Simply getting a reward credit card is not enough. Once your application has been approved, you need to do some steps to make the most out of it. Let’s discuss some important points on how you can make your reward credit card work for you:
Make sure that the card does not ask for expensive annual fee. An annual fee is a mandatory fee that you need to pay in order to renew your membership for the card. If you have to pay a very expensive fee each year just to be part of the rewards program, weigh things very carefully if it’s worth your money. If you can buy the rewards you earn for the whole year with the same amount of annual fee, then what’s the point of getting a rewards card?
Make sure you don’t have a remaining balance in your account. Most reward credit cards impose a higher interest rate so if you often incur an unpaid balance, then the high interest rate defeats your purpose of earning rewards. Thus, in order to benefit from your rewards credit card, it is crucial for you to keep up with your monthly bills on time and avoid paying for expensive rates.
A Travel Rewards Credit Card does not work for small charges. In order to get a free travel, you’ll need to earn points that can cost you $10,000 or even more from purchases. If you only use your credit card for personal expenses, this may not be the best reward credit card for you. However, if you’re a frequent traveler and often use your card to pay for your airline ticket, hotel accommodation, and travel purchases, then it will be easy for you to earn enough points and qualify for a free travel.
A Gas Rewards Credit Card will not be of much use if you will not use it. Generally, gas reward cards give rebates from gasoline purchases made from affiliate gas stations. Gas reward cards do not give rebates from purchases made at groceries, shops or general merchandises. Thus, if you think you will not be using your card as much on these purchases, then maybe this is not the reward card for you. However, if you’re often on long road trips then a gas rewards card can work to your advantage since you can save a lot from earning gas rebates.
“Up To” does not mean ALWAYS. If the terms on the credit card say you can earn “up to 5% cash back on your purchases”, remember that this means you can earn as much as 5% cash back on selected purchases, not on all your purchases. Thus, you may be given only 1% or less on most of your purchases and get only occasional 5% cash back on a few items.
All rewards come with a limit. All reward credit cards impose a certain restriction when it comes to collecting and claiming rewards. Some credit cards will limit the maximum number of points you can earn for a one-year period. Some credit cards put a limit on the total amount of reward you can claim. For instance, after you’ve earned $500 of rewards, your privilege to earn rewards can be stopped or terminated.
Obviously, the importance of reading and understanding every statement on the agreement form of the credit card cannot be emphasized enough. If you don’t want to get any unpleasant surprises after signing up for the card, then take your time and make sure that you do agree on all statements included in your contract.