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Reap Rewards For Using Your Credit Cards

Dec 13, 2007
'Earn while you spend' - how does this sound? Exciting? That is precisely what rewards credit cards promise for you. The days of using your credit cards to just spend now and pay later are gone. Now, your credit card can fetch you rewards every time you use it to spend.

Credit card companies are competing with each other to give the best possible and of course the most useful rewards to their customers. You, as a customer of a rewards credit card, are completely spoiled for choice! There are rewards ranging from cash incentives and discounts on purchases to travel rewards like airline points or hotel stays or movie tickets, dinner coupons and many more creative rewards. By carefully planning your spending, you can reap rich rewards and actually feel happy about your expenses!

There are other very tempting benefits that come attached with these cards like waiving of the annual credit card fee, 0% APR and low interest balance transfers etc. Long term customers are preferred for these rewards, though in the highly competitive credit card market of today, new customers are also being welcomed with these options. Airlines, hotels, malls and brand shops selling attire, watches, jewelry etc. have tie-ups with the credit card companies to make the offers more friendly and attractive and at the same time see it as a means to increase their sales.

As there are a number of options for you to choose from, you should carefully consider them to make a choice that will most satisfy your wants and desires. The nature of the rewards that will be given to you should be born in mind. For example, if you do not like movies, then a card that gives movie tickets as rewards may not be meaningful for you. The extra benefits also need to be taken into account - a card that has no annual fee is better than a card that waives annual fee for the first year alone. You could categorize the benefits as short term and long term. Points that can be redeemed at gas stations and dining freebies are short term that can be used on a day to day basis. Where as travel points are long term rewards that can be used during your vacations or in case you are a business traveler, during one of your business trips. You should ideally decide to go for long term or short term rewards based on your life style.

You need to collect points on your card before redeeming them for a bonus or a gift; and every time you spend, you will be awarded points. So, the ratio of the rewards amount to the spent amount should be a factor to look into. For instance, if a $25 spending could earn you rewards worth $2, it is better than the spent amount fetching you rewards worth $1. Next, you should spend some time in carefully reading the terms and conditions associated with the offers and make sure that there are no catches that you may regret later on.

You should remember that once you have got your rewards credit card and used it to make all your purchases, you will be required to make your payments on time. The rewards are tied to prompt repayment. So, if you do not pay up on time or do not pay up required amount, there is a likelihood of losing all the reward points you have so painfully accumulated! As in case of any credit card, late payment also could lead to bad credit and a sagging credit score. Hence, after getting your rewards credit card, you should adopt a spending style that is carefully planned and wise.
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