Credit Cards – Which One Is Right For You?

Is a Credit Card better than a personal loan? Well, strictly speaking a credit card is a form of personal loan although interest is paid only on the balance that has accrued. Everyone in business knows that having adequate cash flow is vital to the life of the business. The same could be said about our personal lives. If the cash runs dry where do we turn for assistance? Having a card on hand can be useful for getting through periods where we seem low on cash as long as we know money is coming down the track. Not all credit cards are created equal, however, and some will fit your personal situation much better than others.

There are many kinds of credit cards with various rewards. There are cards for big spenders, cards for travelers, professional people and students. Some cards like the American Express Platinum Card have a very high annual fee, $450 in this case, but they offer fantastic rewards. The rewards are only worthwhile if you earn enough to cover the annual fee.

Other cards, such as the United Mileage Plus Credit Card reward those who like to fly. If you travel a lot for work or holidays then finding a card that provides free travel insurance and rewards you for every ticket you purchase can be worthwhile. You might find you are able to earn enough rewards throughout the year for a free flight or hotel stay. The United Mileage Plus gives you a free baggage check-in which is a saving of $50 per flight, on top of all the other mileage rewards.

The Chase Sapphire Card is also great for flyers as it has numerous travel benefits. It also comes with free travel insurance and has no annual fee.

Some cards accrue no interest for a certain period of time. This can be really handy if you are transferring a large debt over from another credit card. Usually the interest free period is one year but can be longer such as with the Chase Freedom Credit Card which has a zero APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for the first 15 months. You also receive $100 cash back just for signing up!

Finding the best credit is not as simple as looking for the card with the lowest rate. You must compare the benefits of each card with your current situation and see how those benefits will affect you. If you like cash rewards look for a card that offers cash backs. If you like to travel find a card that rewards you for traveling. Interest rates become a factor if you can’t pay off your card from month to month, something to bear in mind.

The Best Credit Card Rewards

There are so many credit cards out there and after working in the field for the past couple years, I can look at a card and tell you right away if it’s a card worth signing up for or not. There are many companies out there that want to mislead you when it comes to rewards making it look like a great deal but when you read the fine print, you find out you have to spend thousands to get that percentage back.

For example, there’s a card out there and I won’t name names because it is a good card but it misleads a lot of people. They will tell you can get 5% cash back and of course they add an asterisk next to the number but many people don’t read into it and all they see is the 5%. This is good because this is exactly what the companies want. They don’t want you to read the fine print; they just want you to apply and start to use the card.

Well to come to find out, the card will only give you the 5% cash back if you spend about $6,000 a year on your card and it works like a ladder. If you don’t do that kind of spending, you’re only looking at maybe 1 percent back. I know it’s better than nothing but again, many people don’t read into this when looking to apply for a card. This should go to show you that the number one thing that you should do is check the fine print and know how the card works, it’s only going to save your butt in the long run.

The next thing I want to point out is the annual fee. A good card is not going to have an annual fee. If it does, you’re looking at trouble because why pay something every year for a card you use to get rewards? You’re generally going to find that cards with “high status” perks and bad credit cards are going to have those higher annual fees. If you want something simple that gives you 3-5% cash back, you’ll just want to look at something with a $0 annual fee. Trust me in that there are a lot of them out there that won’t cost you a dime.

The last thing I want you to look into are the reviews of the cards. With the great old Internet as powerful as it is today, it’s easy to find a review on something. Whether it’s good, bad or in-between, it’s going to give you a better idea on what the card is going to do for you. I would recommend that you look into Googling the card name plus the word “review” to your search to see what comes up.

You’ll get a good vibe on if the majority of the people out there think the card is good or not.
When it comes to applying, these are the three golden rules that you should follow when looking for the perfect rewards card. Make sure you do your homework and follow the tips mentioned above to find the right card for you and your wallet.

Save Money With Your Credit Card Reward Points and Shop More

These days, credit card companies offer numerous benefits to their users. One of the most prominent ones is the reward points, which is offered to loyal customers who make regular payments. You might not be able to take full advantage of the same, unless you understand how exactly they work.

Reward points are nothing but incentives given to credit the card holders, whenever they use the cards for buying things, or for paying off bills. You can collect these points and redeem them at a later stage. They can be redeemed as a discount on purchases of gas, groceries, booking hotel rooms, free movie tickets, etc. In some cases, banks also give cash rebates on the purchases of certain items.

