Credit card reward programs offers rewards such as merchandise, air miles, or cash rewards. In the U.S. alone there are close to two million memberships for loyalty program states an industry specialist. So choosing the best option for each individual at the optimum overall cost requires a bit of homework.
Get the facts right
Colloquy`s managing partner, Kelly Hlavinka, states that it is essential to determine the fee for a card and the services they offer. The fee charged should be able to cover the rewards offered as; the fee could be $100 a year or more. In some cases the fee charged is lesser but the interest rates are high. This way it gets compensated.
Sometimes, there is inefficient use of reward points. Merchant Warehouse`s co-CEO, Henry Helgeson, states that some credit card lenders send catalogs that are full of merchandise one can get with the reward points that one has earned, which usually is one point per dollar spent.
One should first determine whether there is a time frame to redeem the reward points. It is important to know if there is an expiry date as well. Under some programs for instance, one might get a gift certificate worth $250 after having spent $250,000. Mr.Helgeson also stated that frequent rewards with lower amounts were better than waiting to reach one`s goal.
Double your Reward Points
Hlavinka stated that the Eco package offered by the Zinc Card from AmEx, for instance, offers a chance to the card holder to earn double the points when used at certain green merchants or restaurants. Sometimes paying at the gas stations will help you get double the rewards. So, one has to look for opportunities to double the reward points depending on one`s lifestyle.
Keep your Options Open
Helgeson also stated that it was always better to keep one`s options open while choosing a card. In most cases, people prefer to choose a card for a particular purpose for instance, a specific need such as buying a new car or paying for a trip abroad etc. Under these circumstances, it is always better to use the specialty cards offered by airline companies or automakers. He also states that flexibility can be maintained by opting for any of the major cards which offer many more options. Any major card usually covers the above such as, airline booking, hotel, and car rentals etc.