Do Credit Cards With Rewards Really Benefit You?

August 12, 2010 by  Filed under: Credit 

Credit cards with rewards are everywhere. It seems like every credit card company is trying to get you on board with all manner of enticing offers. But do they really benefit you? After all, they want you to use their cards so that they can make money from you. What can they possibly give you back, in real terms?

Well, that largely depends on your own credit rating, and how much you’re willing to shop around. Different credit cards will benefit all sorts of customers, and what works for you may not be such a good fit for someone else. So before you make any decision, make a list of what you would like to get out of it.

If you have a bad credit history, your options will be very limited. Credit card companies will argue that they’re the ones taking a risk, so why should they offer you much in return? Well, bad credit history or not, simply by using their card, there is a very good chance that they will make some money from you. As a result, there are still deals to be found.

The rewards for you might be modest, but they do exist. You may simply be trying to build up your credit score again, and to accommodate that, the credit card companies will update the major credit scoring agencies on a monthly basis to help you to achieve that. They may also make it easier for you to catch up with repayments: some companies are now offering small fixed monthly fees instead of charging interest, and that can be a real benefit to someone trying to get back on their feet. There are often several fees applicable to such cards, such as once-off application fees, and late payment fees, but they can be a small price to pay if you’re disciplined enough.

Conversely, if you have an excellent credit rating, credit card companies will be falling over themselves trying to get you as a customer. This is where the rewards really come into play. Naturally, you can expect 0% APR for a fixed time, especially for balance transfers. Try getting them to extend that for new purchases too, and don’t be afraid to negotiate time frames. Although many people assume that terms and conditions are fixed, if you appear to be a great potential customer, you’d be surprised just how flexible credit card companies can be!

After APR, look for travel rewards if it applies to you. Do you travel frequently on business, or with your family? Make sure that the travel insurance that comes with many credit cards suits your needs. Also look out for other travel perks: can you earn ‘miles’ for purchases, and what can you redeem them on? Don’t be satisfied with just using them against airline tickets, as there are plenty of cards that will let you redeem them against other travel expenses, including hotel rooms and car hire. Are there foreign transaction fees? The better your credit rating, the more likely you can get such fees removed.

Finally, each card will have something different to offer, and armed with an excellent credit rating, you can really benefit. Priority bookings for flights, concerts and restaurants; free upgrades; concierge services; cash back on certain purchases… they’re all up for grabs, so credit cards with rewards can give you a lot of benefits!

Learn more about credit cards with rewards at Michael’s blog: |

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