Check the points:

If you don’t know how much points you have earned until now, then you can check your credit card statement. The monthly statement will tell you exactly how many points you have earned so far, and what you can use them for.

In some cases, the banks also provide special offers, on which you can use these points. The offers are presented in the form of a catalogue, where you can choose a product to redeem your earned points.

Redemption of credit points on airline miles is done differently by different banks. You will need to check with your bank for clear information on the same. You will quality for such offers only if you use your credit card for buying airline tickets, and it should reflect on your card statement. The bonus points are also extended on your hotel stay purchases too.

If you are not sure how these scores are calculated, then you can speak to the customer representative of your bank and ask for the details. Please be reminded that you will need to use the credit points smartly before the expiration period for redeeming, beyond which the points will not have any value.

Process to redeem the benefits:

You can approach your bank and check for the procedure for redeeming the benefits associated with your card. Your bank might want you to fill up an application form for the same. You can also get in touch with their customer service representatives, and ask them to assist you with filling the application form, or for redeeming the benefits.

Although most of the credit card companies offer the benefits of reward points, but still it is recommended to check this information in detail before applying for one. If you tend to use your card extensively, then it is recommended to get the one that offers maximum reward points. However, you will need to make sure that the rewards offered are something that you will need, rather than something that you are forced to buy.

Apart from accumulating these points, it is recommended to use them wisely and on a timely manner. It will enhance your shopping experience. If your card does not earn you the benefiting points, then maybe you should start looking for another provider. You can always use them for getting discounts on shopping and save money.

Is Cash Rebate the Best Credit Card Reward?

Credit card rewards come in all shapes and sizes. They include free air tickets, priority booking of special events, free movie tickets, discounts for fine dining and many others. However cash rebate is probably the most popular for many people.

Most card holders prefer to exchange their rewards for cash rather than redeeming other available freebies. Many financial experts also believe that the cash-rebate programs are actually the most straightforward credit card rewards than other type of rewards. The simple the reward system, the less cost it is to the credit card company.

Cash-rebate programs have a wide variety of classifications. It all depends on the type of credit card that consumers have. For example, there are rewards intended for college students such as college savings. For retirees, they have retirement investing rewards.

In a typical cash-rebate program, the credit card company will return a small percentage of the total amount charged to the card back to the cardholders. The percentage can be as high as five percent of your purchases. The rebate is usually reflected in the monthly card statement as a credit item. As an example, a balance of one hundred dollar with a five-percent rebate will result in a final payment of ninety-five dollars.

Usually, the percentage of rebate is higher when the purchases are made in popular categories like gas stations, restaurants, clothing stores and air tickets. A one-percent rebate seems to be the norm for most purchases. However, the rebate percentage differs with different credit cards and it make sense to do some research before getting one.

Some may feel that the cash rebate is not as valuable as other rewards like air tickets. While this may be true but high ticket items such as air ticket usually required a large amount of reward points. This usually translates to large expenditure on your part and it may take you a long time to accumulate the necessary points. In this aspect, the cash rebate option is more attractive as no reward point is necessary to receive the rebate.

To appeal to a larger customer base, many credit card companies also include other rewards that are redeemable by points in addition to the cash rebate. This open up a lot more choices for the cardholders as they can enjoy the rebate and redeem other gifts with points.

Cash rebate is the probably the best reward for those who regularly charge small purchases to their credit card. The saving over the long run can be pretty substantial. For the big spender, high ticket items like air tickets or fine dining are probably more attractive to them.

Maximize Credit Card Rewards By Paying Your Bills

You may have a rewards credit card, but are you making the most of it? Having a cash-back or miles card is a good resource – make it work for you by putting money back in your pocket. Most people pay their bills every month by check when they could use their credit card instead.

Save at least 1% on all your bills simply by paying them with your credit card. Some debit cards also offer cash-back rewards, so you may be able to use those as well.

Here are a few key points to consider when using this money-saving strategy:

Spend often, Pay Often

The more you use your card, the more your rewards will add up – so spend often. In order to save money, get in the good habit of paying your credit card bills immediately – pay often. When using a system like this you don’t want to be paying credit card interest on your bills, that defeats the goal saving money. Paying a few days interest should be ok, but don’t let the balance add up to the point where it cancels your rewards savings.

