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Credit card rewards are not always as beneficial or attractive as they may seem. Many a times, there is a lot of difference between the way credit card rewards sound in the promotion and what the customer actually gets. This is because there a lot of caps and limits which are applied by the credit card issuer on the rewards. This is why credit card customers should be looking at the fine print to find out more about those caps, before they decide about the utility of the credit cards.

Cash backs

Cash back credit card offer is often a reward that customers get most excited about. But a deeper look will show that most cash back offers almost always have lot of limitations. A good example is where credit cards cap off the cash back at a few hundred dollars per month and also cap the overall cash back in a year. If the monthly expense of a credit card customer is very high, 1% cash back or 5% cash back does not matter, because the cash back amount would be capped off anyway. So, you need to check the fine print. Similarly, if the cash back at a gas station is 3% compared to the normal 1% on all other purchases, and you don`t really get to spend on fuel, for different reasons, then the card is not effective for you.

Airline miles

The problem with many airline miles that credit card customers get is that there are blackout dates and getting tickets at a time when you want to take them is not possible. It is a strategy used by credit cards and airline companies wherein days when ticket prices would likely be high because of impending weekend or holidays, it is very hard to cash in on your rewards. Therefore, reputation of the airline miles card and how it has been delivered in the past is very important.


Discount offers are a deceptive form of credit card rewards. Many a times, the discounts are not as good as one would expect. They also come with many extra conditions. In fact a discount, which requires you to purchase at least 500 dollars worth of merchandise, before it can be availed, isn`t of much good unless you are really shopping big for the holiday season. If anything it leads you to spending more which is one of the strategies applied by the credit card companies. Many discounts are in fact offered at select stores and merchants, making the matter worse, as some of the customers have their own preferences. Cards lose their effectiveness in such cases.

Loyalty points

Most loyalty points can be redeemed at select stores on select items, which is a huge shortcoming of the reward points` scheme. Secondly, loyalty points have limits, so you cannot redeem endlessly even if your expenses are very high and you happen to garner a lot of reward points. Lastly, some of these points expire soon too, making it a virtual impossibility to cash in.