Credit Card Rewards

Used with permission from Microsoft.

Are you one of the many people who get no rewards from their credit card? If so, take a few minutes and switch to card that offers rewards.

  • If you have a credit score above 700, don’t settle for less than 1.5% rewards on your credit card.
  • Get the rewards you want. If you don’t enjoy traveling, don’t accumulate airline rewards, but instead choose a cash reward. If you don’t like the hassle of receiving and cashing rebate checks, then chose a card that credits your reward directly to your monthly balance.
  • Consider annual fees when choosing the card. Many cards have no fees and offer the same rewards as those that do.
  • Look for sign-up bonuses. Several times a year, some banks increase the standard offer of 25,000 miles to 50,000 or even 100,000 miles. NerdWallet.com and MyBankTracker.com update their lists of credit card offers daily.

Here are some of the best rewards cards:

  • If you want cash: Capital One Cash (capitalone.com/cash) has no annual fee, 0% interest for a year, and 1.5% cash back (1% on all purchases, plus an annual 50% bonus).
  • If you each out a lot: Citi Forward (creditcards.citi.com) has no annual fee, 0% interest for a year, and 5 points per $1 spent on restaurants and entertainment; 1 point for everything else; redeemable for a variety of rewards including gift cards.
  • If you travel a lot: American Express Starwood Preferred Guest (AmericanExpress.com) has a $65 annual fee (waived the first year), variable interest, and 4 points for every dollar spent at more than 1,000 hotels around the world. [American Express also offers a Delta Airlines card with a 40,000 mile sign-up bonus.]

Summarized from the article “Credit & Savings” in Money magazine, May 2012, p. 76.

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