Check your contract

Some cards will not offer you rewards if you make payments too quickly, so check your contract for the minimum period. You want to get rewards for the bills you pay, then repay in full before paying any sizable interest. If in doubt, give a call to your customer service department. You don’t need to tell them the whole story, just ask whether you still get your rewards if you pay your balance in full every month.

Bonus: Building Credit

As a bonus, you can improve your credit rating by showing regular activity and payments on your card. Over time this may help qualify you for better interest rates – an added bonus.If you have credit card rewards, you might as well use them.

This “cash-back on bills” strategy won’t work for everyone, but if you have the discipline there is money to be saved.

Tips on Getting More from Your Credit Card Rewards Program

Do you own a reward credit card or are you planning on applying for one? Many people own one or more reward credit cards on their account but not all of them are reaping the rewards they deserve. In this article, let’s discuss some tips on how you can get more from your credit card rewards program and how to make sure that you’ll be redeeming those well-deserved rewards:

Use your discount privileges. Most reward credit cards include discount privileges that are exclusive only to their card holders. Are you aware of the discount privileges your credit card provides? If not, then take the time to review the terms of your card or check online and make sure that you are maximizing the full potential of your credit card. For instance, some credit cards provide printable coupon codes online that you can use in purchasing from selected merchants. Usually, all you need to do is register online in order to access these printable discount coupons and get big savings.

Pay your balance in full each month. Reward credit cards usually come with higher interest rates than regular credit cards so you’ll want to make sure that you’re not carrying a balance over to the next billing cycle. Why would you pay for additional cost on the interest rates when you can avoid it by paying on time? If you need to pay for the interest rate each time, you may actually be paying more than what you earn from your reward credit card.

Stay true to your card’s terms and conditions. Did you know that not paying your bills on time, delaying on your payments or exceeding your credit limit can disqualify you from redeeming your rewards? Yes, most reward credit cards impose this rule on their card holders. If you’re not sure, take out your copy of your credit card’s terms and conditions and review the stipulations on this matter. To be sure that you’ll be eligible to claim your hard-earned points, always stay true to your credit card’s conditions.

Use your reward credit card wisely. To collect points and earn your rewards quickly, obviously you need to use your credit card. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you need to go out of your way to make unnecessary purchases which can result to credit card debt. Remember, it is crucial for you to pay off your monthly balance regularly to avoid the interest and penalty fees. Exercise caution when using your reward credit card and don’t charge purchases on it just to collect your rewards.

Pay your utilities using your reward credit card. One way to rack up those points without making unnecessary purchases is to use your reward credit card in paying your monthly utilities. These include your electricity, cable, telephone, gasoline, and other services you’re subscribed to. You can also work as a family in collecting points on your reward credit card. If your family members need to make purchases, tell them to charge on your card and pay you the cash instead. This way, you can accumulate more points on your account without breaking your budget.

Copyright (c) 2008 Ann Wilson

Is Cash Rebate the Best Credit Card Reward?

Credit card rewards come in all shapes and sizes. They include free air tickets, priority booking of special events, free movie tickets, discounts for fine dining and many others. However cash rebate is probably the most popular for many people.

Most card holders prefer to exchange their rewards for cash rather than redeeming other available freebies. Many financial experts also believe that the cash-rebate programs are actually the most straightforward credit card rewards than other type of rewards. The simple the reward system, the less cost it is to the credit card company.

Cash-rebate programs have a wide variety of classifications. It all depends on the type of credit card that consumers have. For example, there are rewards intended for college students such as college savings. For retirees, they have retirement investing rewards.

In a typical cash-rebate program, the credit card company will return a small percentage of the total amount charged to the card back to the cardholders. The percentage can be as high as five percent of your purchases. The rebate is usually reflected in the monthly card statement as a credit item. As an example, a balance of one hundred dollar with a five-percent rebate will result in a final payment of ninety-five dollars.

Usually, the percentage of rebate is higher when the purchases are made in popular categories like gas stations, restaurants, clothing stores and air tickets. A one-percent rebate seems to be the norm for most purchases. However, the rebate percentage differs with different credit cards and it make sense to do some research before getting one.

