Cash, free airline tickets, gift certificates, gas rebates… these things and more can be yours by merely using your credit card! Sign up for a rewards card and watch the rebates and free items accumulate as your credit card collects points or percentages for every purchase you make. Most, if not all, major credit cards offer at least one specialized card with some type of reward program for their consumers. Somehow buying has never been easier….
Becoming more and more savvy by the day, credit card companies are frequently offering potential consumers better rates, 0% interest for the first six months or year and even a reward points or percentage system. Depending on one’s personal and financial needs, different rewards cards may be better for different people and families.
The first step in selecting the right rewards card for oneself is in determining which prizes, rebates or rewards are most beneficial. For frequent flyers, airline mileage might be a welcome reward, though many airlines may have their own policies for rewarding those who habitually fly with them. Gas rebates may be a good idea for almost anyone with a car, because filling up the tank is not cheap these days. However, that gas rebate may very well be the only reward or kickback given with that particular card. Some cards may offer free meals, movie rentals, in-store gift certificates or coupons while others may offer cash alone or college savings.
Surely one cannot go wrong with rewards of cash… any of those products or services mentioned above can be purchased with cash, or the cash could be applied as a credit to the current balance. No chances exist of a consumer getting stuck with an item or service he or she doesn’t want or can’t use, and no chance of the reward expiring either.
Some reward point credit cards offer a kickback or reward for every type of product or service put on the charge while others may only reward credit card users for purchasing certain items or services. One example is the AAA Visa card, which offers a gasoline rebate to consumers who use this credit card at the pump. Credit card holders can maximize the value of their reward points by sliding this card for other products and services. By doing so, the gas rebate percentage actually goes up, giving the consumer an incentive to use the credit card for other things besides gas.
Ways to Make the Most of Your Reward Points Program:
– Buy things you need (gas, milk and eggs, toilet paper…) with your credit card to rack up those points on a regular basis.
– Consolidate all or most of your debt to the rewards card with the most potential by using that card more often than the others. (Don’t cancel your other cards, though, because the overall amount creditors are willing to lend you boosts your credit score each time it goes up. On the same note, do not sign up for too many credit cards either. A nice balance of a few different cards should do well for your credit ratings.)
By keeping all your purchases on the same card, you make it easier when bill time comes and you save yourself more money by raking in bigger and better rewards at the same time!
– Pay your bills on time and in full. What’s the sense in earning all those rewards if you’re just going to waste them away on interest from your remaining credit card balance anyway?
– Do not spend more money than you normally would solely for the sake of reaping the rewards. Remember, the percentage and point allotment is typically very low when considered next to your credit card bill.
– Beware of cards with annual fees. For the privilege of earning rewards, consumers should not have to spend just as much, or more, on fees merely for the pleasure of having the card in their wallet.
– Keep an eye out for special promotions within your rewards plan. Sometime purchasing certain items on your card will boost the overall value of your points earned.
– Find out the details of your preferred rewards card prior to signing up. How do all the terms of the credit card stack up – APR, grace period, etc.? Is there an annual fee? When do your rewards expire? Is there a maximum reward you can earn or are there no limits?
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By researching all of the rewards card options online, consumers should get a good idea of which card and which reward system will work the best for them. With responsible spending and disciplined bill paying, useful rewards are just a few shopping trips away