Credit card rewards which are not as good as they seem

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Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Travel with Credit Cards » Credit card rewards which are not as good as they seem

Credit card rewards which are not as good as they seem


Updated: December 26, 2012

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
Credit card rewards are often used by credit card issuers to attract more and more customers. Since there is so much competition between credit card companies, credit card rewards often decide which card is chosen and which one isn't. However, not all credit card rewards are as good as they seem and there is a catch invariably. This is one of the main reasons why credit card customers should take a deep look at the fine print and see if they understand all the terms and regulations of the credit cards properly. Cash back offers Cash back offers are amongst the most attractive incentives provided by credit card issuers to the customers. However, cash back offers are not always as good a prospect as they seem. To start with credit card customers are led to believe that they would get back up to 5% of their expenditure back. The first catch is that there is an upper limit applied by most credit cards on the amount of cash that can be returned. Not only is there a limit on the monthly cash back, there is also a limit on the cash back for a year. This means credit card customers do not usually get as much as they are supposed to. This is one reason reading the fine print is extremely important. Another problem is the mode of cash back. While some credit card issuers send a check back, this is not always the case and others make it redeemable through future purchases, which cannot exactly be termed as a cash-back offer. Frequent flyer miles Air miles are another reward that customers with high credit and expenditure patterns usually like as it would provide discounts on air tickets. However, it is very hard to redeem these flyer miles on ticket, especially with a lot of restrictions and only a few seats per plane that are allocated to such rewards. This is mostly to discourage credit card customers from going for such discounts. Usually flyer miles also are due to tie-ups with one or two airline companies and those might not be the ones usually preferred by the credit card customer. Loyalty points As customers spend on credit cards, they get loyalty points. These loyalty points can be redeemed later. However, there are only some select merchants where the loyalty points can be redeemed. Secondly, not all purchases can be through these loyalty points. Often these loyalty points can only be redeemed through discounts on additional purchases after you have bought fixed amount of merchandise from these merchants. In fact many of these rewards turn out to be strategies to make the customers even spend more. This is because most of the rewards could be redeemed through select purchases at select merchants. Some of these venues might not even be the ones usually preferred by the credit card customers. This is why the loyalty points and discounts are not often as attractive as they seem to be initially.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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