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What Are Credit Card Rewards

Feb 29, 2008
One of the motivations that make many consumers consider the purchase of credit card is the consequent incentives or rewards that are attached to the cardholder package. With so many card companies competing for customers, it is not surprising to see a variety of rewards packages emerging, all seeking offer the best of the best in attractive incentives for using your credit card for purchases.

Credit card rewards are typically offered on a points system that is keyed into the total amount of purchases made with the credit card. The more purchases you make the more access you have to various levels or types of rewards. Thus, it is a good idea to know whether you are going to make beneficial use of a rewards credit card before you seek one out. Of course, in order to determine the potential benefits, it is important to know what kinds of rewards are available.

Types of Rewards

As far as the types of rewards or incentives, card companies offer a number of exclusive benefits and gifts to cardholders who decide to purchase a rewards type of credit card. Among them, there are at least five basic incentives: cash back rewards, frequent flier miles, cash rebates, gasoline rewards, and retailer rewards.

Cash back rewards. These may be just most common form of credit card rewards offered by the card companies. Basically, the card rewards cash amounts based upon a percentage of the total credit card purchases. In some cases, this might mean a dollar for dollar percentage rate. (e.g. 1% of every $1 charged) With other packages, the cash back is awarded at specified points in time after a certain amount of money has been charged. (e.g. $10 after $1,000 is charged to the card)

Frequent flier miles. There are many credit cards that provide users with frequent flier miles that are accrued over time or on specific usage requirements established by the card company. These rewards can then be redeemed for plane tickets from participating airlines. This is a great feature for business executives who travel across the country throughout the year.

Points Rewards. With the points reward system, a certain amount of points is awarded based upon the amount of a purchase. These points can then be traded in or redeemed for all sorts of products, services, and cash awards. These might include travel discounts, gift certificates, merchandise, and limited-time services.

Gasoline rewards. With this incentive, you can earn some breaks at the gas pump by making credit card purchases. Most of the time, some form of rebate is given on a percentage rate for every purchase made.

Retailer rewards. Various businesses partner with credit card companies to provide an incentive for making purchases with the card and a percentage of each purchase goes towards providing a credit with the participating company. This could mean anything from groceries to cell phone or automobile purchases.

By knowing what types of rewards programs are out there, you will have a better concept of what sort of credit card will provide the most benefits for you. Take the time to research the various plans and be sure about what it is that you want to spend to obtain the rewards benefits.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for The Thrifty Scot, please visit us at Credit Card Rewards and Debt Consolidation
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