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Discover’s Ever-Growing Focus on Credit Card Rewards
As we move throughout the summer and credit card issuers look to find ways to get consumers to make more purchases on their cards, there has been one type of card that has literally stolen the spotlight. That type of plastic is a rewards credit card and many people have started choosing this type over many others that they may have primarily used in the past. Because of the amount of attention these cards have garnered we have seen quite a few issuers release new reward cards in hopes get consumers’ attention. Overall in the last couple of months it seems that even with that focus, issuers have yet to keep up with Discover, whom once again made news with their reward program.
It was recently announced that cardholders can now look forward to new ways to spend their hard earned rewards points as they have redesigned their reward redemption site. With the redesign, Discover states that there will be hundreds of new brand-name merchandise as well as other options which include charity donations, cash via direct deposit as well as statement credits. Many of the newer merchandise allow cardholders to snag great things for as little as $20 that would be earned by making purchases with their plastic. For many if not all of the merchandise that is redeemed cardholders will even receive free shipping which is a plus no matter how you look at it.
Besides a redesign of their redemption process, Discover has made other big moves dealing with rewards. At the beginning of the year a contest named "It Pays to Discover Everyday Giveaway" was launched which gives cardholders the opportunity to win a grand prize of 1 million dollars as well as other cash prizes. Another way that Discover has decided to give extra rewards was by giving those that serve in the United States military double cash back and miles on purchases made on military bases from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Lastly they recently were named the official card of Six Flags Theme Parks and give cardholders the opportunity to receive savings as well as bonus points for using Discover plastic for tickets as well as other purchases within the park.
A Look at Financial Rewards Credit Cards
When it comes to reward credit cards that give cash back have you considered plastic that can be attached to brokerage accounts? While for some consumers this type of plastic does not seem that appealing at the moment, for many others it has been a serious thought that can end up paying off in the long run. As they have been getting more attention over the last 12 months financial reward cards are drawing much more then consumers that invest on a regular basis. Many newer cardholders have chosen this plastic as a way to save for the future by simply charging what they would have spent anyway on everyday purchases. By paying off the balances at the end of the month, the rewards are not negated and build up over time.
So have you been researching for the best financial rewards credit cards? If so, what is at the top of your list? While there are many to choose from, there a couple of cards that seems to stand out above the rest. Each offers the cardholder something a little different, but both offer valuable rewards that have the potential to pay off big in the long run. They can be found in an article entitled "Editor’s Pick: Best Financial Rewards Credit Cards 2010". The two that are mentioned within this article are the Bank of America Upromise Card and the Fidelity Rewards American Express Cards. While the Upromise Card is connected to accounts that can help fund your child’s education, the Fidelity Rewards Card (which has three different offers) gives you the ability to do the same or direct the funds to an IRA account. In all, while these offers may be a little difficult to get approved for by some, for those that are able to get a hold of any of these plastics it is well worth it.
Comparing Reward Credit Cards? This Can Help.
When it comes to reward credit cards, there is no doubt that they have become one of the most popular types of plastic of 2010. Over the years we have seen many changes that have made reward cards more rewarding than ever, and many can ultimately pay for themselves with double rewards on everyday purchases. Because of these changes even during a time where cardholders’ interest rates have risen, these types of credit cards have continued to be one of the top choices.
Because of the attention reward credit cards continue to receive, we have seen multiple issuers release new cards to compete for cardholders’ attention. With so many cards being made available in the market today it is has become harder than ever to find the right one for you. In an article entitled "5 Tips to Compare Rewards Credit Cards" we find that looking for a rewarding plastic can be simplified a little by doing a little research. Before applying for any rewards card it is best to know the following:
- Understand the true value of rewards earnings
- Know if rewards are on a tier or can be capped
- Know if higher rewards are on a temporary basis
- Look for point expiration dates and penalty clauses
- Know if rewards can be transferred across multiple categories
Just like with any credit card, rewards cards can be beneficial when used correctly but can also be a headache if it is not. While earning double miles or additional cash back may be great, some stipulations and payment habits can sometimes end up leaving you coming up short on rewards and also ultimately cost you more in the long run. To get the most out of your rewards card it is best when payments are made on time and in full. By doing this cardholders won’t be charged late fees or interest charges which ultimately can negate the value of any rewards that are accrued by making purchases.
