by Millie Kay G. on 2009-07-21 15
We cover the basics of credit card rewards programs.
Rewards credit cards are a great invention: you’re able to receive cash back, earn points and even pay down your mortgage by simply paying for the things you already do on a daily basis. If you use these cards in the way they are intended, they can prove to be very beneficial to your bottom line. I’d like to review the different credit card rewards programs that are available out there and maybe we can start a discussion on which ones are worth checking out.
What Are The Best Credit Card Rewards Programs?
Cash Back Rewards
Discover More offers a $100 cash back bonus once you sign up and meet some basic spending requirements. The cash back rewards reach 5% for typical spending categories like gas, restaurants and travel. Discover also has other cash back cards, like the Discover Open Road card. which is a popular specialty gas card that rewards you up to 20% for shopping at special retailers through Discover.com, and the Motiva card. which I don’t find as attractive since you only earn up to 1% cash back at best (once you spend over $3,000). Motiva does have what’s called a “pay on time” bonus though. For more thoughts on Discover, check out this post on
Discover credit card rewards and the Discover More credit card .
American Express also has a few cards that give you cash back, including the True Earnings card and Blue Cash. For more on these, check out this discussion on American Express rewards and the American Express Blue cash credit card. There’s also Bank of America’s Accelerated Cash Rewards American Express Card which offers you the chance to earn 1.25% cash back on every dollar you spend.
A few more cards are outlined in this post on the cash back cards. For many of these programs, you can get the cash rewards via check or statement credit, or you can opt to deposit the amount to your checking or savings account. You may also want to ask a few questions:
- Can you redeem your rewards in increments?
- Is there a limit to the amount you earn?
- Will you automatically receive cash back or do you have to redeem your rewards?
- When will your rewards expire?
- Does the card have an annual fee?
Points Rewards For “Stuff”
Other than cash, most other programs allow you to earn points which you can redeem for things like merchandise, gift cards, groceries, events, travel perks and so forth. Here are some of the more popular credit cards in this category: