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Cards With Rewards

Some credit cards come with options for earning various types of “rewards.”  The specific rewards offered can vary greatly from card to card, but often are comprised of airline miles, points (which can be “cashed in” for certain prizes), or cash back.

Accumulation

Rewards are often accumulated based on how much money you spend on your card within a given time-frame  in varying incremental amounts.  For every dollar, for example, you may get one point.  The rate of accumulation, as well as the value of the individual rewards units (miles, points, cash, etc), vary with each card.

Fees

Keep in mind that some rewards cards do carry with them additional fees (such as an annual fee or membership fee).  If you plan to use your card very frequently, the rewards will be of significantly more value to you than if you use it very sparingly.  If you do plan to use your card sparingly, a rewards card may not be a great option for you, as the benefits of the rewards (if any) may not outweigh the costs that may be associated with your card.

Added Value

Rewards can be a great way to get added value out of your credit cards.  The trick is finding a card that offers rewards that are of value to you, and that allow you to accrue and earn the awards in a reasonable way.  If the fee structure is too high, or if it takes far too long to accrue rewards, you may want to rethink whether or not the card is a good option for you.  All that said, rewards cards do, by nature, take time for the accrual of usable rewards.  The cards are looking to get more charges from their consumers, and need to make a sizeable profit enough to justify their costs incurred by the rewards.  Keeping this in mind, most cards may seem like they accrue rewards very slowly.

Choosing a Card with Rewards

The key is to compare the cards and find the one that has the best overall rewards program, and make a decision based on the overall program (type of rewards, fees, requirements to earn rewards, etc).  And again, a rewards card may not be the best value for you, depending on your credit situation and planned spending on credit.  Being aware of all of your options and the weighted costs of all options will allow you to make the best possible decision when it comes to choosing a credit card.

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