Rewards credit cards offer many perks, but as so many regularly come and go from the marketplace and all with differing benefits, there’s a lot to keep track of. Even the most important details of a card can sometimes change overnight, which is why it’s important to keep yourself up-to-date.
So, how do you choose the best rewards card for yourself? While many cards offer flexible reward points that can be used in several ways, others reward cardholders with airline miles, hotel points, gift cards and even cash back. Below are a few questions to ask yourself as you narrow down the rewards credit card the right for you.
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Do I want to earn cash back?
Cash back credit cards are a terrific way to earn money as you make your regular purchases. Whether it’s groceries, gas, insurance or a family vacation, the most popular cards let users earn cash back on all of their everyday spending. Cards vary, but most offer the choice of having the balance distributed to cardholders through check, a linked savings account or used to buy gift cards and other items.
Because of its versatility and easy-to-redeem reward points, the Chase Freedom Card is one of the most popular cards available. Because of its rotating categories, it’s perfect for almost anyone. Users can enjoy the new ways to earn rewards with no annual fee.
The Citi Double Cash Card also has a great rewards program. Card members collect 1% cash back on all purchases plus an extra 1% cash back once they pay their credit card bill.
Do I want to travel?
If you travel often or you’re planning an upcoming trip, a travel rewards credit card may be more valuable to you. If you decide to concentrate on getting yourself the best card for travel rewards, you should consider if you would prefer hotel loyalty points, frequent flyer miles or if you’d like to earn both.
Insider Tip: With summer in full swing you most likely haven’t thought too much about your holiday season travel plans for the last few months of the year. But if you want to take advantage of a substantial credit card sign-up bonus to finance your fall or winter travels, now is the time to apply.
We suggest applying for your credit card at least five months in advance of your trip to be able to make good use of the shiny sign-up bonus. We’re still in the peak of summer now, but if you’re heading back home (or to the tropics) for Thanksgiving or the winter holidays, now’s the time to find the best travel rewards card for your needs and send in your application.
While searching for your perfect travel rewards card, it’s also important to look past that attractive sign-up bonus. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of our top choices for the best airline miles and large bonus while the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is great for hotel rewards.
Do I need flexibility?
If you’re not exactly sure of the type of rewards you want to earn, you might consider investing in a rewards card that lets you be more flexible with how you utilize your points. With certain cards it’s possible to redeem your points for several different things, such as merchandise, gift cards, travel costs or cash back. With these cards you aren’t committed to putting your points towards anything in particular until you’re ready to use them.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Discover it Miles Card are especially great for travel rewards, but they are also very flexible as you can choose to use your points on airline miles, hotel rooms or even cash back.
Do I want to maximize my rewards?
Another way to take advantage of all of the available rewards is to pair your consistent rewards credit card with a cash back credit card. When signing up for both a general rewards card and a cash back card you can usually receive your cash back card with no annual fee. This is a cost-effective way to get extra rewards—for free!
Rewards credit cards are a fantastic way to benefit from the purchases you make on a regular basis. Consider creating a list of things you routinely spend money on and use that information to find yourself a rewards credit card that fits your wants and needs. Whether you’re looking for a generous sign-up bonus, cheap flights, hotel room deals or cash back rewards on your everyday purchases, there’s a rewards credit card program for you.