Some Look Elsewhere with NFL Credit Card Issuer Switch
When it comes to credit cards and co-branded opportunities it is not unusual to see companies change issuers from time to time. The most recent move involved the NFL and their branded credit cards in which Barclays was chosen to issue their cards to both fans and non-fans alike. While for some this move is more than welcomed, for others that is simply not the case. This is because at the end of the process the main focus for many especially cardholders involves points that were acquired on every purchase.
With the move from Bank of America to Barclays, cardholders were notified that they will have two months to redeem any points earned by purchases. As with other instances where cardholders were urged to redeem their points a couple of problems have risen for some. For a few cardholders the only problem with spending these points is the feeling of being rushed after the time it took to acquire the amount of points they hold. For others it is the feeling that they will not be able to redeem points for what they were striving to get sometime in the future, and will have to start over.
So will this change in credit card issuers have any effects on cardholders with NFL branded plastic in their wallet? While the answer will more than likely be no for majority of the cardholders, for some the change has them considering other reward credit cards. So far the overwhelming thought process has been that if cardholders have to start over, it seems that many are focusing on other things that could be more useful to them such as increased cash back and travel among other things. Over the last couple of months we have seen many cards that give these rewards such as these on everyday purchases and only time will tell how many of those who owned NFL credit cards will switch to these newer cards.
As Reward Credit Cards Change, So Must You
When it comes to reward credit cards, there is no doubt that they have become one of the most popular types of plastic within the past couple of years. In a recent survey asked by Bankrate.com on the reason behind getting a new card, looking for better rewards/perks received the highest percentage by far when compared to other choices. Even during times that cardholders interest rate changed dramatically, these types of cards continued to remain one of the top choices of plastic.
Because of the attention reward credit cards continue to receive, we have seen multiple issuers release new cards to compete for cardholders’ attention. With these cards, cardholders are seeing rewards that at one time were only given during a certain time period given as the norm. In addition to that while in the past you could only redeem rewards in certain purchases or categories, today issuers are removing those requirements and giving cardholders the ability to earn double and triple on all purchases.
As more credit cards continue to be released it is important to remember that while many cards may have the rewards you may have always wanted, there is much more that you must first look at before applying for the card. Just as each issuer is different so are the plastic they offer. With the increase in rewards, many issuers have also increased the annual fee as well as place other stipulation on redeeming rewards. While earning double miles or additional cash back may be great, these stipulations can sometimes end up leaving you coming up short on rewards and also ultimately cost you more in the long run.
Pay with Rewards with a MasterCard Credit Card
How many times have you let your rewards that you have accumulated by making purchases with your credit card expire? If you are like millions of Americans it has probably been more times than you would like to admit. While at the moment there are many things that can help this not be a repeat occurrence such as emails and reminders (via text), it now looks like one that should take hold among cardholders is about to become available. It is brought to you by MasterCard and you will literally be able to "pay with rewards" that you have worked so hard to get.
According to an article entitled "MasterCard Introduces New Pay with Rewards Program", saving money at the places you shop most will be easier than ever before. With this new program, merchants and other business owners will be able to offer loyal shoppers discounts at the point of sale based on the amount rewards they have earned on other purchases with their plastic. At the moment under this new program it looks as though merchants will provide customers holding their store-branded MasterCard with a rewards "redemption" card, which customers can swipe at the merchants’ stores to pay for purchases with rewards earnings.
When it comes to using rewards to get discounts on future purchases, in many aspects this is something that looks like something that can quickly take root with cardholders. As times have changed dramatically and millions of people are looking for ways to save money, this could be what issuers need to have people spend on their credit cards.
Booking with Credit Card gets Baggage Fee Waived
If you are traveling this summer and you are looking to make air your primary travel method it looks like you may be able to save a little bit of money. When it comes to the saving, while it is not exactly on the price of the ticket it is on something that almost everyone will take with them; which is luggage. The discount in which flyers receive a free first checked bag involves Delta Airlines and is exclusively for their credit cardholders.
