To the Original Poster: You remind me of myself when I got my first credit card! I used it exclusively for several years and now its my highest credit limit (CL). I definitely feel rewarded for my loyalty and good standing. Sounds like you are too with those rewards points. Don't see anything wrong myself, though I'm no expert, just another consumer like yourself. Just my 2 cents - I have never had it happen to me, but a friend of mine had his credit card # stolen by an employee of a local merchant. I think if the business is well-established or you've done business there before there is less of a resk, but just be aware when you're in a new place to note anything unusual they do (like copying the card, etc) and keep an eye on your credit reports via one of the many monitoring services here to **bleep** anything in the bud.
Boy if I ever have my number stolen I would rather it be a cc than my debit card. I don't use a card in fast food lines because you can not see what they are doing in some drive thrus. BTW I use my cc card on every wed to buy groceries and pay it off on friday....rotating between each card....that way everyone gets my luv and hopefully I get some back! A couple of our cards have already bumped our CL's.