Unless you happen to live beyond the reach of most economic news regarding the current state of the economy, or have never had to keep a household budget from going into a fiscal melt-down, there is no welcome required into the real world of creative financing. As many savvy consumers are becoming aware, there is a little bit of gold to be found in those reward cards, and it doesn’t require a shovel, compass, or a mule to find them. Whether you are seeking the kind of rewards credit card that offers to pay you back in regular dollars and cents, in colorful gift cards, or points, or even sky-miles, there are numerous avenues and methods to mine the credit card reward options out there, and get the most for not only your hard earned money, but your efforts as well.
Choose the Right Card for the Right Lifestyle
It goes without mentioning that any smart consumer is really looking for a rewards credit card that provides the most lucrative benefits in their particular spending category and lifestyle choices. If an individual doesn’t drive or own an automobile, then a gas reward card makes little sense (Read: 3 Things to Know When Comparing Gas Credit Cards).
If globe-trotting to far-off and exotic places is not on the agenda, or even if venturing outside of the neighborhood often has no particular appeal, then having a travel, miles, or gas reward card will not provide much in the way of rewards or benefits.
The best and most sensible type of rewards credit card is the one that actually provides all the benefits you need by spending what you have to spend on everyday purchases. Common sense dictates that the best reward credit cards give back the best and highest rewards in the specific consumer products and services a consumer already uses and enjoys. Simply stated, it’s the card that gives the consumer the top rewards, useable redemption options, and of course, the best all-around value for the money. No matter whether you have already found the best rewards credit card, or are still looking for one, there are good strategies to use to maximize the reward choices.
Extend the Rewards by extending the Options
One strategy is to determine what type of discounts, or promotions, or even ‘extras’ that might be available through any affiliated credit card partners. This can be researched through any on-line shopping portal linked to your particular card that endorses or promotes products or services from affiliated retailers. Another great strategy is to consider paying for the everyday household overhead expenses, such as the utility bills, insurance premiums, telephone bills, even the cable and internet charges on your rewards credit card. Some reward cards also offer benefits back into your wallet via purchases made in the grocery store or pharmacy.
It makes good sense to also investigate the specific terms and conditions stipulated with your rewards credit card, and usually somewhere in the fine print. Check to see if there are any type of limitations on how rewards can be earned, and in what purchasing categories, and the specific time periods the rewards are available. Some rewards credit cards even offer double the benefits for certain timeframes of usage. If you happen to be a start-up entrepreneur, or are running a business enterprise, there are also business class rewards cards that offer even higher rewards for business expenses and purchases, with higher reward spending caps. Another strategy is to consider a rewards credit card that offers benefits for NOT making purchases, but instead rewards the cardholder for making timely payments on their account. This is especially advantageous if you happen to carry a balance on the account from month to month.
Check the Fees, check the Rates, check the Offers
Getting the best value from your rewards card is certainly the primary goal. This benefit level is boosted by acquiring a card with no annual fee, along with a low interest rate. Those with low-rate introductory offers, no fees for same-day on-line payments, and even types of services that keep watch on over-the-limit spending and late charges are also a good bet. In addition, check out whether the reward credit card requires an annual fee for its use. On a final note, keep an eye on timely payment obligations to maintain a good credit rating, and the lower interest rate. Limiting the number of rewards cards that you use increases the benefits available on the few cards that are used more often. Likewise, go on-line to the reward card’s website as often as possible to track purchases and balances, and to stay on top of the card’s activity and redemption status. With a little luck, you might find a $20 reward turn into a $25, $30, or even $40 gift card from an affiliated retailer.