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Reward Credit Cards - An Introduction

Aug 17, 2007
The competition among credit card companies is intensifying by the day and in order to beat the competition, card issuers are coming up with new offers and incentives to entice customers each and every day. Reward credit cards have gradually evolved in this race for survival among credit card issuers and banks. Why would reward credit cards, which were once issued only to the loyal customers of a credit card company, be promoted and distributed in such large numbers? Well, market conditions have pressured credit card issuers into providing newer more compelling credit card offers, allowing the common man on the street to gain immensely from the newest and best reward credit cards currently available. This article will describe the various types of reward credit cards, features, benefits, tips for use, and things to watch out for maximum advantage.

In essence, reward credit cardholders are entitled to receive rewards based on the points he or she gains through their card purchases over time. The most common types of reward credit cards seen in the marketplace are air miles credit cards and cash back credit cards.

Air miles credit cards provide air miles for each dollar spent using the card and allow the user to redeem the accumulated miles for hotel accommodations, air travel or car rentals. Such offers are especially beneficial for those who are frequent fliers. Cash back credit cards typically give back a set percentage of total purchases as a cash rebate based on the total bill, either monthly or annually.

Who Should Be Using a Reward Credit Card?

Although the credit card companies are undoubtedly aiming to profit from every type of credit card they roll out in the market, one can expect some economic advantages behind the reward credit cards for consumers as well. Reward benefits for cardholders are usually offset by higher interest rates and additional fees and surcharges that exceed what a normal credit card might incur. Reward credit cards are best suited for individuals that can confidently pay off their card balance each and every month so as not to incur finance charges by carrying a balance. The points that you earn from your purchases can be built up progressively but are better suited to individuals or businesses that use their cards often and are probably not best for those who use credit cards very sparsely primarily because by the time the cardholder builds up enough points for a viable reward redemption, many times, the expiration date on those points will have already expired.

Tips for Use

So if you do plan on acquiring a reward credit card, to get the most out of the card, you should try to use it extensively, including virtually every bill you pay, including electricity and gas bills, phone service expenses, weekly grocery shopping, and internet and cable TV, etc. If you are financially sound enough to make the repayments in time, there are even some reward credit cards that will allow you to charge your mortgage or rent payment on your card.

Also, it is a good idea to apply for an add-on card for your spouse and distribute the spending on both. This way the customer could gain more bonus points for the same expenditure and hence better rewards.

To sum it up, the trick is quite simple, use your reward credit card as often as possible (well within your repayment ability, of course), always pay off the card balance at the end of each month, and reap the reward benefits.

Finally, before concluding, a word of advice; prior to applying for a reward credit card, do a bit of research to see which companies are offering the best reward credit cards and which among them is the most advantageous for your personal situation. The Internet provides a wealth of information on various card types and offers so be sure to utilize the information available online. A little bit of homework will make all the difference in your reward credit cards selection.
About the Author
For more on reward credit cards, Robert Alan recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com
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