Rewards cards come in many different types and with as various offerings. How they work is by letting you accumulate points from a purchase, which can be converted into merchandise, gift cards, cash back, or airline miles. The last one can be traded in with an airline or broker site so you get cash for miles.
Almost every credit card you get these days has the rewards option as part of the service package. This is one of those things, which make choosing all that harder, especially if you are paying too close attention to the fine points. The marketplace sometimes is nothing but confusing, but you need to remember a few basic factors and never let go of them. One is the annual fees, interest rates and such – how much should you pay just to have the card?
One convenient aspect of getting a credit card is that this can be done online. But do not go applying in all the places that call out to you with an email. While this might seem tempting, you cannot be sure that the particular card will be worth what you pay for it. Something like an airline miles card, for instance, is almost useless to a person that does not fly much. He or she would accumulate significant points for purchases, and be forced to try to get cash for miles online.
If your card gives points but not enough easy ways to redeem them, you are dragging dead weight in at least one sense. Also, these rewards should be generous compared to other card options, especially if you are dishing out a healthy sum as annual fees. Most importantly, you need to have the offerings aligned with your personal interests. Such as if you are curtailing your expenses seriously for the time being, in which case it is good if the card lets you use points to shop at the store you regularly visit. Do not go and blindly pick something that lets you spend cash for miles, which are not much use if you are an occasional flyer.
Cash back might be a good deal, if you do not want to go out in search of an option that will get you cash for miles. But consumers usually do not avail this option, because this means you have to spend a lot to accumulate cash in useful quantities. Shopping points cards are usually the most common choice among people who don’t fly much.