rewards cards http://www.wisebread.com/taxonomy/term/10587/all en-US Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/iStock-611298896.jpg" alt="Woman making mistakes with her first credit cards" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="141" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Getting your first credit card is a financial milestone. Your credit card can become an essential tool that builds your credit and helps you manage your money. But too many credit card rookies have gotten in trouble with debt and fees, while others simply miss out on important benefits. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-you-need-to-know-before-getting-your-first-credit-card-0?ref=seealso" target="_blank">What You Need to Know Before Getting Your First Credit Card</a>)</p> <p>If you are about to apply for your first credit card, or are already using it, be careful not to make these six common mistakes.</p> <h2>1. Failing to Read the &quot;Fine Print&quot;<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Getting a credit card is an important financial decision, and you need to read the details before choosing one. Thankfully, the most important terms and conditions of credit cards aren't even written in fine print anymore. By law, credit card offers must show all of the interest rates and fees in a standard format and in large print, in what's called the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/decipher-credit-card-offers-with-the-schumer-box?ref=internal" target="_blank">Schumer Box</a>. And while you don't need to hire a lawyer to go over every single sentence, you should understand the interest rates being charged and all of the fees you could incur.</p> <h2>2. Applying for the First Offer Without Comparing Interest Rates<strong> </strong></h2> <p>When you are <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-questions-to-ask-before-accepting-a-credit-card-offer?ref=internal" target="_blank">considering a credit card offer</a>, you should take a close look at the standard APR (annual percentage rate) for purchases, and compare it to competing cards. Interest rates vary widely from card to card. If your account ever carries a balance (as more than 40% of all credit card accounts do), it's important to have the lowest possible interest rate. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Best Low Interest Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>3. Signing Up for a Premium Rewards Card<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Just as you wouldn't want a novice driver to have an expensive luxury car, it's not a good idea for a first-time credit card user to have a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-premium-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">premium rewards card</a> with a large annual fee. As a newbie user, you are unlikely to use all the benefits that account for the annual fee. It's better to look for a basic card that will let you build credit with <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-no-annual-fees?ref=internal" target="_blank">no annual fee</a>. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-college-students" target="_blank">Best Credit Cards for Students</a>)</p> <h2>4. Missing Payments<strong> </strong></h2> <p>The primary way that credit cards differ from debit and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-prepaid-debit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">prepaid cards</a> is that you have to make a payment every month. If you fail to make at least the minimum payment on time, every month, then you will usually be faced with a much higher <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-didn-t-understand-about-credit-card-interest-grace-periods-and-penalty-aprs?ref=internal" target="_blank">penalty interest rate</a>, along with late fees. And when you repeatedly pay late, your <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-late-payments-affect-your-credit?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit will suffer severely</a>.</p> <p>On the other hand, you can quickly build excellent credit with a steady record of on-time payments. To make it easier to remember, sign up for email, phone, or text reminders of your due date. For even more assurance that you'll pay on time, sign up for auto-payments that clear your balance every month. Just be sure to look at your statements to make sure there are no fraudulent charges.</p> <h2>5. Making Just the Minimum Payment<strong> </strong></h2> <p>It can be tempting to pay just a little each month, but it will cost you dearly over time. The best way to use a credit card is to avoid interest charges by paying each month's statement balance in full and on time. But if you absolutely can't do that, then you should try to pay as much as possible, as early as possible. Most credit cards charge interest based on your average daily balance, so the sooner you can make a payment, and the more you can pay, the better. If you feel like you need a nudge to stay out of debt, you may consider a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/no-limit-no-interest-whats-the-deal-with-charge-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">charge card</a>, which has to be settled at the end of every month.</p> <h2>6. Missing Out on Benefits<strong> </strong></h2> <p>Besides being a convenient way to pay, most <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-surprising-reasons-to-always-use-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">credit cards come with a lot of perks</a>, just for having the account. For example, you can receive <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal" target="_blank">free rental car insurance</a> with most credit cards, but only when you use your card to pay for the rental and decline the optional coverage that the rental company offers. Other perks featured with many credit cards include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-free-extended-warranties-work-on-credit-cards?ref=internal" target="_blank">extended warranty coverage</a>, price protection, and purchase protection against theft and accidental damage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso" target="_blank">Awesome Credit Card Perks You Didn't Know About</a>)</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jason-steele">Jason Steele</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-happens-when-your-credit-card-debt-is-charged-off">What Happens When Your Credit Card Debt Is Charged Off?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stop-making-these-5-costly-credit-card-mistakes">Stop Making These 5 Costly Credit Card Mistakes</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs">How to Get All of the Benefits of Your Credit Cards — and None of the Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card">Should You Pay Your Bills With a Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-credit-card-mistakes-that-could-be-ruining-your-credit">6 Credit Card Mistakes That Could Be Ruining Your Credit</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards budgeting charge cards credit mistakes credit score late payments minimum payments rewards cards spending Mon, 20 Feb 2017 10:30:32 +0000 Jason Steele 1892847 at http://www.wisebread.com The 25 Best Credit Cards From Credit Unions http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-from-credit-unions <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/the-best-credit-cards-from-credit-unions" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_smile_credit_card_588598074.jpg" alt="Woman using best credit cards from credit unions" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit unions have come a long way from their local, affinity group roots. These days credit unions offer all of the convenience and service of their much larger brethren, but usually at lower cost &mdash; and often with more personal customer service. Joining a credit union has never been easier, as most credit unions make membership available to almost anyone through affiliated nonprofits and groups. Of course, credit cards are among the banking products a credit union will offer.</p> <p>We've collected 25 of the best credit union credit cards on offer, many equal or superior to big bank cards. Have a look, and then decide if it's time to finally <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-good-reasons-to-choose-a-credit-union-instead-of-a-bank">dump your bank and join a credit union</a>.</p> <h2>Our Top 10 Credit Union Credit Cards</h2> <p>The 10 cards at the top of our list feature relatively low interest rates and familiar credit card features and perks.</p> <h3>State Department Federal Credit Union: Visa Platinum Card</h3> <p>The SDFCU offers a pair of Platinum Visa cards with several attractive benefits, including no balance transfer fees, and a rewards program called &quot;Flexpoint.&quot; Variable interest rates range between 7.49% and 15.24%, depending on credit score. The SDFCU is open to employees of the US State Department and their families, affiliated companies, and members of the American Consumer Council, which anyone can join.</p> <h3>GTE Financial Credit Union: Visa Platinum Card</h3> <p>The Platinum Visa from GTE Federal Credit Union offers attractive interest rates (8.49% for the best credit scores) and no balance transfer fees. Many credit union cards are shy with the rewards points, but this card features 2x and 3x points on promotional purchases throughout the year. Visa Alerts and Travel and Baggage insurance round out the perks. Membership in the GTEFCU is through employers, family members, or by joining GTE's CU Savers club.</p> <h3>Air Force Federal Credit Union: Visa Platinum Card<strong> </strong></h3> <p>You don't have to be a pilot to enjoy the benefits of the AFFCU Platinum Visa.There's no annual fee for this card, relatively low interest rates (starting at 8% for those with excellent credit scores), and 2,500 bonus CURewards points just for signing up. Membership is open to military service personnel and their families, government employees and their families, DOD contractors, and members of the Airman Heritage Foundation, which anyone can join for a fee.