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Credit Card Rewards Programs

Dec 12, 2007
One of the latest and hottest trends with credit cards these days is all the new and varied rewards programs companies offer. These rewards programs are growing in popularity, and surveys and statistics show that rewards programs affect people's decisions about which credit card or cards they choose to apply for, as well as which one of their existing cards they use for a particular purchase.

However, one prevalent problem with credit card rewards programs is that many consumers and cardholders that are a part of these programs often don't redeem their accumulated points, for various reasons, such as forgetting, not wanting to bother or not knowing how.

Credit card companies offer these rewards programs as a way of promoting their particular credit cards to increase their usage. But when points aren't redeemed, there is often less reason to use the card. As a result, credit card companies are encouraged to offer more exciting, alluring, beneficial and practical rewards programs that customers would actually be interested in and want to use more often; as well as better their communication with the finer points and "how-to" of redeeming rewards points, and making point redemption more convenient.

There are many different types of rewards customers can enjoy through the programs and incentives offered by credit card companies. One of more recent popular choices are lifestyle rewards, allowing cardholders to take vacations and go on other getaways or enjoy a "night out," depending on that they prefer, once they've accumulated a certain number of points.

Other rewards include cash-back rewards--a favorite and top choice among credit card patrons--as well as air travel mile rewards, gift certificates, free merchandise and members-only discounts.

Now that rewards programs are high on the average consumer's list of criteria for choosing a good credit card, credit card companies are finding that they not only need to offer rewards programs, but ones that are useful, beneficial, desirable, sought-after and relevant, as well as programs that are different from others and unusual in the competitive credit card market. If a rewards program isn't attractive or particularly relevant, or if it's the same as every other program offered by credit card companies, it's not going to stand out or attract customers.

There are also ways for credit cardholders to maximize the power of credit card rewards programs they are already part of, and enjoy additional savings.

One example involves using your internet connection and computer to take advantage of many available online rewards programs. All you need to do is register your rewards credit card online in order to get those extra points or cash back, which will go into another account. A lot of these online programs involve shopping rewards and coupon savings--for groceries and gas, for example--letting you save even more than simply using your credit card to make purchases.

For coupons, after registering your credit card online, you can have access to coupons that you simply print out to use along with your credit card. As far as shopping rewards go, with an online registered credit card you can make purchases online through participating merchants in order to get cash back incentives. Generally speaking, credit card companies mail out a cash rebate check once you've reached the minimum amount for payout.

Find out what type of rewards programs, bonuses and incentives are offered by your current credit card as well as other credit cards you might be interested in. Although there are many other factors to take into consideration when thinking about choosing a new credit card or even switching all together--such as APR, interest rates, annual fees and other fees, credit limit and acceptability--rewards programs are certainly not to be overlooked.
About the Author
Read reviews for First Bank of Delaware credit cards and cards from all other major issuers at CreditorWeb.com.
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