Nearly every person uses a credit card nowadays. Many people even have multiple cards that they use for specific purchases – one for groceries, one for gas, one for traveling and so on. If you use your credit card both responsibly and often, you should get a card that gives you something back.
Rewards credit cards are a good alternative to standard credit cards because with every purchase you make, you’ll be earning points or miles that you can redeem for exciting stuff. For instance, a credit card with rewards can earn you a free flight, a night’s stay in a hotel, some cash back or merchandise by simply swiping your credit card for purchases you make on a daily basis.
Choosing the right rewards card for you can be overwhelming because there are so many options out there. We’ve determined the best rewards cards are the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, the Capital One®QuicksilverOne℠ Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Chase Freedom® Card. We’ve also written some articles about rewards credit cards that can help you utilize your card to its fullest extent.
Understanding rewards credit cards and deciding what makes one a better choice than the competition can be a difficult process. There are a handful of things you should consider when choosing a rewards credit card so you can make sure you fully understand what the card will offer you, but we’ve determined the most important things are its rewards benefits, annual percentage rates, fees and penalties, key features and the member support you can expect.
Each rewards credit card offers different benefits. These benefits usually consist of earning points, cash back or miles from every purchase you make. The rewards you earn can then be redeemed for different items.
The best rewards cards will allow you to earn rewards on every kind of purchase you make and then redeem those rewards for a plethora of different things such as airfare, hotels, merchandise, gift cards, cash back or even a credit on your statement. Additionally, the best cards will also offer a generous sign-up bonus that will award you bonus points, cash back or miles once you spend a certain amount within so many months after signing up.
The annual percentage rates of a credit card will make or break it because no one wants a card with high interest rates. Top rewards credit cards will have lower standard, cash advance, balance transfer and penalty APRs. Additionally, the best cards will have a generous introductory APR offer that will apply to purchases you make, balance transfers or both. Furthermore, the longer the introductory offer, the better.
Fees & Penalties
Aside from the annual fee, credit cards have a number of other fees and penalties you should be aware of before selecting the best card for you. For instance, a credit card may have a fee for foreign transactions, balance transfers and cash advances in addition to the standard late fees over-limit fees and grace periods that you’re probably more aware of.
The best rewards cards have no annual fee or will at least waive the annual fee for the first year or two. Furthermore, the best cards have low or no additional fees. Additionally, the longer the grace period for payments, the better.
Top-rated rewards credit cards come with a handful of key features such as travel accident insurance, rental car coverage and lost luggage reimbursement that are available when you use your card to purchase a flight, stay at a hotel or rent a car. And if you buy an item that comes with a manufacturer warranty, some cards offer extended warranties. Additionally, the best cards offer zero liability in the event unauthorized charges appear on your account.
Being able to contact your credit card company in the event of an emergency for a lost or stolen card, unauthorized charges or emergency card replacement is extremely important. You should be able to contact a company representative by phone, email and even live chat online. Many card companies also offer 24/7 customer support so you can reach them in the middle of the night if you have to.
A rewards credit card is a great alternative to using a standard credit card. When you use it for everyday purchases at the grocery store or gas station, or for travel expenses like flights and hotels, you’ll rack up credit card rewards you can redeem for a number of attractive items.
Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of American Express, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by American Express. This site may be compensated through American Express Affiliate Program. The Annual Percentage Rate or APR is reflective of the date this site was last updated.