Are Credit Card Rewards Really Worth Pursuing?

Some people believed credit card rewards are worth pursuing. After all, they represent free money or benefits you can take advantage of just by using your card for expenses you would pay anyway. There are many reasons why you should be using your credit card on your next purchase especially if it enables you to enjoy benefits you might otherwise have passed over because it would have been too expensive.

The key to receiving the benefits from reward cards is to ensure that they are worthwhile based on your spending habits and your financial circumstances. Here are four ways to make sure that credit card rewards are worth pursuing to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from them.

1. Pay off your balance on the card in full each month or select a rewards card that carries an unusually low interest rate.

Are Credit Card Rewards Really Worth Pursuing?
Are Credit Card Rewards Really Worth Pursuing?

Clearly, paying off your balance each month means you don’t incur interest on your card. Some people focused on charging everything on their card just because of its rewards benefits without taking into consideration the credit card rates. If you have a nasty habit of paying only a small balance on your card each month, know the high interest rate that comes with your credit card will cost you more than the benefit you will receive from the rewards.

2. Select the card that offers rewards that you will use.

Credit card rewards come in various forms. Some reward the user with cash or free merchandise based on a percentage of the amount spent. Some earn points that can be redeemed for travel Others offer specific benefits at certain places.

You should select the one that is most practical for you. If you do not like traveling, it is little use storing airline miles. If you will receive rewards from purchases you would have made anyway, that is a major benefit. If you like great offers for those special events that you might not have been able to afford otherwise, select a card that gives you the opportunity to obtain them.

3. Choose a card that fits your spending pattern.

Some cards offer a set return, such as 1 percent, on all purchases, others offer you additional rewards on special categories or fun surprises that you can use as a special gift for yourself. Shop around and determine which set of rewards will work best for you and your lifestyle.

4. Be diligent in the use of the card

Make sure you use the card at the right times. Let’s say you want to spend a night out at a restaurant. You should check what your card offers you and use it — rather than paying in cash or using another credit card — for the meal and enjoy the rewards.

Once you follow these points mentioned, you will be sure to know that pursuing credit card rewards can be fun and exciting! Just be sure to control your spending and keep on top of your credit score, as this can affect your ability to secure a mortgage or loan later in life. The crux of the issue is enjoy your ability to spend, but be sensible.

( Photo by Philip Taylor PT )

2 Responses to Are Credit Card Rewards Really Worth Pursuing?

  1. Hi, Kevin
    I give a “thumbs down” on the practice of using a credit card to “earn rewards.”
    First of all, check it out to see the actual “value” of the rewards. How much spending does it require to get a particular dollar return? Is that a wise investment?
    Be careful of the “terms and conditions” that often apply to “rewards.” There may be time limits of how long they are good, or the way in which you redeem them.
    Most people don’t retain enough data to properly analyze their use of the card. That means they really can’t identify if a “rewards” card that doubles the gift on groceries is a good one or not.
    And a lot of folks don’t have the ability to restrain their use of the card. They find it so much easier just to whip it out rather than considering the potential interest charge they’ll be facing. It is too easy to get hooked on using it for everything.
    We did it for a year or two to get Christmas presents, then discovered that if we simply saved the amount we’d spend to get the rewards, we’d be doing better.

  2. I agree with you Bill. The other issue is that credit card rewards are often front-loaded. You get bonus rewards upfront, then they disappear and you’re left with another high rate card. There are also rewards cards that require that the rewards be spent on a limited selection of products, usually proprietary. I would have no use for such offers.

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