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Understanding Rewards Credit Cards
If you are someone who already uses a credit card for the majority of your purchases, a rewards credit card may be a great choice for you. By using a rewards credit card, you are able to to earn rewards. With a rewards credit card, you are able to earn points every time you make a purchase. These points can then be redeemed for cash back, hotel rooms, flights, or other rewards. If you are one of the many credit card users who pay off their credit card balance every month, a rewards credit card might be the right choice for you. After all, rewards credit cards are a fantastic way to get even more out of your daily purchases.
The Most Common Rewards Cards
- Earn free flights and more with airline miles credit cards
- Earn cash back on what you spend using cash back credit cards
- Save money by transferring balances on your high interest cards to lower interest balance transfer cards
- Open a 0% introductory interest rate credit card to save money on your purchases
- Earn points toward hotels and other perks with travel rewards credit cards
- Getting started building your credit? Start with student credit cards
- Need to rebuild your credit? There are plenty of options for people with less than stellar credit
- Get a business credit card that rewards your spending
What Kinds of Rewards are available?
The most common kinds of rewards that customers can earn are free gas, travel points, store points, and cash back. Gas credit cards give you the ability to earn free money that can be used at specific gas stations. Travel rewards credit cards provide customers with travel points each time a purchase is made. These then accumulate and can be redeemed and used towards purchasing either airline tickets or hotel stays. Store credit cards are credit cards that are offered by specific retailers. Points are accumulated with each purchase made and can be redeemed for merchandise in their stores. And finally, cash back credit cards provide cash rebates on purchases.
It should also be noted that rewards credit cards tend to also offer other benefits, in addition to the reward points already described. These often include concierge service, free travel insurance, discounts such as free airport lounge access, purchase protection, and more.
Tiered Rewards Versus Flat Rewards
While there is a wide assortment of reward options, how you earn the points varies as well. For example, you may earn a specific number of rewards for every dollar that you spend. Or you might earn a smaller amount for the first set amount of dollars that you spend during the first year. Then a more significant amount of rewards after you have passed a threshold. At the same time, other credit cards pay higher rewards on specific categories and a smaller reward on any other additional spending.
Is It True that Most Reward Credit Cards Have an Annual Fee?
Some rewards credit cards charge an annual fee for being able to take advantage of its benefits. While the unfortunate thing is that the yearly fee can seem high, if you use your rewards card enough, the points can easily outweigh the annual cost of the card. However, if you don’t use your credit card enough or do not redeem your points, a no-fee credit card that does not offer the same amount of rewards may be a better option.
Benefits of a Rewards Credit Card
- Possible annual bonuses. With some rewards cards, if you have managed to pay off your balance and used your card enough, you might qualify for yearly bonus points.
- There are rewards to suit any taste. As stated earlier, there are a wide assortment of rewards available. These include cash back, travel, and gas.
Drawbacks of a Rewards Credit Card
- If you do not pay your credit card off in full, you risk losing your points.
- If you do not use your card enough, you might not earn enough points to actually use.
- Reward credit cards tend to have a high annual fee.
- Rewards Don’t Necessarily Last Forever- Some credit card reward programs let your rewards expire if you don’t use them within a specific time period.
Choosing the Right Rewards Credit Card for You
When selecting any new credit card, there are a number of questions you should ask yourself prior to applying. When it comes to reward credit cards, here are a few of the questions you should keep in mind.
How can You Get the Most Out of Your Reward Points?
If you want a reward credit card, it is essential that you figure out how you can make the most out of it. For example, if you’re a frequent traveler, then you might want to consider a travel rewards program.
If you want a card that helps you get the most out of your day-to-day purchases, then you might want to look for a card that offers cash back or has a low introductory interest rate.
Do Points Expire?
You should always be aware of how long rewards remain valid. You can find this information in the terms and conditions of your card. The company will state whether or not points expire, or simply add up as time goes on. If you are considering a travel rewards card, it is also a good idea to look into potential blackout dates. This information can also be found on the terms and conditions of the card.
Do I Have The Credit Rating for the Kind of Reward Credit Card I Want?
Unfortunately you often need excellent credit to be approved for a rewards credit card. You will have to read and review the terms and conditions of each card to find the financial requirements to obtain the card. Rewards cards can be hard to get, but if you manage your credit well, you can earn a lot of rewards.
Sign Up Bonuses
Some rewards credit cards come with high sign up bonuses. These are great options if your goal is earning rewards on free gas, airline tickets, or hotel stays. Credit cards that offer high sign up bonuses often have a minimum spend amount. This means that you will have to spend a specific amount within a few months prior to earning that signup bonus.
Look into the Transferable Point Programs
Some credit card rewards programs offer transferable points. This means that you can earn rewards and then transfer those points to another points program. This can only be done if you choose a reward credit card with a partner that has a benefit you want to take advantage of. For example, these rewards can sometimes be transferred from one reward credit card into another one for either hotel stays, or airline frequent flier miles. Again, this information can usually be found in the terms and conditions section.
As you can see, there are a wide assortment of credit card reward programs that are available today. If you take your time and research the options that are available, you will be able to find a great card to suit your needs and finances. It is crucial for you to understand your spending habits. As long as you are well informed and use your rewards credit cards in the right way, you can enjoy the many benefits that reward credit cards can offer.
How Airline Miles Credit Cards Work
Airline miles, commonly referred to as travel points or frequent flyer miles, allow you to earn miles toward flights. You accumulate a set number of miles based on how often and the distance that you fly, as well as how much you spend on your credit card. Cardholders can then use these miles to buy tickets. Our airline miles credit card reviews help you choose the best card.
How Balance Transfer Credit Cards Work
Balance transfer credit cards allow you to move your debt from one credit card to another — essentially allowing you to pay off one credit card with another. Typically, a person will transfer their balance to a credit card with a lower and more manageable interest rate. This allows a consumer to save some money on monthly payments, or pay off the entire balance in a more timely manner.
How Cash Back Credit Cards Work
Getting cash back when you use your credit card is a type of reward system that some lenders offer based on your credit card usage. Some of these credit cards promise a fixed amount back as long as you use a card during a specific time window, while others do so on the condition that you transfer a balance – a cash back card is slightly different. A cash back credit card is where you get back an agreed percentage of the money you spend back.
How 0% Zero Introductory Interest Rate Credit Cards Work
Low introductory rate credit cards are among some of the most appealing credit cards. An introductory rate is a low-interest rate – sometimes as little as 0% – that applies to your balance for a set period of time after you open your credit card. Introductory rates are typically given to applicants with high credit scores.
Depending on the card that you are looking at the introductory rate may apply only to a specific type of balance. A great example of this is balance transfers. There are several low introductory cards out there that only offer that low interest rate to balances that were transferred from a higher interest card. That said, there are also a lot of credit cards that apply the introductory rate to both balance transfers and new purchases.
How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Work
A travel rewards card is a credit card that carries a travel-related incentive or reward for use. The more you use it, the more points that you earn. You can earn more points to put towards airline tickets, rental cars, or hotel stays.
Travel reward credit cards are extremely popular and often offer the best rewards value. Travel reward credit cards also offer considerable sign-up bonuses, exclusive perks, and insurance packages.
While all of those benefits are great, travel rewards programs can quickly become complicated. One way these rewards can become complicated is by their offering numerous ways and times you can use your points, including blackout dates,With so many options, making sure that you are getting the best value involves serious research and planning.