</p> <h3>Navy Federal Credit Union: cashRewards Credit Card</h3> <p>This card features no annual fee and an attractive cash back rewards program that returns 1.5% for every dollar spent. Interest rates start at 9.9%, so be sure to take advantage of the rewards while keeping balances at zero. There are no annual fees, no balance transfer fees, and no foreign transaction fees with this card. Membership is open to current and former service members, DOD civilians, and their families.</p> <h3>Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card</h3> <p>The relatively high interest rates on this card (starting at 10.24%), make it an unwise choice for cardholders who carry a balance. For those who can keep balances low, the attractive rewards program can pay well, with 5x points for gasoline purchases and 3x for groceries. No annual fee and no foreign transactions fee keep the cost of this card down. PenFed membership is open to service members and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of Voices for America's Troops or the National Military Family Association, both of which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Premium Travel Rewards American Express</h3> <p>As with the other PenFed card on this list, interest rates aren't the lowest, but the rewards are attractive, especially for frequent travelers. This card features a 12 month 0% balance transfer APR and pays 20,000 bonus points if new cardholders spend $2,500 in the first three months. There's no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees. PenFed membership is open to service members and their families, members of affiliate organizations, and members of Voices for America's Troops or the National Military Family Association, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Navy Federal Credit Union: Go Rewards Visa Signature Card</h3> <p>This Visa Signature card offers a decent rewards program &mdash; 3x points for restaurants, 2x for gasoline and 1x for everything else &mdash; at the cost of relatively high interest rates (9.74% to 18%, depending on credit score). There is no annual fee, no balance transfer fee, and no foreign transaction fee. Membership is open to current and former service members, DOD civilians, and their families.</p> <h3>Affinity Plus Credit Union: Visa Premier Classic</h3> <p>This no frills card from Affinity Plus Credit Union offers relatively low interest rates (8.65% to 18%, depending on creditworthiness), no annual fee, and no balance transfer fee. Other perks include a Rental vehicle damage waiver and Visa spending alerts. Membership is open to employees of the State of Minnesota, affiliate organizations, and members of the Affinity Plus Foundation, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>NASA Federal Credit Union: Visa Platinum Advantage Rewards</h3> <p>This basic rewards card offers a point per dollar spent, which are redeemable for travel and merchandise. There is no annual fee and no balance transfer fee. Interest rates range from 10.17% to 18%, with a balance transfer rate of 7.90% on transfers made in the first 90 days. Membership is open to NASA employees and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of the National Space Society, which is free to join.</p> <h3>McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union: Visa Platinum Card</h3> <p>This Platinum Visa card features interest rates between 9.9% and 18%, which is middle of the pack for this collection of cards. There is no annual fee. The rewards program requires a separate login on the credit union's website. The card offers Visa services not every credit union card offers, such as roadside assistance and car rental insurance. Membership is open to employer groups, members of their families, and members of VOICE foundation, which anyone can join.</p> <h2>Other Credit Union Credit Cards to Consider</h2> <p>If none of the above suit your needs, consider one of these.</p> <h3>Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Gold Visa Card</h3> <p>No frills, no fees, and relatively low interest rates (8.99% to 18%).</p> <p>PenFed membership is open to service members and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of Voices for America's Troops or the National Military Family Association, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Platinum Cash Rewards Visa Card</h3> <p>Cash back on gas of 3% or 5%, depending on which card you qualify for (Standard or Plus).</p> <p>PenFed membership is open to service members and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of Voices for America's Troops or the National Military Family Association, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Promise Visa Card</h3> <p>No fees, relatively low interest rates (8.99% to 18%).</p> <p>PenFed membership is open to service members and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of Voices for America's Troops or the National Military Family Association, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Pentagon Federal Credit Union: Defender Visa Signature Card</h3> <p>Cash back on all purchases of 1.5% and $100 bonus credit if new cardholders spend $1500 in the first three months.</p> <p>PenFed membership is open to service members and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of Voices for America's Troops or the National Military Family Association, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Lake Michigan Credit Union: Prime Platinum Visa Card</h3> <p>This card offers a relatively low interest rate (Prime + 3.00%) and no annual fee.</p> <p>Membership is open residents of Michigan, family members, and members of the ALS foundation, which requires a one-time fee.</p> <h2>Lake Michigan Credit Union: Max Rewards Visa Card</h2> <p>Cash back of 3% on gas (up to $500 per month), 2% on groceries (unlimited) and 1% on everything else (unlimited), redeemable via the CURewards program. No annual fee and no balance transfer fee.</p> <p>Membership is open residents of Michigan, family members, and members of the ALS foundation, which requires a one-time fee.</p> <h3>NASA Federal Credit Union: Visa Platinum Cash Rewards</h3> <p>Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. No annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees.</p> <p>Membership is open to NASA employees and their families, affiliate organizations, and members of the National Space Society, which is free to join.</p> <h3>Affinity Plus Credit Union: Visa Premier Select Rewards</h3> <p>No annual or balance transfer fees. Earn one CURewards point per dollar spent, Visa Signature perks such as travel accident insurance and cell phone protection.</p> <p>Membership is open to employees of the State of Minnesota, affiliate organizations, and members of the Affinity Plus Foundation, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <h3>Apple Federal Credit Union: Visa Platinum</h3> <p>Low variable interest rates (5.99% to 18%) and no penalty APR. No annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees.</p> <p>Membership in the credit union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in several Northern Virginia counties, their families, and affiliated employee groups.</p> <h3>Apple Federal Credit Union: Signature Reward Visa</h3> <p>No annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees. Earn 3x points on gas, 2x on groceries and 1x on everything else.</p> <p>Membership in the credit union is open to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in several Northern Virginia counties, their families, and affiliated employee groups.</p> <h3>Kitsap Credit Union: Visa Gold Card</h3> <p>Low variable APR (Prime +2.9%) and no annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees.</p> <p>Membership is open to people who live work, or worship in the state of Washington.</p> <h3>Abri Credit Union: Visa Platinum Credit Card</h3> <p>Low interest rates (Prime + 3.9%), no annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees. Promotional balance transfer rate of 1.99% for six months.</p> <p>Membership is open to people who live in select Chicagoland counties and their families.</p> <h3>Fort Community Credit Union: Visa Platinum Credit Card</h3> <p>Low variable APR (Prime + 3.99%), no annual, balance transfer, or foreign transaction fees. Cash back of 1% on all purchases.</p> <p>Membership is open to people who live and work in select counties in and around Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and their families.</p> <h3>America First Credit Union: Visa Platinum Credit Card</h3> <p>Cash back of 1.5% on all purchases, no annual or balance transfer fees.</p> <p>Membership is open to those who live, work, or worship in select Utah, Arizona, and Nevada counties.</p> <h3>Suncoast Credit Union: Reward Platinum Visa</h3> <p>Variable interest rates starting at 8.9%, one rewards point for every dollar spent, redeemable for travel and merchandise. No annual or balance transfer fees.</p> <p>Membership is open to those who live or work in select Florida counties and their families.</p> <h3>Alliant Credit Union: Visa Platinum Credit Card</h3> <p>Introductory APR of 0% for 12 months; variable after (9.74% to 21.74%). No annual fee, no balance transfer fee.</p> <p>Membership is open to select employer groups, people who live or work in select Chicagoland counties, or members of a nonprofit, which anyone can join for a one-time fee.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/greg-go">Greg Go</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-from-credit-unions">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirty-secrets-of-credit-cards">The Dirty Secrets of Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/is-a-balance-transfer-offer-a-good-deal">Is a Balance Transfer Offer a Good Deal?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fees-hidden-and-otherwise">Credit Card Fees: Hidden and Otherwise</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">The 5 Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">The 5 Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards APR cash back credit unions interest rates rewards cards Sat, 28 Jan 2017 01:09:38 +0000 Greg Go 1882265 at http://www.wisebread.com 9 Store Loyalty Programs That Are Worth It http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/target_shopping_cart_000035488722.jpg" alt="Learning which store loyalty programs are worth it" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>If you've never taken advantage of store loyalty programs, then it's time to start. If you frequently visit the same stores, then you deserve to be <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-pricing-secrets-grocery-stores-dont-want-you-to-know">rewarded for your purchases</a>. But not all rewards programs are the same. Some are more of a hassle than they're worth, while others are ultra-generous.