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Cash Back Credit Card -- How it Works and Who It Benefits

Aug 17, 2007
Cash back credit cards seem like magic to those who use them. Who would have ever thought that you could actually be paid to shop? Cash back credit card programs work that simply; a percentage of every purchase you make is set aside for you as points. When you reach enough points from your purchases, you can pull that cash out of the fund. That cash can then be applied directly to your cash back credit card balance, or you can request it in the form of a check. The best cash back credit cards will offer up to 3% cash back, but 1% or less is most common.

How it Works

It is easy to believe that cash back credit card companies have hired the wrong person to do their math. It's anti-intuitive to think that a credit card company that lends you money will give you even more money the more you shop! In actuality, cash back credit cards benefit the credit card company as much, if not more, than the consumers who use them. The reason cash back credit cards work so well is that they build strong customer loyalty. When a customer knows that he has the potential to gain a significant amount of cash back from his purchases, he will be more inclined to use a particular credit card for all of his shopping needs. What's more, will likely stick with the same credit card company over a long period of time so that he actually gains points. The more money you spend on your credit card over a longer period of time means the cash back credit card company will reap the benefit of your interest month after month. Thus, in reality, the cash that you receive back from your purchases may equal out to the interest that you have been paying over a given period of time.

What to Expect

The best cash back credit cards will offer you up to 3% of the total of your purchases, but most programs offer 1%. Look out! The higher percentage of return may also mean that you are receiving a higher interest rate. You may also be locked into a long-term plan with the credit card company if the benefits look too good to be true. Therefore, when you enroll in a cash back credit card program, make sure that you have taken the time to research how many dollars you have to spend in order to start receiving cash back.

Where to Find a Cash Back Card

Nearly every credit card company will offer some sort of cash back option. If you are with a credit card company now and are not sure whether they offer a cash back credit card, simply ask! There may be incentives that you are not even aware of.

Cash back credit cards help to relieve some of the guilt suffered by shoppers. When you know that a percentage of every dollar you spend could be returned to you, you may actually even feel motivated to shop more. Cash back credit card companies benefit from knowing that shoppers do feel guilty about making large purchases. But, if shoppers know that they could be rewarded for the large purchase (even if the reward is only a few dollars), they can rest easy. Again, the best cash back credit cards will offer about 3%, but may come with heavy restrictions. Take the time to do ample research into what cash back credit card programs are currently available to you.
About the Author
For more on how a cash back credit card works, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com
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