These days, every credit card company is offering a different credit card rewards program. Some have miles, some have gifts, and some – the best of the best – cash back rewards. My credit cards are all a part of the best – with cash back rewards programs.
Think about it – let’s assume in a year you charge $50,000 on your credit card. The typical frequent flyer reward miles programs will offer you 50,000 miles for this level of charging. Have you ever tried redeeming those credit card rewards miles lately? Almost every airline quickly sells out its lowest frequent flyer miles redemption tickets after 2 or 3 seats. Can you believe it? They only usually reserve a few seats per flight for the lowest level of miles for redeeming a free ticket, claiming you can get a free round trip domestic ticket for 25,000 miles. However, it is very difficult to redeem at this level.
What’s Best – Cash Back or Rewards?
Most airlines will charge you double miles to get the free round trip domestic ticket. More than likely, you will have to spend 50,000 of your miles from your credit card rewards program for this domestic ticket. Now let’s compare that to the average cash back rewards program. Most of the best cash back rewards programs offer 1% cash back on all your purchases. There are a multitude of credit cards that offer the 1% cash back, and some even offer up to 2% cash back. There are even a select few credit cards that offer extra cash back for certain purchases, like restaurant and gas charges, with up to 3% cash back!
But for purposes of this discussion, let’s focus on the 1% cash back credit card rewards program. Assume you charge the same $50,000 in a year, but with a credit card that offers 1% cash back on all your purchases. At the end of the year, this would entitle you to $500 cash back. Most domestic airline tickets these days charge, with advance bookings, nowhere near $500 for a ticket. In fact, they are usually less than $250. So with this $500, you could purchase two domestic tickets!
Better yet, you can use your $500 from your credit card rewards program for whatever you want. Why be forced to spend it on an airline ticket or any other gift reward item for that matter? Even more exciting is that there are now numerous cards offering 1.5% and even up to 2% cash back. It’s a no-brainer; choose what’s best – a cash back rewards credit cardis the only way to go! Find a credit card rewards program and card that works for you!
Selecting the Right Gas Rebate Credit Card
These days, with the high price of oil, credit companies are competing fiercely for your business, spurring on a slew of aggressive advertising techniques to entice you to sign up for a gas rebate credit card. With the price of gas quickly reaching $4.00 a gallon, perhaps it’s time to re-evaluate the details of credit card rewards programs. Not only do you get something in return for the high prices you are paying at the pump, but you also have an incentive to return frequently. These types of credit card rewards programs are becoming quite popular with consumers who see it as a way of taking some of the bite off when filling up.
Tips for Credit Card Rewards Programs
It’s important to read the fine print on the application in addition to the details of each of the credit card rewards programs carefully. Some offers sound tempting at first glance but often have strict limits on how, when, and where you can redeem the rewards they are offering. Moreover, you will find that the limits sometimes reach the point of benefitting the credit card company more than you. Be wary of credit card rewards programs that charge a higher interest rate. If a credit company is offering credit card rewards programs that seem too good to be true, then they probably are. Many times, the credit card company will pay for these rewards by charging a higher interest rate if you’re carrying a balance. It’s best to pay the balance off every month so that the higher interest rate will not affect you.
Furthermore, most credit card rewards programs don’t kick in until you have spent “up to” a certain amount, like on a gas rebate credit card, for example. Again, be careful to read the fine print because many times, especially on cash back reward credit cards, the reward will not kick in until you have spent over a certain dollar limit threshold. For example, some credit cards may give you a $50.00 gift certificate after spending $10,000 on the card. This really amounts to about a ½% reward. In this case, you would be far better off with a 1% cash back reward. Ensure that you understand how much you are paying for the reward you are receiving.
Additionally, watch for annual add-on fees with reward credit cards. Make sure you do not have to spend a bundle to get decent credit card rewards. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of the reward as you are really paying for the reward with the annual fee. Other times, credit card companies impose reward limits. You may have noticed many cards offering rewards but only up to a certain amount. For example, a 5% cash back gas rebate credit card may stop paying once you have reached $200 or $300 in gas purchases. Apply for the credit card rewards programs that have no limit or that give you unlimited cash back. Finally, some credit card companies have reward expiration dates. If you have to redeem your rewards for a gift item, make sure you redeem before the posted expiration periods. Usually, you must redeem rewards within a specific period of time.
A Gas Rebate Credit Card in Particular
A gas rebate credit card can be quite generous but can have its limitations. Ask the credit card company if you can use these rewards at all gas stations or if the rewards for the card are limited to certain gas stations, certain locations, or a particular grade of gas.
Every time you make a purchase on your gas rebate credit card, you get a percentage of that purchase in credit to use to buy gas. Many of the credit card rewards programs will give you a higher cash back percent when you use your gas rebate credit card to purchase gas at a pre-approved gas station. Often, it is as high as 5% cash back on your gasoline purchase!
A gas rebate credit card with added perks can be extremely beneficial, especially if you monitor the best credit card rewards programs available. Once you’re convinced and ready to apply for a gas rebate credit card, make sure that you read the application carefully. Do not rush through the application process to find out this card is not something you expected. Do the appropriate research, and you’ll be more than satisfied.
Before you apply, however, make sure you fully understand the particulars of using a gas rebate credit card. Talk to one of the credit counselors if needed. Odds are that this card will come in handy time and time again because gas is a much-needed necessity. By using these tips as a guide and reading the fine print, you will be able to find the best credit card rewards programs to fit your needs.