</p> <p>Here are nine store rewards programs that are definitely worth your loyal dollars.</p> <h2>1. Starbucks</h2> <p>If Starbucks is a place that you visit frequently, then the <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.225262&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.starbucks.com%2fcard%2frewards" rel="nofollow">My Starbucks Rewards</a>&nbsp;program is a must. You can simply register online or download the app to your smartphone and accumulate points every time you visit Starbucks. There are different levels to the program, so the more you visit Starbucks, the more you will be rewarded. For instance, once you reach the gold level, every 12 drinks you purchase will earn you one free drink. You can even pay for your drinks using the app, and rewards members also receive exclusive deals and discounts throughout the month.</p> <h2>2. Target</h2> <p>Target offers its own unique apps to help shoppers find what they need faster, while saving more at checkout. Their Cartwheel app (available for <a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/103561/2092">Android</a> or <a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/103560/2092">iOS</a>) offers access to hundreds of coupons, which you can add to your mobile barcode to quickly scan at checkout. Additionally, <a href="http://goto.target.com/c/27771/99528/2092">Target's REDcard</a> saves 5% in-store and online, and you can still use all of your favorite coupons and money-saving apps along with it.</p> <h2>3. Sephora</h2> <p>Sephora's <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.885673&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.sephora.com%2fprofile%2fbeautyInsider%2f" rel="nofollow">Beauty Insider program</a>&nbsp;is perfect for anyone who frequently purchases beauty products. With this multi-level program, you will earn points for every dollar spent, which can later be used to purchase items in the store. As a Beauty Insider, you will also have exclusive access to special products, free in-store beauty classes, select promotions, free items from time to time, and even a free birthday gift. When you accumulate enough points, you may receive an invitation to the Beauty Insider VIB Program, which grants you access to exclusive events and specialty products. <em>U.S. News</em> and <em>Refinery29</em> selected this as the best loyalty reward program for makeup mavens.</p> <h2>4. CVS Rewards</h2> <p><a href="https://www.cvs.com/extracare/landing.jsp?t=mySavingRewards">CVS Rewards</a> offers its shoppers coupons, exclusive deals, and cash back to spend in the store. This program is unique because it tracks what you purchase to provide you with customized coupons that fit your shopping habits.</p> <h2>5. Best Buy</h2> <p>With the <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1372516&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=http%3a%2f%2fwww.bestbuy.com%2fsite%2fglobal-promotions%2fmy-best-buy%2fpcmcat309300050007.c%3fid%3dpcmcat309300050007%26type%3dcategory%26id%3dpcmcat309300050007" rel="nofollow">Best Buy Reward Zone</a>, shoppers are rewarded in a number of different ways. You can earn points for every dollar spent, receive exclusive offers and promotions, and have access to special events. The more you spend every year, the higher your status will be, which translates to even more money saved.</p> <h2>6. Safeway</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.259769&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1" rel="nofollow">Safeway</a>&nbsp;has mastered the art of the grocery store loyalty program. Now, every time you save at the market, you can save at the gas station as well. That's because with Safeway's Rewards Points program, you can turn every point earned into a discount at Safeway and Dominic's, as well as most Mobil stations. Simply use your rewards card at checkout to earn one point for every dollar spent. Once you hit 100 points, you will earn $0.10 off per gallon of gas.</p> <h2>7. Century 21</h2> <p><a href="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=g519OIyP0is&amp;offerid=318965.7&amp;type=3&amp;subid=0">Century 21</a> is one of the largest retail stores, and with its delightful array of offerings, it can be difficult to leave with only what you came in for. This is why the C21 Status program is so beneficial to frequent shoppers. It allows you to earn cash back, as well as access to express checkout lines and exclusive discounts. <em>Refinery29</em> selected this as one of the best store loyalty programs.</p> <h2>8. Bloomingdale's</h2> <p>Bloomingdale's <a target="_blank" href="http://track.flexlinks.com/a.ashx?foid=1029882.1637099&amp;fot=9999&amp;foc=1&amp;url=https%3a%2f%2fwww.bloomingdales.com%2faccount%2fsignin%3ffromLoyalty%3dloyaltySignIn" rel="nofollow">Loyalist program</a>&nbsp;offers points for every purchase made and double points for cosmetics and fragrance purchases. For every 5,000 points, you receive a $25 gift card. If you make big purchases at Bloomingdale's, then these rewards will add up quickly, and you can save even more by signing up for a Bloomingdale's credit card as well.</p> <h2>9. Gilt</h2> <p><a target="_blank" href="http://www.kqzyfj.com/click-2822544-11438951-1441397967000" rel="nofollow">Gilt</a> offers a unique online-only loyalty program. You can earn points for things like visiting the site, making purchases, and connecting with the brand. The points can be redeemed for discounts, early access to sales, free shipping, and a variety of other goods and services.</p> <p><em>Do you know of any other store loyalty programs that are actually worth it? Please share your thoughts in the comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/andrea-cannon">Andrea Cannon</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/9-store-loyalty-programs-that-are-worth-it">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-1"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-ways-to-save-loads-of-money-using-credit-cards">7 Ways to Save Loads of Money Using Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/50-best-deals-coupons-sites">50 Best Deals and Coupon Sites</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/16-amazon-deal-hacks-you-may-not-already-know">16 Amazon Deal Hacks You May Not Already Know</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/15-things-you-should-buy-at-costco">15 Things You Should Buy at Costco</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Shopping deals free stuff loyalty programs rewards cards rewards points Tue, 22 Sep 2015 09:00:24 +0000 Andrea Cannon 1567320 at http://www.wisebread.com 12 Travel Perks You Didn't Know Your Credit Card Had http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman_airport_000026833547_0.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Credit card benefits aren't just about redeeming rewards for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=internal">award flights</a> and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">cash back</a>. This is especially true when you travel. Pick the right card, and it could save you more than a pretty penny on your next trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-unexpected-ways-a-credit-card-can-save-you-money-on-travel?ref=seealso">8 Unexpected Ways a Credit Card Can Save You Money on&nbsp;Travel</a>)</p> <p>Here are some travel benefits your card may include that you might not be aware of.</p> <h2>Status Upgrades</h2> <p>Many <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-co-branded-airline-credit-cards?ref=internal">co-branded credit cards</a> for airlines and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards?ref=internal">hotels</a> offer automatic <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-free-hotel-status-upgrades?ref=internal">status upgrades</a> in their respective loyalty programs. This allows you to enjoy additional benefits like room upgrades or airport lounge access, usually only reserved for those who have gained status through frequent patronage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/easy-ways-to-get-elite-status-for-free-hotel-upgrades?ref=seealso">Easy Ways to Get Elite Status for Free Hotel Upgrades</a>)</p> <h2>Priority Boarding</h2> <p>One benefit that's increasingly common for cards geared towards travelers is priority boarding. Usually, airlines only offer early boarding for their first class customers and most frequent flyers. Your credit card can help put you toward the front of the line. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-credit-cards-that-offer-the-best-travel-perks?ref=seealso">Credit Cards with the Best Travel Perks</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Rewards</h2> <p>Rather than forking over cash for your vacation expenses, let all the shopping you do every day rack up points that you can redeem for travel. Increasingly, credit card companies are broadening the number of ways you can redeem points. Use them for airline tickets, car rentals, hotel stays, cruises, and even that special evening out on the town. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>Companion Tickets</h2> <p>While increasingly rare, there are some credit cards that still offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-with-airline-companion-tickets-and-3-bad-ones?ref=internal">companion fare deals</a>. Some cards provide a certain number of deeply discounted companion tickets per year. Others give you an opportunity to apply your rewards points toward free or inexpensive companion tickets. Those who travel frequently as a family may find this benefit to be a huge money saver. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-do-airline-companion-tickets-work-and-where-do-you-get-them?ref=seealso">How to Get Airline Companion Tickets</a>)</p> <h2>Zero Foreign Fees</h2> <p>When you use a credit card abroad, you're often charged a 3% foreign transaction fee. However, more and more cards offer a <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/smarter-security-and-no-foreign-transaction-fees-the-best-credit-cards-to-use-while-on-vacation?ref=internal">0% foreign transaction fee</a>, and those are the cards you should be using when you're traveling. (See also:&nbsp;<a href="http://www.wisebread.com/follow-these-5-credit-card-rules-when-traveling-abroad?ref=seealso">Follow These 5 Credit Card Rules When Traveling Abroad</a>)</p> <h2>Travel Insurance</h2> <p>Travel insurance benefits come in all shapes and sizes on different cards. Some protect your entire trip in the event of its cancellation. Others will <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-airline-lost-your-luggage-now-what?ref=internal">protect your luggage</a> should it be lost or stolen while you travel. Some cards provide these benefits (including <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-exactly-does-travel-accident-insurance-cover-on-credit-cards?ref=internal">travel accident insurance</a>) free. Before you book your vacation, check which credit card offer the best travel insurance for your needs, and use that card to make the purchase. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-types-of-travel-insurance-credit-cards-include-that-you-didnt-know-about?ref=seealso">6 Types of Travel Insurance Your Credit Card May Provide</a>)</p> <h2>Car Rental Insurance</h2> <p>This is a benefit that many credit cards carry, but it comes with a catch. Most of the time, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-does-car-rental-insurance-really-cover-on-your-credit-card?ref=internal">credit card rental car insurance</a> does not provide complete bumper-to-bumper coverage. It often excludes collision insurance, and there are usually high deductibles. Check your card's fine print on car rental insurance so you're clear on the terms and what's covered.</p> <h2>Airport Lounge Access</h2> <p>Delays are a commonplace occurrence when you travel. All of us have had that unfortunate experience that leaves us stranded on the floor of a very crowded airport hungrily searching for an outlet to charge our phones and tablets. Some credit cards provide free or discounted access to certain airline lounges complete with comfy seats, snacks, drinks, and plenty of outlets. Sometimes being a little more comfortable is all it takes to prevent a delay from ruining your trip. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-credit-cards-with-free-airport-lounge-access?ref=seealso">Best Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access</a>)</p> <h2>Fee Credits</h2> <p>Save even more with cards that offer fee credits on travel incidentals like checked bags, in-flight refreshments or even the application fee for Global Entry and TSA Pre Check. There's usually a limit so check your credit card for full details. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-that-offer-tsa-pre-check-and-global-entry-reimbursement?ref=seealso">Credit Cards That offer Fee Credit for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry</a>)</p> <h2>Concierge Service</h2> <p>Some cards carry <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/what-do-the-concierge-services-from-credit-cards-really-provide?ref=internal">concierge services</a>, meaning you can call the number on the back of the card and they can help with tasks such as travel planning, restaurant reservations, and special events tickets. If you need some last minute details taken care of or you need some assistance in an unfamiliar place, this benefit may prove very useful.</p> <h2>Global Assistance Hotline</h2> <p>When traveling, there's a high probability that something somewhere along the way won't go as expected. Given the current state of the world, you never know where or when you might find yourself in trouble. When you book your trip using a credit card that has a global assistance benefit, you'll be able to contact a toll-free number in the event of an emergency whether that involves a medical problem, a lost passport, or the need for an urgent translation.</p> <h2>Special Access</h2> <p>Certain cards provide you with access that may be difficult to come by for non-cardmembers. Heading to New York to take in a Broadway show? Want those hard-to-come-by concert tickets or a table at the hottest new restaurant in town? Many credit cards provide advance purchase opportunities and even reservations that non-credit cardholders won't have access to until later.</p> <p>It's important to note that not all cards carry the same benefits, and benefits change from time to time without notice. The best way to find out what travel benefits your cards carry is to call the number on the back of your card and ask to be connected to a representative who specializes in travel benefits. Enjoy your vacation, and pack the cards that will make your trip cheaper and more enjoyable. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-benefits-each-credit-card-bank-offers?ref=seealso">Best Benefits Each Credit Card Issuer Provides</a>)<em><br /> </em></p> <h2 style="text-align: center;">Like this article? Pin it!</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p style="text-align: center;"><a href="//www.pinterest.com/pin/create/button/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ftravel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had&amp;media=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wisebread.com%2Ffiles%2Ffruganomics%2Fu5180%2F12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%26%23x27%3Bt%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had_0.jpg&amp;description=12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%26%23x27%3Bt%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had" data-pin-do="buttonPin" data-pin-config="above" data-pin-color="red" data-pin-height="28"><img src="//assets.pinterest.com/images/pidgets/pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28.png" alt="" /></a> </p> <!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --><script type="text/javascript" async defer src="//assets.pinterest.com/js/pinit.js"></script></p> <p style="text-align: center;"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u5180/12%20Travel%20Perks%20You%20Didn%27t%20Know%20Your%20Credit%20Card%20Had_0.jpg" alt="" width="250" height="374" /></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/christa-avampato">Christa Avampato</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">5 Best Travel Reward Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/cash-back-vs-travel-rewards-pick-the-right-credit-card-for-you">Cash Back vs Travel Rewards: Pick the Right Credit Card for You</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-travel-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Travel Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/4-best-tools-for-tracking-your-rewards-miles">4 Best Tools for Tracking Your Rewards Miles</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-for-hotel-deals-and-rewards">The Best Credit Cards for Hotel Deals and Rewards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards Travel credit card perks frequent flyer rewards cards travel rewards Fri, 13 Mar 2015 16:00:04 +0000 Christa Avampato 1334945 at http://www.wisebread.com Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-christmas-credit-card-453313301-small_0.jpg" alt="christmas credit card" title="christmas credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Tis the season for shopping, and for most of us that means swiping some plastic. Did you know that choosing the right credit card for your purchases is more important than ever during the holiday season? This is when you spend more than you usually do, which means that you can rack up more rewards than you normally would. Does your go-to credit card offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">bonus points for grocery shopping</a>? At department stores? For gas? It's time to find out!</p> <p>Here's a step to step guide on organizing your credit cards so you are armed with the one that will help carry the budget burden. (See our picks for the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/best-credit-cards-for-the-holidays">best credit cards for the holidays</a>)</p> <h2>1. Review Your Credit Card Terms</h2> <p>Do you even know which credit card offers cash back and which one only offers points for travel redemption? Take out your credit cards, and go into your card's rewards terms. Write down what each card offers. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-5-cash-back-on-holiday-purchases?ref=seealso">How to Get 5% Cash Back on Holiday Purchases</a>)</p> <h2>2. Compare Against Your Gift List</h2> <p>Now that you know which cards offer what rewards, look at your gift list to see if your cards offer rewards for the purchases you are planning to make. Consider other purchases you might need to make, too, like travel arrangements or extra grocery shopping for all the people staying at your place for a week.</p> <h2>3. Choose Cards Based on Bonus Rewards</h2> <p>Use the credit card that offers bonus rewards on purchases. For example, use the 3% cash back on groceries credit card when you buy groceries. Use the card that gives you double points on travel purchases when you reserve your flight to your in-laws'. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards?ref=seealso">5 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards</a>)</p> <h2>4. Use Their Shopping Portals</h2> <p>Look at your list again. Are there any stores that you can buy your gifts at that are partnered with your credit card's shopping portal? Many card issuers have their own shopping portals where they give bonus rewards if you shop through there. The shopping experience is the same &mdash; you just have to go to their portal first, then click through to the store you want. Some cards offer <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-discover-it-card-attractive-cash-back-awards-for-shoppers">up to 20% cash back</a> if you shop via their portal (and use their card).</p> <h2>5. Look for Bonuses</h2> <p>After you've figured out which cards offer bonus rewards for the purchases you need, it's time to decide which card to use for the rest of the purchases. Most cards offer 1% cash back or 1 point for other purchases, and you might think that means it doesn't matter which card you use for them, but you'd be wrong. Some cards offer bonus rewards <em>on your rewards</em>. So if you racked up 5000 points in a year, a card might offer an extra 10% on top of that, so you'd get an additional 500 points. You'd want to use that card for all your other purchases.