Some may feel that the cash rebate is not as valuable as other rewards like air tickets. While this may be true but high ticket items such as air ticket usually required a large amount of reward points. This usually translates to large expenditure on your part and it may take you a long time to accumulate the necessary points. In this aspect, the cash rebate option is more attractive as no reward point is necessary to receive the rebate.

To appeal to a larger customer base, many credit card companies also include other rewards that are redeemable by points in addition to the cash rebate. This open up a lot more choices for the cardholders as they can enjoy the rebate and redeem other gifts with points.

Cash rebate is the probably the best reward for those who regularly charge small purchases to their credit card. The saving over the long run can be pretty substantial. For the big spender, high ticket items like air tickets or fine dining are probably more attractive to them.

Maximize Credit Card Rewards By Paying Your Bills

You may have a rewards credit card, but are you making the most of it? Having a cash-back or miles card is a good resource – make it work for you by putting money back in your pocket. Most people pay their bills every month by check when they could use their credit card instead.

Save at least 1% on all your bills simply by paying them with your credit card. Some debit cards also offer cash-back rewards, so you may be able to use those as well.

Here are a few key points to consider when using this money-saving strategy:

Spend often, Pay Often

The more you use your card, the more your rewards will add up – so spend often. In order to save money, get in the good habit of paying your credit card bills immediately – pay often. When using a system like this you don’t want to be paying credit card interest on your bills, that defeats the goal saving money. Paying a few days interest should be ok, but don’t let the balance add up to the point where it cancels your rewards savings.

Check your contract

Some cards will not offer you rewards if you make payments too quickly, so check your contract for the minimum period. You want to get rewards for the bills you pay, then repay in full before paying any sizable interest. If in doubt, give a call to your customer service department. You don’t need to tell them the whole story, just ask whether you still get your rewards if you pay your balance in full every month.

Bonus: Building Credit

As a bonus, you can improve your credit rating by showing regular activity and payments on your card. Over time this may help qualify you for better interest rates – an added bonus.If you have credit card rewards, you might as well use them.

This “cash-back on bills” strategy won’t work for everyone, but if you have the discipline there is money to be saved.

Tips on Getting More from Your Credit Card Rewards Program

Do you own a reward credit card or are you planning on applying for one? Many people own one or more reward credit cards on their account but not all of them are reaping the rewards they deserve. In this article, let’s discuss some tips on how you can get more from your credit card rewards program and how to make sure that you’ll be redeeming those well-deserved rewards:

Use your discount privileges. Most reward credit cards include discount privileges that are exclusive only to their card holders. Are you aware of the discount privileges your credit card provides? If not, then take the time to review the terms of your card or check online and make sure that you are maximizing the full potential of your credit card. For instance, some credit cards provide printable coupon codes online that you can use in purchasing from selected merchants. Usually, all you need to do is register online in order to access these printable discount coupons and get big savings.

Pay your balance in full each month. Reward credit cards usually come with higher interest rates than regular credit cards so you’ll want to make sure that you’re not carrying a balance over to the next billing cycle. Why would you pay for additional cost on the interest rates when you can avoid it by paying on time? If you need to pay for the interest rate each time, you may actually be paying more than what you earn from your reward credit card.

Stay true to your card’s terms and conditions. Did you know that not paying your bills on time, delaying on your payments or exceeding your credit limit can disqualify you from redeeming your rewards? Yes, most reward credit cards impose this rule on their card holders. If you’re not sure, take out your copy of your credit card’s terms and conditions and review the stipulations on this matter. To be sure that you’ll be eligible to claim your hard-earned points, always stay true to your credit card’s conditions.

Use your reward credit card wisely. To collect points and earn your rewards quickly, obviously you need to use your credit card. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean you need to go out of your way to make unnecessary purchases which can result to credit card debt. Remember, it is crucial for you to pay off your monthly balance regularly to avoid the interest and penalty fees. Exercise caution when using your reward credit card and don’t charge purchases on it just to collect your rewards.

Pay your utilities using your reward credit card. One way to rack up those points without making unnecessary purchases is to use your reward credit card in paying your monthly utilities. These include your electricity, cable, telephone, gasoline, and other services you’re subscribed to. You can also work as a family in collecting points on your reward credit card. If your family members need to make purchases, tell them to charge on your card and pay you the cash instead. This way, you can accumulate more points on your account without breaking your budget.

Copyright (c) 2008 Ann Wilson