Many credit cards offer rewards programs, which can help you reduce your expenses or provide other non-monetary perks. The best rewards program for you depends on your lifestyle and spending habit. Generally, you should only consider rewards cards if you don't carry a balance on your cards, because rewards cards tend to charge high interest rates.
If you don't like having to use your rewards only toward certain purchases or charges, a cash-back credit card rewards program may be the best one for you. Most cash-back programs offer 1 percent back on the total amount you charge on the card. The best programs offer 2 percent or more, according to MSN Money. Look for a cash-back program with no limit on the amount you can earn.
Compared to other types of credit card rewards, travel programs have the potential to offer the highest returns. A travel rewards card may be the best one for you if you frequently travel or if you want to upgrade your flight seats. A good travel rewards program offers you the flexibility to use your points toward a wide range of airline flights and hotel stays. Look for a program with no seat restrictions, blackout dates and rewards expiration.
Various credit cards offer savings in the form of discounts, deposits on your mortgage or funds toward an investment plan, such as a college savings plan or a retirement plan. Depending on your particular credit card, you may only be able to use the rewards for certain items. For example, you may get discounts on gas, but only if you fill up at certain gas retailers. For the highest savings, choose a card affiliated with a retailer you already use often.
If unconventional rewards don't seem interesting to you, you can go for a credit card that offers unusual rewards. For example, some cards can help you manage your finances by providing free monthly credit scores. If you want to travel more comfortably, you can choose to carry a card that gives you free access to airport lounges. Some cards offer access to theme parks, sports events and other venues. Some cards contribute your rewards to the charity of your choice.
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