</p> <h2>6. Get Protection for Your Purchases</h2> <p>One final thing to consider when choosing the credit card for your holiday purchases are the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-awesome-credit-card-perks-you-didnt-know-about">additional benefits a credit card may offer</a>. These benefits often include <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-take-advantage-of-free-extended-warranty-from-your-credit-card-issuer">extended warranty</a>, price protection, purchase protection, and return protection. When it comes to holiday shopping, these perks may be worth more than any extra rewards or cash back. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping?ref=seealso">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a>)</p> <p><em>Do you try to maximize your rewards during holiday shopping? Please share your tips and tricks in comments!</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/lynn-truong">Lynn Truong</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs">How to Get All of the Benefits of Your Credit Cards — and None of the Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit cards holiday shopping maximum rewards rewards cards Fri, 21 Nov 2014 11:00:05 +0000 Lynn Truong 1257853 at http://www.wisebread.com How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-shopping-bakery-credit-card-492527833-small.jpg" alt="woman shopping credit card" title="woman shopping credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Anymore, it doesn't make a lot of sense to get a credit card if you aren't receiving some sort of rewards benefit. If you are going to use credit to make purchases, then you might as well recoup some of that. However, there are hundreds of these types of rewards and cash back credit cards. They may all sound similar, but depending on your spending habits, you would see very different levels of rewards with different cards.</p> <p>Cash back cards allow you to get &quot;cash back&quot; for your purchases. Rather than getting points for your purchases and then using those points to get various merchandise or travel rewards, you get actual money back (most of the time in the form of a statement credit). What varies from card to card is the amount of cash you get back, in what categories, and how you redeem them.</p> <p>You want the best possible cash reward card for your individual financial situation. Here's what to consider as you look for a cash rewards credit card. (See our picks for <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal" style="text-decoration:none;">best cash back credit cards</a>)</p> <h2>How You Earn Cash&nbsp;</h2> <p>Not all cash back cards have the same mechanism for accumulating rewards. There are cards that work by giving you cash back on a percentage of your purchases, and some that work on a points system.</p> <h3>Earning Cash through Points</h3> <p>In most cases, cash rewards cards that offer points are pretty straightforward. You get one point for each dollar that you spend. Some cards will offer extra points by shopping at a specific store, or by spending in certain categories.</p> <p>For example, Credit Card XYZ offers 3x points for supermarkets, 2x points for gas, and 1 point for other purchases. Your points would looking something like this:</p> <ul> <li>Shopping at Whole Foods Market: $87; Points: 261 (87*3)</li> <li>Getting gas: $43; Points: 86 (43*2)</li> <li>Shopping at Home Depot: $60; Points: 60</li> </ul> <p>It's important to realize that one point does not translate into a dollar of cash back. In most cases, each point is akin to earning 1% cash back. So for the purchases above, those points are worth about $4.</p> <p>You can see, though, how the extra multiplier help rack up rewards points quickly.</p> <h3>Earning Cash through % Back</h3> <p>Cars that offer a percentage of cash back on your purchases work the same way as the points above. But instead of going through the extra step of translating the points into cash, the calculation is done directly.</p> <p>For example, if Credit Card ABC offers 3% back for supermarkets, 2% for gas, and 1% for other purchases, the breakdown would look like this:</p> <ul> <li>Shopping at Whole Foods Market: $87; Cash back: $2.61 (3% of $87)</li> <li>Getting gas: $43; Cash Back: $0.86 (2% of $43)</li> <li>Shopping at Home Depot: $60; Cash Back: $0.60 (1% of $60)</li> </ul> <p>The total cash back comes out to $4.07, pretty much the same as Credit Card XYZ that uses a points system.</p> <h2>How Purchases Earn Cash Rewards</h2> <p>There are three main ways that credit cards offer rewards on purchases.</p> <h3>Rotating Categories</h3> <p>In recent years, it's become popular to offer a higher percentage on categories that rotate each quarter. So, for three months, you might get 5% back for groceries, restaurants, and gas (1% on other purchases), but next quarter, it might be something different, like department stores and home improvement stores.</p> <p>Not only does this make it difficult to really evaluate whether a credit card will be beneficial for you, there are also hoops to jump through in order to get these extra rewards. Many credit card issuers require that you sign up for the higher cash back each quarter. So, if you don't remember to go in and sign up for that 5% cash back on the quarterly category, you'll miss out, <em>even if you spent in those categories</em>.</p> <h3>Tiered Categories</h3> <p>In many cases, depending on your spending habits, you can do better with a tiered category card. These are cards that don't rotate categories. Instead, they offer different cash rewards for different categories. You might receive 3% back on groceries, 2% back on gas, and 1% back on other purchases. If you are willing to pay an annual fee, you might be able to get 6%, 3% and 2% cash rewards in those categories.</p> <p>If you plan your spending so that you use your card for all of your common expenses, these tiered cards can be more effective than a rotating category card, since the cash back can offset your annual fee, and help you come out ahead. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries?ref=seealso" style="text-decoration:none;">Top 5 Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h3>Flat Rate</h3> <p>Flat rate cash rewards cards are making a bit of comeback right now. These are cards that might offer 2% or 1.5% on all purchases made throughout the year, no matter the category. If you don't use your card often, and you don't like the idea of keeping track of which card to use for different purchases, this type of cash rewards card can make a lot of sense. In many cases, when you average out what you're getting from a rotating category card, you are likely to average out to 1.5% to 2% overall anyway.</p> <h2>Redeeming Your Cash Rewards</h2> <p>Cards offer different options for redeeming your cash rewards. Many issuers have a threshold before you can redeem, so you need to build up your rewards. If your card operates on a points system, you might need to reach a minimum of 1,000 points ($10) for example, before you can cash out.</p> <p>Here are some of the common ways that you can usually redeem your cash rewards.</p> <h3>Statement Credit</h3> <p>Your cash back is applied to your balance. You can apply the amount to your balance before you make your credit card payment. If you have a points-based rewards card, there will be a system for converting your points to cash. Usually it's a simple process if you access your account online.</p> <h3>Cash or Check</h3> <p>In some cases, you can choose to have cash deposited into the bank account of your choice. Some consumers use this option to boost their emergency savings. You might also be able to receive a paper check that you can deposit wherever you want.</p> <h3>Gift Cards</h3> <p>An increasingly popular way to redeem cash is via gift cards. In some cases, you might be able to redeem cash or points for a gift card with a face value that does more good than a statement credit or cash back. For example, if you have earned $20 in cash back, you might be able to get a $25 gift card to your favorite store. Or you might need 5,000 points for a $50 statement credit, but you might be able to get a $50 gift card for 4,500 points. As long as the store you prefer is available, it can be a better choice to redeem for a discounted gift card.</p> <h3>Merchandise</h3> <p>In some cases, you can convert your cash rewards into merchandise. This is often the least effective way to redeem your rewards, since the value of the merchandise rarely compares to the cash or cash equivalent you receive. With merchandise, there is a good chance that you are basically paying $25 for something that you could buy from the store or online for $15 or $20. It's not usually a good deal.</p> <h2>Important Note on Rewards Caps and Annual Fees</h2> <p>Make sure that you understand all the terms and conditions of your rewards credit card. Don't miss out on getting all the cash back you can by skipping over the fine print.</p> <h3>Reward Caps</h3> <p>Due to the overwhelming popularity of credit card users trying to capitalize on rewards, credit card issuers have started placing caps on the amount of cash back you can earn. For cards with rotating categories, they may have a condition that the cash back bonus rate only applies to the first $1,500 (on all the categories combined). After that, you'd get only 1% back. For tiered categories, there might be an annual limit. Once you hit that, it goes back to the standard 1% cash back until the next year.</p> <h3>Annual Fees</h3> <p>The most attractive cards with the higher rewards are usually cards with an annual fee. Run the numbers to see which card makes sense for you. Even if you think you'll earn back enough to pay for the annual fee, see if choosing the no fee card would get you more cash back.</p> <p>For example, If you earn $100 a year in cash back, but have to pay $75 for the annual fee, you're getting $25 back per year. It's a net positive, however, you might be able to get $50 back on a no-fee card. Sure your rewards are lower, by half, but you're still ahead because you didn't have to pay the fee. Cards with annual fees only make sense if you can really maximize the bonus categories.</p> <p>Ready to sign up for a great cash rewards credit card? We've picked out the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards?ref=internal">5 Best Cash Rewards Credit Cards</a>!