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The Pros And Cons Of Reward Cards

Aug 17, 2007
There are many different types of credit cards around today, with all sorts of different incentives and features. One of the main categories of credit cards that are trying to get peoples attention are reward cards. These cards offer you something in return for spending your credit. If you are looking for a credit card, then here is some advice about the pros and cons of reward cards.

What are reward cards?

Reward cards are simply another name for credit cards that offer you specific rewards or incentives in return for spending your credit. These can range from cash back schemes to travel rewards to discounts on goods. The idea is to encourage you to spend, and that in return you are getting something back.

Cash back schemes

One of the most common forms of reward cards and cash back scheme cards. These cards offer you a percentage of the money back that you spend, usually between 0.5 and 1%. This means that the more you spend, the more money you will get back in rewards. These cards are good for people who spend a lot on their credit cards anyway, but often pay back most or all of the balance in full each month.

Travel rewards

Another main type of reward cards are cards that offer travel incentives, such as air miles each time you spend money or free travel insurance. These cards are great for people who like to travel and want to get some travel related rewards for the credit that they spend.

The costs of reward cards

Although reward cards can offer good incentives on paper, once you look more closely you often see that they are not worth much. The cash back amounts are often low, so you have to spend a huge amount to get anything back. Also, the air miles you earn take ages to build up, and the travel insurance may be extremely limited. Another problem is that most of these cards have higher interest rates and annual fees that basically cancel out the incentives offered.

Making the most of reward cards

If you do fancy getting a reward card, then to make the most of them you should spend as much as you can on the card each month and then pay back the balance in full. This will avoid you having to pay the interest on your balance, and if you can find a card with no annual fee will mean you are getting the rewards for nothing. Although the rewards might be small, if you spend enough and pay it back each month you will get something out of it.

Rewards are not everything

Although reward cards might seem like a good idea, unless you pay off the balance each month the incentives are probably not worth it. If get a card without the rewards you will probably find your interest rate and fees are lower, meaning that you will pay less overall for your credit card.
About the Author
Peter Kenny is a writer for creditcards-gb.co.uk Please visit us at Credit Cards and Rewards Credit Card
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