Credit Card Guide
 
Follow Us  twitter facebook You Tube Google+
 
Credit Cards > Credit Card News > Cash Back > What To Look For When Choosing A Cash Back Credit Card



 
 

What To Look For When Choosing A Cash Back Credit Card

 
By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
May 22, 2009
tools
tools
email print comment
tools
SHARE

The way to get the most from cash back credit cards is to pay off your balance every month.

When choosing a cash back or rewards credit card, it pays to do your homework. That way you choose the best card for your needs and know how to take full advantage of it. Below are some of the things to look for when choosing a cash back credit card.

Which card offers the highest cash back incentives on purchases you frequently make? Several cards advertise a 5% cash back on purchases at supermarkets, drug stores, and gas stations. This is the equivalent of a 5% discount, which can turn into significant savings over the course of the year. If, for example, you spend $500 in groceries per month, this is the equivalent of $25 in savings each month, or $300 per year. And that’s just the savings on your grocery purchases! Some cards offer 5% or higher cash back on other types of purchases, e.g., in home improvement stores. If you make a lot of these types of purchases, these cards are worth considering as well.

Is there a ceiling on how much you can earn? Many cards limit the amount you can earn in cash back over the course of the year, so look for a card with a high limit. Some cards allow you unlimited earnings within their merchant network. If the members of this network are merchants that you would typically do business with, these cards are worth considering.

How is the cash back redeemed? Some card issuers will simply issue a credit directly to your credit card at the end of each year. Others will send you a rebate check. Still others will allow you to redeem only in specific increments of e.g., $25 or $50, and you have to call in and request the rebate check. Many people don’t realize that they have to do this, and never call. This is why it is important to know the terms of your card holder agreement, so you can be sure to follow up as needed.

Do the cash rewards expire over time? In some cases, the cash rewards will expire after a certain number months or if you don’t use your card for a period of time. Again, be sure that you are very familiar with the terms of the card you choose.

To determine the exact details of the offer, look in the Terms and Conditions or Rules and Regulations section of the offer and pay special attention to the sections that discuss Cash Back or Rewards.


Share 
 
     

 
 

VIEW RELATED STORIES

5 ways to maximize cash-back rewards - Cash-back cards are often advertised as a low-fuss rewards option, yet fine print can dilute your rewards. Follow these five tips to boost your card's benefits.

What's the best way to redeem cash back? - Ready to redeem your rewards? Most cash-back credit cards offer an array of redemption methods, and it can take some legwork to find the one that offers the most bang for your buck

Card-Linked Offers: An Easier Route to Rewards? - If you love discounts and deals, take note: Issuers and retailers are experimenting with card-linked offers to more seamlessly reward consumers

ALL CREDIT CARD NEWS & ADVICE ARCHIVES >>

 
     

 
  If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

Comments Closed

 
     


 
Secure SSL Technology
Secure SSL
Technology
 
Twitter Facebook You Tube Google+
About Us Privacy Policy Editorial Team Terms of Use
Contact Us California Privacy Rights Media Relations Site Map

Close X