</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season">Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs">How to Get All of the Benefits of Your Credit Cards — and None of the Costs</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit cards redeeming rewards rewards cards Tue, 18 Nov 2014 10:00:08 +0000 Miranda Marquit 1256481 at http://www.wisebread.com Are You Getting All the Credit Card Rewards You've Earned? http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-getting-all-the-credit-card-rewards-youve-earned <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/are-you-getting-all-the-credit-card-rewards-youve-earned" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/shopaholic-credit-card-474216695-small.jpg" alt="shopaholic" title="shopaholic" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="140" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Littered throughout the personal finance blogosphere are tips, tricks, and success stories on using rewards credit cards. If you play the rewards card game right, you can earn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-20-percent-cashback-on-nearly-everything?ref=inarticle">some cool cash back</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards?ref=inarticle">free flights</a>, or money for college. Provided you are paying off your balance each month and avoiding any fees or interest charges, a credit card rewards program is a fun game that the money nerds will always win. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-awesome-credit-card-tricks-that-will-save-you-money?ref=seealso">Money-Saving Credit Card Tricks</a>)</p> <p>Unfortunately, it's not as simple as that.</p> <p>Not only do nearly <a href="http://colloquy.com/press_release_view.asp?xd=95">one-third of credit card rewards go unclaimed</a> every year &mdash; to the tune of $16 billion just left on the table &mdash; but the psychology and terms of credit card rewards mean that even the responsible card users who game the system end up spending more than they intend. After all, the banks wouldn't offer rewards cards if they didn't make money from them.</p> <p>Here are the facts about rewards cards that never seem to make it into the cheery commercials starring celebrities.</p> <h2>You Spend More When You Pay With Credit</h2> <p>The mere fact that you <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/why-we-spend-more-when-we-pay-with-credit-cards">plan to pay with a credit card</a> is enough to make you spend more money. Whipping out your credit card simply does not hurt as much as counting out cash, meaning you are more likely to overindulge.</p> <p>In addition, researchers have found that the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-cards-make-money">prospect of earning rewards with a credit card</a> will cause your spending to go up &mdash; and <a href="http://www.chicagofed.org/digital_assets/publications/working_papers/2010/wp2010_19.pdf">the increase is more pronounced</a> in cardholders who would not otherwise use credit. This means that even responsible credit card holders are enticed into more spending (and debt!) because of the motivation of rewards.</p> <p>As if that is not distressing enough, a study from 1986 (which has recently been tested and proven again) has shown that <a href="http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2489426?uid=3739664&amp;uid=2&amp;uid=4&amp;uid=3739256&amp;sid=21104426031757">just seeing a credit card logo is enough to increase spending</a>. In the original experiment, psychologist Richard Feinberg asked subjects to flip through images of items from mail order catalogs (with the prices removed) and write down how much they would be willing to pay for them. For half of the subjects, the table on which they were working was strewn with MasterCard paraphernalia, left lying there to suggest that the researcher simply had not cleaned up from a prior experiment. The other half of the subjects sat at an empty table. Those subjects sitting with a pile of MasterCard logos were willing to spend more on <em>every single item</em>, and they were willing to <a href="http://pocketmint.net/2012/10/the-credit-card-rewards-system-is-gaming-you/">spend up to three times as much</a> on some items.</p> <p>Since that original experiment, further studies have shown that the logo effect works on &quot;associative conditioning.&quot; That is, those individuals who have positive associations with credit cards will spend more with plastic, while those who have negative associations will not.</p> <p>In particular, those individuals who game the rewards programs will have very positive associations with credit cards.</p> <p>That means the banks are seeing increased spending (and debt) from the &quot;responsible&quot; cardholders, as well as those who struggle with credit. All for the low, low price of a few rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-ways-to-earn-cashback-rewards-without-extra-spending?ref=seealso">How to Win Cash Back Rewards Without Extra Spending</a>)</p> <h2>The Lake Wobegon Effect</h2> <p>What is even more pernicious about the previous information is the fact that I would be willing to bet that nearly every Wise Bread reader with a rewards card is right now shaking his or her head and saying, &quot;It doesn't affect me!&quot;</p> <p>That's because of a cognitive bias known as the <a href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wobegon#The_Lake_Wobegon_effect">Lake Wobegon Effect</a>, named for the fictional town in Garrison Keillor's radio show, where &quot;all the children are above average.&quot;</p> <p>Basically, every individual truly believes that he or she is better than most people at everything from driving to managing money. In the book <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1592407366/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=390957&amp;creativeASIN=1592407366&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=wisbre03-20&amp;linkId=G7GVUHHQPYCNKKID">You Are Not So Smart</a>, David McRaney writes, &quot;No one, it seems, believes he or she is part of the population contributing to the statistics generating averages.&quot;</p> <p>Banks are counting on that illusion of superiority, since it snags rewards card customers who would otherwise pay with cash.</p> <h2>You Can Only Opt Out of the Benefits, Not the Costs</h2> <p>You might be thinking right now that it would make more sense to simply get rid of your rewards credit card and carry cash. That will certainly ensure that you are not affected by credit's destructive pull on your better impulses. However, that does not entirely solve the problem of the costs of rewards cards.</p> <p>That's because even though banks earn a great deal of money through their rewards cards programs, they still find ways to pay for those rewards without having to eat into their profit. They do this by charging fees to merchants for accepting their cards.</p> <p>According to Ron Lieber of the New York Times,</p> <p style="margin-left: 40px;">Rewards-earning credit cards with the Visa and MasterCard logo <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/09/your-money/credit-and-debit-cards/09money.html?_r=2&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;">often cost merchants more than plain-vanilla ones</a>, which hints at the card companies' laser-like focus on subsidizing rewards for the affluent customers who are still spending, even if they are paying their bills off each month and thus paying no interest.</p> <p>To protect their own bottom line, merchants build the credit card fees they pay into higher prices for their goods &mdash; which customers pay whether they use cash or credit.</p> <p>In fact, the National Retail Federation estimates that the fees their members pay to accept just Visa and MasterCard <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/09/your-money/credit-and-debit-cards/09money.html?_r=2&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;">cost an average of $427 per American household</a> in 2008.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Disappearing Rewards</h2> <p>Finally, there is the problem of unclaimed rewards. As I mentioned above, nearly one-third of the $48 billion worth of value in rewards go unclaimed and unredeemed.</p> <p>According to that study, &quot;[To] put [this] in perspective, the average household that is active in loyalty programs earns $622 a year, but does not redeem $205 of those rewards.&quot;</p> <p>It's certainly understandable how this can happen. Unless you are inhumanly organized, it can be very easy to lose track of various rewards or forget to account for expiration dates and the like. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/7-credit-card-reward-tips-many-people-dont-follow?ref=seealso">Credit Card Reward Tips Most People Don't Follow</a>)</p> <p>The good news is that the average household is still raking in $417 worth of rewards ($622 - $205 = $417) each year. Sadly, you'll notice that's $10 less than the average cost per household because of merchant fees that I mentioned above.</p> <p>So, even if you are successfully gaming the system, it's likely that you're still paying for it somehow.</p> <h2>Using Rewards Cards Rationally</h2> <p>The best way to avoid the psychological pitfalls of rewards credit cards is to use your card sparingly, pay off the balance every month, and schedule regular check-ins on your rewards, but otherwise <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-cards-make-money">ignore how your spending is tied to your rewards</a>. These things will help you to sidestep spending traps and the possibility of forgetting about your rewards.</p> <p><em>Do you use a rewards credit card? Do you redeem all of your rewards and perks?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-getting-all-the-credit-card-rewards-youve-earned">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-2"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/11-ways-your-credit-card-will-save-you-money-while-holiday-shopping">11 Ways Your Credit Card Will Save You Money While Holiday Shopping</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-pay-your-bills-with-a-credit-card">Should You Pay Your Bills With a Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/should-you-sign-up-for-that-store-credit-card">Should You Sign Up for That Store Credit Card?