The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
Credit card rewards are beneficial to us in many ways because of its many free incentives every time we swipe our card. However, to choose the card with the right reward program that suits your needs and to make the most of it can be a challenging job. Every major credit card company offers these reward schemes in one way or the other. We as consumers should make a prudent choice, keeping in mind some of these important factors:
Choose a reward plan that makes sense:
First and important of all is choosing the right card. There are reward options that range from money back, points for grocery shopping and redeemable points in departmental stores to airline miles. Choose the card whose reward schemes make the most sense to you. If you are not a frequent flyer or a traveler, the card which gives you airline miles and redeemable accommodation points will not make sense. Instead, choosing the one that gives rewards in form of cash back or points redeemable at a departmental store can work better for you. The key here is, analyzing what you spend on the most and getting rewards that are redeemable for that particular spending.
Be aware of the hidden conditions:
It is very crucial to read all the terms and conditions before you splurge onto spending for rewards. There may be some hidden conditions and terms that apply for the redeemable rewards. In some cases you will need to spend a minimum amount specified, to start getting your reward points. If that minimum amount set is high, then you may not be able to make complete use of your reward scheme. Also, there might be a limit set on the amount you can receive as rewards, every billing cycle. For example, if the limit on which rewards apply is set for $1000 every month, then spending more than that every month will not get you anything.
Check for the time limits:
In most cases, the credit card company will have clause stating the time limit within which you can redeem the reward money. If you are not able to redeem within that time frame, your reward money expires and you will lose that benefit. This commonly happens when you have to redeem your air miles or a hotel stay within a timeframe. If you do not have any travel plans within that time frame, the rewards don`t make any sense.
Be cautious of the risk of debt:
Some reward plans can be very lucrative and increase your credit card usage considerably. At times like these, you might easily lose track of the money you spend and run into the risk of being in debt. This happens when you get reward points or cash back from your grocery stores or departmental stores. Grocery and departmental store shopping are easy ways to overspend and it is difficult to keep track of such expenses. Be cautious and spend only what you can pay back in time so that it doesn`t affect your credit score.
Credit card reward plans exist in order to give you some benefits for all the money you spend. With some care and caution, you can make the most of it and enjoy the experience of shopping at the same time.