5 Important Things to Look for in a Credit Card Rewards Program
From Annual Fees to Interest Rates, Here’s Everything You Need to Know When Looking for the Right Credit Card Rewards Program.
Airline miles and hotels. Cash back and gift cards. No matter which rewards you reap, credit card rewards programs are a great way to get a little bit more bang for your buck. The premise is simple: Use your credit card for everyday purchases, pay them off quickly, and earn loyalty points in return.
With so many options to choose from - Venture Capital One, Discover Cash Back, American Express, Chase Sapphire, or an airline card - picking the right rewards program can seem overwhelming. There are several important things you need to keep in mind when making your decision, and luckily, the experts at Best Financial Credit Union have come up with a few tips to help guide you along the way.
Here are five important things to look for when you’re choosing a credit card rewards program.
1. Pick the right rewards
Fist, you’ll have to decide which type of rewards you want. Do you want airline miles or cash back? Hotel points or gift cards? There are plenty of options to choose from, so you’ll just have to decide which rewards program you’ll most benefit from.
2. Watch out for annual fees
When you’re part of an exclusive club, members often pay dues. Some credit card rewards programs are no different and charge an annual fee for its services. If a rewards card has hundreds of dollars in annual fees, you’ll need to ask yourself if the rewards are really worth it.
3. Know the interest rates
Most credit cards you will research come with an interest rate, which is an additional fee that will need to be paid back to the credit card company. For example, if a card’s interest rate is 25% and the balance carried is $500, you would owe an estimated $125 in interest after a year. As you did when researching the annual fees, you’ll need to make sure that interest rates don’t outweigh the rewards.
4. Know expiration dates
With most major credit card rewards programs, as long as your account is in good standing, your rewards and points won’t expire. But, not all programs are created equal. Some programs have a ‘use it or lose it” policy, while other programs will deem inactive accounts (no activity in 12, 18, 24 months) ineligible for rewards. Make sure you’re paying attention to expiration dates.
5. Know the terms of service
A lot of the information you need to make an educated decision on which rewards program to choose can be found in the terms of service. Make sure you read them carefully and understand all of the fine print before signing up.
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