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-ways-my-family-scores-free-travel-with-credit-cards">6 Ways My Family Scores Free Travel With Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit card fees discounts rewards rewards cards Fri, 15 Aug 2014 13:00:03 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 1184356 at http://www.wisebread.com How to Get All of the Benefits of Your Credit Cards — and None of the Costs http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-453507849.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="181" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>So you got that great new credit card. You know, the one that lets you earn <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">airline miles</a> so you can fly to see your sweetheart, or the one that earns you free stuff at your favorite store. And you're super excited to start using it, because you want to get as many benefits as you can in as little time as possible.</p> <p>But you're also a little wary. You've heard about some of the downsides that credit cards can have, like high interest rates, and you don't want to get locked into a debt cycle that you can't get out of.</p> <p>Fortunately, there are ways to get all the benefits out of your credit card without getting sucked into debt. With some simple planning and intentionality, you can <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-earn-tons-of-frequent-flyer-miles-without-flying">fly for free</a> or get the free stuff without joining the thousands of people who owe more than they can ever pay.</p> <h2>1. Plan Your Spending</h2> <p>Look at your finances, and decide two things. First, choose the expenses that you want to put on your credit card. For instance, if you have to pay your gas bill anyway, you may as well put it on the card and let it <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/this-might-be-the-best-travel-rewards-program-no-matter-what-airline-you-fly">earn rewards</a>. Similarly, it may make your life easier to put all of your groceries and/or your fuel on your card. Deciding to do this ahead of time, though, means that you are less likely to be surprised, at the end of the month, by how much you have charged.</p> <p>Secondly, give yourself a ballpark amount for how much you can spend on the card each month. This doesn't have to be set in stone, but doing this means that you will be able to tell at a glance, when you check your balance, if you can use your card more or if you should leave it at home.</p> <h2>2. Track Your Credit Card Spending</h2> <p>There are a million ways to track your credit card spending. You can use <a href="http://www.mint.com">Mint.com</a>, <a href="http://www.ynab.com">YNAB</a>, a simple Excel spreadsheet, or even a pen and paper. The important thing is that you do it. Every time you use your card, take 30 seconds to jot down, at the very least, how much you spent. That way, you will know how much should be on your card when you check your balance or look at your statement at the end of the month.</p> <p>Tracking your spending this way also allows you to see how close you are to your limit. If you're getting too close, you can leave your card at home before you get in trouble, rather than after.</p> <h2>3. Check Your Balance</h2> <p>I've mentioned it a couple of times, but I'll say it again. Check your balance. I know people who do this every day, but once a week is usually enough unless you're a big spender. You can do this online, by setting up an account with the credit card company, though some companies have apps you can use or will let you check by text message as well.</p> <p>Alternatively, if you don't think you'll remember (or bother!) to check your balance or you want to be especially careful, some companies will allow you to set up text or email alerts when your balance reaches a certain amount. If your company does this, you can usually set up as many of these as you want, so you can track your balance this way instead.</p> <h2>4. Set Up Payment Reminders</h2> <p>Most smartphones and tablets have some sort of reminder program, though you can always download a separate app if you don't like the one you have. If you don't use either of these devices, there are also websites that will <a href="http://www.memotome.com/">send you email reminders</a>. Simply setup a reminder several days to a week before you need to make your credit card payment.</p> <p>This means that you won't have to worry about whether you will pay your bill on time. You'll just have to wait for the reminder, then log on and pay it. If you know for sure that you will always have money in your account to pay the bill, you can sometimes set up automatic payments (though many credit card companies won't do this, because they make the most money when you pay late).</p> <h2>5. Ask for Mercy</h2> <p>If you happen to make a late payment, especially if it happens by accident or because extenuating circumstances caused you to pay late, call your credit card company. Some companies will waive interest one time, but only if you ask them to.</p> <p>If you pay late because of extraordinary circumstances, they are particularly likely to do this for you. For instance, one of my friends lost all of her financial documents and most of the lower floor of her home in the flooding in Colorado last September. Her life was so crazy for a couple of weeks that she missed some bills. However, when she verified what had happened to her house, every single company waived fees and/or interest, and one of them forgave her bill altogether.</p> <h2>6. Spend Wisely</h2> <p>It goes without saying that credit cards are not &quot;free money.&quot; Even if you know that, though, sometimes they can feel that way. It's so easy to just slide your card, sign your name, and take off, without actually thinking about whether you can pay for what you just bought.</p> <p>If you find yourself struggling with this, back off from using your card for a while. You may want to keep certain payments, like utilities, on the card, but leave it at home when you leave the house. That way, you will be able to keep earning some rewards but you won't spend more than you can afford.</p> <h2>7. Plan Large Purchases</h2> <p>One of the best ways to earn rewards on a card can be to use it for large purchase. Some friends of mine paid their tuition on a card throughout college, and flew home for free nearly every semester. However, they did this knowing that they had the money to pay the bill, or that they had loan money coming in that would cover it.</p> <p>If you know for sure that you can cover the expense, there's no reason not to put it on the card and earn rewards for it. However, if there's any question about being able to afford whatever you're buying, consider setting up a payment plan (still using the card!), or covering your costs another way.</p> <h2>8. Check Your Statement</h2> <p>Credit card companies are getting insanely good at catching fraud. I just got a call from mine the other day, asking if I'd used my card in Malaysia. Um...no. However, it's definitely worth it to run though the charges on the card every month, just to make sure there's nothing strange going on.</p> <p>Look especially at any charge where you might have left a tip. Sometimes handwriting can be hard to read and people enter the amounts wrong, and every once in a while someone simply <a href="http://boingboing.net/2007/11/15/how-to-stop-restaura.html">lies about how much you charged</a>. If you have the receipts to verify your amounts, you can always call your company and get these charges changed.</p> <h2>9. Take Advantage of the Rewards!</h2> <p>After all that effort, be sure to take advantage of the rewards. Don't just trade in your points for stuff, however. Do some research and find where it makes the most sense to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/are-you-wasting-your-credit-card-rewards-on-one-of-these-stupid-things">spend those points or miles</a>.</p> <p>Using credit cards can be a great way to earn rewards that you wouldn't otherwise be able to get. As long as you are practical and intentional about your credit card use, you can rack up these great offers without succumbing to massive debt.</p> <p><em>Do you use a rewards card &mdash; responsibly &mdash; for the points or statement credits? How do you manage your spending?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/sarah-winfrey">Sarah Winfrey</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-get-all-of-the-benefits-of-your-credit-cards-and-none-of-the-costs">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-3"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-7-best-credit-card-debt-elimination-strategies">The 7 Best Credit Card Debt Elimination Strategies</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/73-easy-ways-to-save-money-today">73 Easy Ways to Save Money Today</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/8-things-people-with-good-credit-never-do">8 Things People With Good Credit Never Do</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Frugal Living Credit Cards credit cards debt rewards cards spending Fri, 09 May 2014 09:24:20 +0000 Sarah Winfrey 1138515 at http://www.wisebread.com How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry? http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-cards-iStock_000018942214Small.jpg" alt="credit cards" title="credit cards" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>How many credit cards should you have? Is it possible to have too many &mdash; or too few?</p> <p>From personal preference to financial history to intended use, there isn't a straight answer. But here is some food for thought. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">Best Credit Cards for Groceries</a>)</p> <h2>More Than One Is OK</h2> <p>First of all, let's dispel the idea that having more than one credit card is irresponsible. The only time having credit cards (be it one, two, or ten) is irresponsible is if the user is irresponsible. If you manage your cards with discipline, and pay them off in full each month, there are many benefits to having multiple credit cards.</p> <h2>Benefits of Multiple Credit Cards</h2> <p>Here are some reasons why you might want multiple credit cards, along with some tips and tricks about managing them effectively.