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Rewards Still Top Reason for Credit Cards
Transfer balances? Receive rewards or cash back? Build your credit? When it comes to why you get a credit card what is your reason? While yours may be different, an article entitled "Why do you apply for a credit card?" on Bankrate.com gives the results of a survey conducted my some of their readers. When it came to the answers given on the exact reason of why consumers are looking for new plastic, the results were as follows:
- Looking for a card with better rewards/perks – 29%
- Looking for a better interest rate – 24%
- Looking to transfer a balance – 10%
- Looking for fewer fees/better terms – 19%
- Unhappy with customer service – 14%
- Unhappy with account management features – 5%
- Need additional credit – 5%
- Don’t currently have a credit card – 5%
While the results of the survey, which listed “looking for a better rewards/perks” as the main reason may come to surprise many, reward credit cards have been one of the leading types of credit cards issued for a while now. Because cardholders receive various rewards such as air miles, cash back as well as other things just for making purchases they would originally have used cash for; these cards have become especially useful to those who pay off their balances each month. When it comes to how issuers have reacted, we have seen issuers offer much more incentives than in the past because the rewards market has become very competitive.
Capital One’s Venture Credit Card Gives Twice the Rewards
Editor’s note: The offers in this article have changed. For an up-to-date list of cards in this category, go to our Travel & Airline page.
As reward cards have become one of the most popular types of credit cards available throughout the years, many people are looking for rewards that stand out from the rest and offers great value. While in the past there have not been too many issuers that offered something new that would catch consumers’ attention, the times have change. With a new card recently introduced by Capital One that offers travels rewards much better than any available today, it looks as the face of rewards is dramatically changing and cardholders will reap rewards never thought possible.
With the newest card from Capital One, known as the Venture Card, cardholders are getting twice the travel rewards that they currently may be receiving from other credit cards in their pocketbook. While many issuers give cardholders rewards for certain purchases and put restrictions on how they can be redeemed, Venture is much different. This new plastic offers double miles on every purchase without expiration dates, or any limits/restrictions on how many points can be earned and when/where you can fly.
So what all does the Venture Card from Capital One offer? According to their site they give consumers the following:
- 2 miles per dollar on all net purchases
- Rewards that have no limit and don’t expire
- No foreign transaction fees
- 10,000 bonus miles when $1,000 is spent in first three months
- Ability to fly free on any airline without blackout dates
- Ability to redeem on travel purchases
- Simple redemption schedule
- Exclusive customer service
- Access to exclusive benefits
When looking at other things that make this offer stand out from other travel rewards cards, great features include that no advance booking is required and that any airline can be used when redeeming your miles. As far as redeeming your rewards the approach could not be any easier. All cardholders must do is make their travel purchase with the Venture Card, then go to the Capital One website or call and they will be reimbursed with the cost of the transaction being refunded on their next statement.
American Express Helps You Give More than Money
When it comes to giving to those that are less fortunate, what is the first thing that comes to mind? In many cases it is simply giving some monetary amount to a favorite charity or organization hoping that the donation will help those in need. While in the past this method was one of the most popular choices, things are constantly changing and companies like American Express have decided to do more. Now programs like the “Member Project” are leading the way, and simply giving money to charities in much more involved.
For American Express there are many ways to help give to those in need; and believe it or not, it is not all about using your credit card to make purchases. One of those ways, which was recently announced, is by simply performing volunteer work. By volunteering at participating organizations cardholders earn up to 500 reward points for every hour, up to a total of 10,000 points. If you are not a rewards cardholder there is no need to fret, as you can still donate the points you would earn to charities instead, by going through their giving interface located at AmericanExpress.com/give.
Another great way to give to those in need is by simply giving a few minutes of your time to vote at TakePart.com/MembersProject. Here cardholders are able to vote once a week for their favorite charity or the charity that they believe needs financial support. Every quarter, five charities are chosen and each receives $200,000. While you may not find the specific charity you are looking for, you will definitely find one that well deserving of the contribution and will put it to good use.
Financial Linked Credit Cards Can Pay Off
When it comes to reward credit cards, research as shown that they are without a doubt one of the most popular types of plastic available. Even during a time where interest rates have been raised and annual fees have been added to many cards, these cards still on many accounts seem to be untouched. Now it seems that one type of reward card seems to be getting more attention than any other around, and those are the ones tied to brokerage accounts.
According to an article on Bankrate.com entitled "Brokerages offer big credit card rewards" people that are looking for great rewards should consider a card that is tied to an investment account. When it comes to rewards cards, while some cards are giving consumers one percent, cardholders with credit cards such as Schwab Bank Invest First Visa Signature card or the Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express are seeing two percent. Not only that, cardholders are also given the ability to switch rewards to focus on many aspects that fit their needs such as investing rewards or college saving rewards (529 account).
While investment reward cards are not for everyone, these types of cards are definitely one to consider if you have a brokerage account. At the moment the cards listed above offer some of the richest rewards programs around, with no annual fees and no caps on the rewards that you can earn.
Citi’s “Thank You” Appropriately Termed for Haiti Relief
When it comes to the relief efforts in Haiti is looks like Citibank wants to do a little more than just pledge thousand of dollars, but they need your help.
