CME gift card offers that may make alternatives such as free CME and CME conferences the better option.

Make sure to consider these pros and cons of CME with gift card offers before a purchase.

Pros of CME with Gift Card Offers

1. Comes with a Complimentary Gift Card with Purchase

The main reason people purchase CME with gift card offers is that they can get a complimentary gift card with purchase. Since most physicians purchase these offers using their CME allowance, they are essentially getting a free gift card back without having to pay out of their own pocket.

Many providers offer at least a $1,000 gift card and many different types of gift cards with purchase. The Audio-Digest Clinical Compendia, for example, offers up to a complimentary $1,000 Amazon or Visa prepaid card depending on which membership you select.

2. High Number of CME Credits Offered

Most of the top CME gift card offers allow you to earn up to a high number of CME credits. The BoardVitals CME Pro Plus Bundle w/ up to a bonus $2,500 Amazon Gift Card or Visa Prepaid Card, for example, allows physicians to earn up to 100 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM and MOC points depending on which specialty you select. 

Most of the top offers will help physicians completely meet their state CME and ABMS board recertification requirements in most cases. This a major plus because it allows you to complete your requirements without having to participate in additional activities. One of the biggest complaints of earning CME credits is that it can be time-consuming. Being able to complete your activities with just one CME program can save you a lot of time in the long run.

3. Online Convenience

Major complaint physicians have about earning CME is finding the right time to do it in the midst of their hectic everyday schedules. The online convenience most of the top CME gift card offers provide helps alleviate this issue.

Most of the top offers can be completed on multiple devices such as tablets, phones, and computers. This flexibility allows you to select the device that best matches when and where it is most convenient for earning CME credits. For example, being able to access a course on your phone allows you to easily earn CME credits on your commute if that is your preference.

Oakstone’s Practical Reviews On-Demand with a free $1,000 Amazon gift card is one of the most convenient gift card offers. It can be accessed via your phone, tablet, computer, and audio CDs. This activity can also be accessed via an easy to use and organized mobile app.

4. Content Depth and Preparation for Board Exams

The top CME gift card offers typically do a great job in covering the most relevant topics within a specialty. For example, the BoardVitals Cardiology CME Pro Plus Bundle covers many relevant Cardiology topics such as pharmacology, aorta and PVD, valvular disease, arrhythmias, ECG interpretation and coding, echocardiography, and many more. Courses like this that cover a wide range of topics within a specialty will help you broaden your overall knowledge within your field and help you deliver better patient care.

Many of the best offers also have content that is up to date and regularly updated. This is especially helpful for those who have to pass a MOC recertification exam as part of their recertification requirements. The up to date content ensures that the content you will be reviewing will closely resemble the content you will actually see during the exams, increasing the likelihood of passing.

Cons of CME with Gift Card Offers

1. Price

CME gift card offers tend to be more on the expensive side relative to other CME activities. If you did not receive a CME allowance or a less than average CME allowance, they might not be the right activity for you because you will likely be paying out of your own pocket. CME gift card offers typically range from anywhere between $1,999 - $2,999. If your CME allowance is below this, you should consider using free CME activities and other cheaper alternatives that do not come with a complimentary gift card.

2. Not Having a Reward that you Need

While some top gift card offers do offer a variety, you still may find yourself not finding a reward that you actually need or want to use. If this is the case, it does not make sense to pay the premium price of gift card offers for a gift card that might be wasted.

3. Doesn’t Hone in on Single Topics

As previously mentioned, CME gift card offers tend to cover a broad range of topics within a specific specialty. Some physicians might prefer courses that thoroughly analyze a single topic that is relevant to them or they want more information on. In this case, free CME activities are better suited to your needs.

ScientiaCME’s free online CME courses do a great job of thoroughly covering a single topic within a specialty. For example, their course Advancing Treatment Strategies in Multiple Myeloma (MM) Drug Therapy deeply analyzes the most pertinent topics around Multiple Myeloma.