One of the best perks to having a credit card is the rewards program many of them offer. Credit card companies use this benefit to attract new customers and keep their current ones. That doesn’t mean credit card reward programs are a free gift to you from the credit card companies; certain restrictions do apply, and it might not be worth it to participate in a rewards program depending on the circumstances. However, rewards benefits from a credit card company can really add up to some substantial benefits, if you approach them the right way. Here are some suggestions on getting the most from the best rewards credit card.
Save Money with Credit Cards
- Most rewards credit cards require you to pay off your balance every month. If you have a balance that carries over, the benefits may be reduced or you could be ineligible for rewards at all.
- Typically, credit cards that offer rewards will have a higher APR than ones who don’t. Make sure you shop around to get the best APR you can while still receiving rewards.
- You might have to do a little bit of math. If you have to spend an obscene amount of money for a $30 gift card, is it really worth it? Probably not.
- If you travel often, a credit card offering free air miles might seem like a good idea. Keep in mind you’ll have to charge and pay off a lot of purchases before you are able to redeem those miles. There may be blackout dates and expiration dates that prevent you from using earned miles – it’s important to read the fine print of any offers.
- Speaking of expiration dates, these may occur on travel miles, lodging discounts, points, even merchandise and cash back offers.
- Fuel rewards are very popular, especially with the soaring fuel prices today. However, most credit cards require you purchase your fuel from specific places in order to earn rewards. Generally, places like supermarkets or smaller stations are not included in the cashback plan.
- Know the limits placed on earned rewards on credit cards by the company. For instance, some credit cards only allow you to earn up to a certain percentage and then you won’t earn any more. If your credit card company has a rewards program that gives you points up to 1% and not a penny over, you have to decide if it’s worth it.
Credit card reward programs can definitely add a lot to the credit card experience, but you have to know the ins and outs to make the most from rewards credit cards. Do a little homework and compare credit cards and what they have to offer to choose the best one for your lifestyle. Don’t forget to read the fine print, and don’t be afraid to walk away and find a better credit card that better suits you. After all, this is your money you’re spending.