If you’re a Citibank cardholder you can now help the Haiti relief effort by using your Citi credit card to make purchases that accrue reward points. With these reward points, cardholders are now able to give cash through the Citi’s reward program known as the "ThankYou Network". Starting at just 5000 points, donations are given in denominations of $50 and $100 to the American Red Cross International Response Fund.
If you would like to give donations using your reward points you can go to Thankyou.com or by calling (800) THANKYOU, or (800) 842-6596.
For Someone It Will Pay to “Discover”
While many people move to cash as their primary way to pay, it looks like credit card issuers will have to get very creative to win their customers back. While it may be hard for some it looks like for one issuer it just might work. That issuer is Discover, and they are using cold hard cash to get consumers back to using their plastic with a special promotion called the "It Pays to Discover Everyday Giveaway".
With this giveaway the grand prize is a cool million and cardholders are entered when they use their card. While that is a great grand prize, Discover is also doing something a little different as up to seventy five people a day will receive gift card valued up to $500. In addition to that one of those winners will also receive $1 million in 2011.
So what does Discover think is worth a million dollars in cash? Well, according to a spokesperson it is simply the ability to grow the brand’s name, help remind consumers Discover Card is accepted at millions of location, and lastly (and not surprising the most important) to help increase card usage.
Will Zync Be “Gold” for American Express?
As the latest trend of not carrying a balance on your credit card continues to grow, it looks like charge cards could emerge ahead of the pack. With this the leader of charge cards, American Express, has now announced that its newest offer in it long line of charge card will be focused to young adults. The card’s name is Zync and it could potentially be the card that younger cardholders will soon migrate toward as it looks very impressive and offers the same rewards that millions of other American Express charge cardholders receive at a much lower annual fee ($20).
So will the Zync from American Express garner the attention of those it is trying to reach? On all accounts the answer to that will probably be yes. Even as many young adults may be trying to stay away from credit cards at the moment, they are essentially the ones that have a lot more to gain from using credit cards in the long run. For them building credit has been and will be one of the key building blocks in life. If they are to get a card then this one could be the perfect credit card for them as they don’t have to carry a balance and get hit with interest charges.
Seasons Giving With a Capital One Credit Card
With the season of giving upon us, there are so many things that we can do to help those of us that are less fortunate. Traditionally many people find ways to give back by volunteering in the community or by giving small donations to charities that they feel need the most help. To help make giving easier, Capital One cardholders have the ability to search for the charity that is right for them by way of the No Hassle Giving Program.
With Capital One there are two main ways cardholders can give to those less fortunate. Cardholders can use their reward points that they have earned for the donations, or give by charging their credit card (charging earns reward points on the transaction). As for the amount giving to charities, Capital One covers all of the online transaction costs making sure that non-profits get 100 percent of the contribution cardholders send.
Only a year old, this program has done wonders as the No Hassle Giving Site has generated more than $1 million in charitable gifts. According to Capital One the two goals of the No Hassle Giving Site are to generate dollars for charities and non profit organizations and to make sure that those dollars go as far as they can. As with any charitable giving Cardholders can set up online donations the way they want, whether it is a one-time only or a recurring donation.
Learn more and give to the charity of your choice by going to www.capitalone.com/give.
Miss a Payment and You Might Lose Your Rewards
Did you know that all major credit card issuers have a clause in some form or fashion that states that can revoke reward points earned if the account is delinquent? If you are like many Americans you do not, and yet this is written in the cardholder’s terms of agreement.
While some credit card issuers will only cancel the points that were accumulated within a certain billing cycle, others are stricter and will revoke all points earned within the cardholders account. So can credit card issuers do this? Although it is probably not the answer you want to hear, the answer is yes. When you signed your name on the dotted line to receive the card, you accept this as a term although it may not seem fair.
If you are like me, the benefit of the reward credit card was probably one of the sole reasons for getting that particular credit card. So losing any points no matter how small would really defeat the purpose of using the card. Although many people do not ever want to think about missing a payment, it is something that may happen. If this is a concern, may I suggest a card where you can switch your points into cash back rebate check? If you think that you may miss a payment you can simply request a cash back rebate check before the due date and at least have something instead of nothing.
The Future of Credit Card Rewards
Whether it is in the form of cash back, frequent flyer miles, gift cards, or anything else; many credit cardholders will tell you that rewards are a major reason why they choose the credit card that is in their pocketbook. Now it could seem that due to the CARD Act, rewards that cardholders receive for making purchase could soon be changing for the worse.
As expected by credit card experts, dramatic changes in not only the way you get rewarded but also they type of rewards you see are just on the horizon. From recent news and by word of mouth from cardholders, there are already credit card issuers drawing back on many reward programs. In some cases, not only have credit card issuers scaled back on rewards, but they are also adding fees for cardholders to stay or become a member in their reward program. So far credit card issuers such as American Express, Discover, and Citi Bank have changed their reward programs in some form or fashion.
The fact remains that there are still pretty good credit card reward programs for consumers to choose from, but will more often then not be based on your creditworthiness. It seems that the era of applying for multiple reward cards just to receive an initial reward for sign up and making one purchase has ended.