How to “Reward” yourself with the right Credit Card..
When it comes to choosing the “best rewards credit card” for your needs, the selections are almost endless and require some study before you complete an application. That’s a fact. Today, most credit card issuers provide “rewards” for frequent use.
The kinds of rewards made available rely, in large part, on the card you select. Choose a standard VISA or MasterCard and you may find yourself eligible for great “rewards” that include discounts on air travel … on rental cars … on rooms in first-class hotels … on merchandise … vacations … even trips to a fun-filled theme park.
It seems irresistible, but it may not be as good a deal as you think. If you plan to carry a balance, you’ll be paying interest (that may be quite high) which will negate and virtually eliminate any reward you earn.
You can opt for a card issued by an airline … a very good choice if you plan to fly exclusively with that airline. In such cases, you’ll accumulate “points” quickly that you’ll be able to convert into reduced-cost or even free air travel … to discounts on car rentals … and, often, to a free night or two, or more, at a quality hotel. These are significant benefits provided, in most cases, on a one mile for one dollar spent basis. It is something you should consider … if you plan to fly with the same airline every time.
But what if you are someone who “goes for the best deal” each time you book a flight? If you use an airline credit card, you will dramatically slow down the time in which it takes for you to accumulate the points necessary to “earn a reward.” Your better choice is to choose a regular credit card, like American Express, for example, that allows you to accumulate points on every trip, regardless of which airline you’ve flown with … points that will quickly become convertible into free or greatly-reduced air travel.
Of course, when choosing a “rewards” credit card, it’s important that you be cognizant of the interest rate being charged by the card issuer for purchases … for ATM withdrawals … and for all other uses. You need to pay close attention, as well, to any penalties and fees that you may be charged with for late payments and other “transgressions.” And you need to consider, too, the annual fee, if one exists, that the card issuer charges you just for the right to use the card.
Remember: rewards are great to get, but not if the cost in getting them is too high. It has to make sense for you financially (you can’t lose money earning rewards) or else you need to pass up what appears to be a “great opportunity.” So how do you choose the “right” credit card?
First, know your tendencies. Do the research. Then … choose the card that will enable you to get the most rewards possible without penalty and without spending yourself into debt. That card exists. You simply need to find it.