As for when cardholders can look to start seeing the discount, the promotion is scheduled to launch on the first of June. To be eligible you must purchases tickets using a qualifying credit card which include both consumers and small businesses with Gold, Platinum and Reserve Delta SkyMiles credit cards. When it comes to how much cardholders can truly save Delta lets it be known that this discount can be used on multiple passengers as long as they are on the same ticket. The discount received can apply to up to nine travelers which could save them more than $300 if they were flying round trip.
So is Delta looking to set a trend that is seen many times within the airline industry? Not exactly as the model for waiving fees for cardholders as it has been done before by one it its competitors. When it comes to who was first Continental airlines provided the same "perk" to its cardholders last year, and untimely it was received well by those who use Continental as their primary airline.
American Express Moves past Card Art with Zync Charge Card
As more credit card issuers give the option for its cardholders to choose what is shown on the front of their plastic, it seems that one issuer has decided to do something a little different. That issuer is American Express and they have decided to do this with one of its newest credit cards available; the Zync Charge Card. With Zync, cardholders are given the ability to receive only the rewards and features they want; giving its cardholders more control over both their finances and personal life.
With the official launch of the Zync Card, there are 10 different packs that cardholders can choose from now that the offer is out of beta testing. Each is unique in the types of rewards you can receive and they involve the following:
- Give Back
- Family Travel
- Personal Finance
- Food & Wine
When it comes to how these packs are received by potential cardholders, it is something that is expected to go over fairly easy. While there are fees involved with many of the packs, which will be added to the annual fee for the card; they are for the most part either lower or very competitive to other traditional cards that are commonly applied for within the credit card space. One advantage of getting the Zync is the fact that it is indeed a charge card that traditionally gives better rewards and cost less than other reward credit card.
What’s Next for Reward Credit Cards?
When it comes to reward credit cards, there is no doubt that they have become one of the most popular types of plastic within the past couple of years. Even during times that cardholders interest rate have skyrocketed, these types of cards remain strong as one that garners the attention of consumers even during a "downturn" in the economic environment. For this very reason reward cards as well as rewards have seemed to continue to evolve on a regular basis.
When looking at reward credit cards, over the past few months consumers have seen many of the major issuers offer products from what is considered "affluent" to those that are young adults. Some examples of these include the Venture Card from Capital One, the Sapphire Preferred Card from Chase and the Zync Card from American Express. While these are only a few, experts believe that many more will soon be made available as cardholders migrate to rewards that offer more than what consumers have come to love. Just like the cards listed above, future cards will have to peak the interest of potential cardholders with more than just an increase in mileage or concierge service. It must set itself apart from its competitors in ways that is deemed far more valuable.
While credit cards rewards seem to be offering consumers more these days, there is one thing that every potential cardholder should think about before apply for plastic. With the increase in rewards, many issuers have also increased the annual fee associated with the card. While earning double miles or additional cashback may be great, sometimes the annual fee could negate any rewards earned and ultimately cost you more in the long run.
Citi’s Green Rewards and “Playlist for Earth” for Earth Day
So how do you plan on celebrating Earth Day’s 40th anniversary? While for many it is volunteering or participating in a mass organized event, for others they will simply be "rocking out". That is because Citi Bank wants its ThankYou Network Members to celebrate Earth Day 2010 with Green Rewards and an event known as "Playlist for Earth".
As for creating a "Playlist for Earth" Citi has decided to invite its more than 12 million cardholders to submit their favorite music playlist. To entice its members to get involved sooner than later, they are also giving the first 500 members to submit their list five free music downloads from Sony Music Entertainment. In addition to music, members are also encouraged to detail what inspired them to choose the songs that they did. So why was music choosing this year as such an influential part of Earth Day? According to Sony Music, it is because music is a universal language that helps connect people and raise awareness around important issues like the environment. In all it is a powerful tool that can be used to help protect the planet.
When it comes to "green rewards", they are relatively new with its connection to credit cards. Unlike other reward cards where issuers may have many offers, with green rewards at the moment you typically find that each major issuer only has a limited amount within their portfolio. Even with so few cards on the market, these cards continue to grow in popularity as more people become focused on the environment. Largely due to this growing number you will probably see more green reward credit cards enter into the market. As with any other product, as demand grows so will supply and these environmentally target cards are no exception.