Credit cards with rewards are meant to give its cardholders with incentives or bonuses from their spending. But not all reward credit cards live up to their promise. Consumers must be choosy when it comes to signing up for a reward credit card. Furthermore, cardholders must also pay attention to their payment habits to get the most from a credit card.
How can you maximize rewards from your credit card?
Maximizing your rewards credit card is not just about spending. Yes, you can earn more points by using your card more often but you also need to make sure that you can pay back your balances on time. Otherwise, you could end up paying for more than your actual purchases because of the additional interest charges. Take note that credit cards with rewards often charge higher APR than non-rewards credit cards.
You can also choose from a variety of reward programs. Find one that complements your needs and spending style to get the most benefit. It is important to know that some cards only give points from “qualifying purchases”. Thus, in order to get points, you need to purchase from affiliated merchants or establishments. If this is true with your chosen rewards card, you must make sure that these affiliates are merchants you frequently shop from.
You can find reward credit cards that offer 0% interest as part of their introductory period. Take advantage of this privilege but don’t forget to check on some important things. For one, you need to be clear about how long the introductory period lasts. Some credit cards offer only 3 months of 0% APR while others offer up to 6 to 12 months or even more. Check how much the regular interest rate would be after the introductory period. You’ll want to make sure that you won’t get stuck with a credit card that has an unreasonable interest rate.
Also, you should understand which of your credit card costs the zero interest applies. It could either be to balance transfers or purchases only. There are also reward credit cards that offer 0% interest on both balance transfers and purchases but an excellent credit history may be required.
Does the credit card carry an annual fee? If yes, how much? Annual fees on rewards credit cards may range from $40 to $100. You’ll want to make sure that the yearly cost will not offset the value of rewards you can earn. If you can find a reward credit card with no annual fee, the better it would be.
Most of all, you can maximize the benefits from your reward credit cards if you understand the specific terms and conditions of the reward program. Each reward credit card has a different reward scheme so it is important that you are clear about them right before you sign up.