These days, many consumers are looking for the kind of credit card that will give them a certain amount of rewards points that they may view as “free money” for specific kinds of spending. But there is some amount of strategy that should go into opening any such account.
Borrowers looking for a new rewards card that will give them any kind of bonus for spending—be it cash back, miles or points they can redeem for exclusive offers—should carefully consider a number of factors when opening a card so that they can earn the most rewards possible for the least amount of spending.
The first step in any such process is to look at their previous borrowing history, to determine the types of business where they use their various credit cards most often. For example, if a look at the past three months’ worth of credit card statements reveals that they spend more money on the accounts at gas stations, then finding a rewards card that gives them bonus points for fuel purchases would obviously be a good idea. This is usually one of the most popular types of rewards card anyway, but other common offers include bonus points for spending on groceries, and so on. Again, this decision should be based on where spending is done, not the best-sounding rewards offer. And in some cases, consumers may even be able to find cards that will reward more than one type of spending.
In addition, potential borrowers should also take the time to think about their own credit card bill repayment habits. Oftentimes, the interest rates on rewards cards are much higher than cards that offer no benefits beyond the implied financial flexibility, and for those who tend to carry a balance over from one month to the next, that can often cause bills to grow quite quickly. For this reason, the benefits earned on a rewards card might be canceled out by the added charges, and it might be worth considering sticking with existing cards. The same is true for annual fees, which many rewards cards carry these days.
[Credit Cards: Research and compare rewards credit cards at Credit.com.]
Of course, when opening a new credit card, consumers should review a number of offers to make sure they’re getting the best possible deal on the new account.