There is a plethora of credit card options to go with. You have to ensure that you are getting the best deal suited for your preferences and making the most of your money. Reward systems credit cards are all similar, but not equal. You have to learn how to choose a reward systems that will pay you back the most. There are many rewards credit card options, and they all mainly fall into three categories:
- Cash back
- Airline or hotel co-branded
- Points- or miles-based
Depending on the type of lifestyle you have and what you hope to gain from a rewards card, you may only need one card. Or, you might fare better by using two or more in combination. Let’s walk through the three different categories to find out which reward systems are best for you.
Cash back, points or miles? Choosing a rewards credit card begins with your personal lifestyle and needs. What exactly do you hope to get from your card? If you’re unsure, or have multiple goals for your card, it may make sense to open more than one account and utilise each efficiently. For example, you could use a cash back card for purchases that qualify for a higher percentage return. That includes things like groceries, and then you could use a points card for the rest of your purchases to put toward travel rewards.
A cash back credit card offers you a certain percentage (between 1 and 2%) back for every dollar you charge. Depending on the company, some cards will give you a better percentage for certain categories of spending (such as gas and groceries), whereas others will cap the maximum amount of cash you can earn annually. These cards are the simplest to use and understand. This makes them the best option for people without the time to get the most out of a points or travel rewards card.
Most major hotel chains and airlines offer co-branded credit cards with points-based reward systems.The rate of return tends to be higher than if you used cash back or a general points reward card to pay for travel expense. But, they only work with the associated sponsoring hotel or airline. Most of these cards come with extra rewards such as elite status, no charge for checked baggage, and other travel-related perks.
Transferable Points or Miles
Lastly, a credit card with a transferable points or miles program offers a flexible option that can be more profitable than the other types of cards. This is because it gives you the freedom to choose between point redemption towards a hotel stay or flight on the airline of your choice by moving points to an outside travel rewards program, or converting the points to cash rewards. While these cards can be most rewarding and are especially beneficial to travelers, they require a bit more effort in order to maximize value.
Looking at the Whole Picture (and Card Requirements)
Before choosing a rewards card, consider the amount of spending a card requires to earn the sign-up bonus. The time-frame in which you must do so is important to think about too. If it’s more than you usually spend (or can reasonably pay back without carrying a balance), it is usually not worth it. The same goes for cards with annual fees. You have to earn more in rewards than you pay for the privilege of having the card.
So, consider all the points, and make an informed and researched decision about which credit card you think would benefit you the most. Try to allow yourself to make the most of your situation. If you’re looking for additional tips, you can check out our blog by clicking here.