</p> <p><strong>Backup Card</strong></p> <p>Credit cards aren't infallible; thus a backup card is prudent. This is <a href="http://www.theprofessionalhobo.com/2012/11/financial-travel-tip-55-how-many-debit-and-credit-cards-to-carry/">especially applicable if you are traveling</a>; I keep an emergency card stashed separately from my main credit card, so if one is stolen or lost (or just doesn't work), I can still pay my bill and make travel reservations.</p> <p>Note: Make sure you use your backup/emergency card every couple of months (and pay the balance off right away of course); otherwise it could be canceled for inactivity. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-to-avoid-getting-your-credit-card-canceled">How to Avoid Getting Your Credit Card Canceled</a>)</p> <p><strong>Rewards Credit Cards</strong></p> <p>If you're a frequent flyer mile collector, then the hefty <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">sign-up bonuses</a> and accumulation privileges of rewards credit cards are valuable. Some people apply for multiple cards each year solely for the sign-up bonus, then cancel the card a few months later. This strategy requires organization, a good credit rating, and diligence. Thankfully there are a few frequent flyer mile subscription programs that alert you to the latest credit cards deals to cut down your research time. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/everything-you-need-to-know-about-frequent-flyer-miles">Everything You Need to Know About Frequent Flyer Miles</a>)</p> <p><strong>Brand Diversification</strong></p> <p>Not every type of credit card is accepted everywhere, so if you only have one card, you could be out of luck. Having a couple of different brands of credit card at your fingertips lessens your chance of being left out in the cold.</p> <p><strong>Dedicated Use Cards</strong></p> <p>With multiple credit cards, you can dedicate each one to certain purchases. Maybe one card gives you extra rewards points for fuel purchases, another provides <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-dirt-on-travel-insurance">automatic insurance for car rentals and flights</a>, and another is dedicated to your online purchases. Dedicating cards to certain purchases can help you stay organized, and you can benefit from rewards-specific programs.</p> <p><strong>Supplemental Cards</strong></p> <p>Don't forget about supplemental credit cards, which act as a second credit card for an additional user to charge to the original account. This can be a handy alternative for spouses, especially if one spouse doesn't have a good credit rating (using a supplemental can help rebuild bad credit, too).</p> <h2>Things to Watch Out For</h2> <p>If you're looking at having a few credit cards, here are some things to monitor.</p> <p><strong>Credit Rating</strong></p> <p>If you apply for too many cards and/or use them irresponsibly, your credit rating will go down, affecting your ability to qualify for other loans or a mortgage. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-surprising-ways-to-negatively-affect-your-credit-score">10 Surprising Ways to Hurt Your Credit Score</a>)</p> <p>Conversely, if you use your credit cards regularly and pay them off promptly and in full, you can build a stellar credit rating, allowing you to cruise through loan applications.</p> <p><strong>Credit Ratio</strong></p> <p>Having multiple credit cards means you could technically assume &quot;X&quot; amount of debt tomorrow if you maxed them all out. If you have a high ratio of available credit, even if you don't use it, you might not qualify for other loans or mortgages.</p> <p><strong>Annual Fees</strong></p> <p>The more perks a card offers, the higher the annual fee is likely to be. Make sure you are getting enough value out of the card to justify the annual fee.</p> <p><strong>Cash Advances</strong></p> <p>Normal credit card purchases have a grace period that means you can pay your bill in full at the end of the month without incurring any interest. Cash advances, however, generate interest on your total credit card balance as of the date of the advance. Cash advances also rarely, if ever, qualify for rewards points.</p> <p><strong>Canceling Cards</strong></p> <p>When you cancel a card, don't just cut it up; call the credit card company to cancel it formally and ask that it be removed from your credit report. This will ensure you don't have any &quot;phantom credit&quot; out there that could adversely affect your ability to qualify for a loan or mortgage (or other credit cards).</p> <p><strong>One Card for Online Purchases</strong></p> <p>Given that Internet fraud is of concern, I only use one of my credit cards for online purchases. Thus I know my backup card is always &quot;untainted&quot; and ready to go when I need it.</p> <h2>How Many Credit Cards Should You Have?</h2> <p>I like having two credit cards. Both are rewards cards, although I concentrate most of my purchases on one card. The other is a backup (which I use every few months to ensure it stays active). I may occasionally apply for an additional card with great frequent flyer mile benefits or bonuses, depending on the deal at hand.</p> <p><em>How many credit cards do you have, and is there a strategy to your choice and use?</em></p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/nora-dunn">Nora Dunn</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-4"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/read-this-to-maximize-your-rewards-and-cash-back-this-holiday-season">Read This to Maximize Your Rewards and Cash Back This Holiday Season</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-things-you-think-affect-your-credit-score-but-dont">10 Things You Think Affect Your Credit Score — But Don&#039;t</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards credit credit cards rewards cards Tue, 12 Nov 2013 10:24:03 +0000 Nora Dunn 1094131 at http://www.wisebread.com Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank http://www.wisebread.com/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card-5166100-small.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p><em>Editor's note: This offer is currently unavailable.</em></p> <p>One of the most venerable banks in the world is now offering a rewards credit card to consumers in the United States. The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard&reg; is another in the recent trend of credit card offerings that go back to basics with a straightforward, non-rotating rewards system.</p> <p>Barclaycard promises that the Rewards MasterCard will provide cardholders with extra rewards for the things they buy most every day. Let's take a look at whether or not the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard lives up to its promises.</p> <h2>How This Card Works</h2> <p>The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard comes with a straightforward points rewards system. You receive 2x points when you buy gas and groceries (excluding Target and Walmart). You also receive 2x points for utility payments made with your credit card. All other purchases earn 1x points. There is no annual fee. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">Best Credit Cards for Earning Rewards for Groceries</a>)</p> <p>You can redeem your points for deposits to a U.S. checking or savings account, statement credits or gift cards, starting at 1,000 points for $10. This system means that you don't have to worry about blackout dates and other restrictions on reward redemption. Points don't expire as long as your account is open, active, and in good standing.</p> <h2>Other Benefits</h2> <p><strong>MasterCard benefits</strong>. This card comes with MasterCard benefits, and you qualify for them depending on which account you end up with. Platinum, World, and World Elite benefits apply, depending on which version of MasterCard you receive as your Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard.</p> <p><strong>Free FICO&nbsp;credit score</strong>. For as long as you're a cardmember, you'll receive complimentary online FICO&nbsp;credit score access, which gives you an easy way to keep an eye on your credit. You can also receive alerts for when your credit score changes. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-that-offer-free-credit-scores">Credit Cards with Free Credit Scores</a>)</p> <p><strong>Credit line increase</strong>. After making 5 consecutive on-time payments, your account will be reviewed and you may be eligible for a credit line increase.</p> <h2>Costs</h2> <ul> <li>$0 Annual Fee</li> <li>25.24%* variable APR&nbsp;(purchases and balance transfers)</li> <li>3%&nbsp;Balance Transfer Fee (or $5, whichever is greater)</li> <li>3%&nbsp;Foreign Transaction Fee</li> </ul> <!--<p><p><a target="_top" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=80&amp;pid=22&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1078"><img class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p>--><!--<p><p><a target="_top" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=80&amp;pid=22&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton2&amp;fot=1078"><img class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p>--><h2>Pros</h2> <p><strong>Rewards on everyday purchases</strong>. The main benefit of the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard is the ability to earn bonus points on everyday purchases like eligible groceries, gas, and utilities. Since you buy gas and groceries on a regular basis, this card rewards you for common purchases, rather than requiring you to go out of your way for entertainment and restaurants to get more points. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-5-best-credit-cards-for-dining-out">Best Credit Cards for Dining Out</a>)</p> <p><strong>Easy rewards program</strong>. The ease of redeeming rewards, and the fact that there are no blackouts and no limits, makes this program straightforward and easy to deal with.</p> <p><strong>No overlimit or annual fee</strong>. It's also a nice touch that there is no over the limit fee, along with no annual fee.</p> <h2>Cons</h2> <p><b>High APR</b>. The APR is among the highest you'll find with any credit card, which can become expensive if you consistently carry a balance. It's important to make sure you pay your balance in full each month in order to avoid paying high amounts of interest on your purchases. If you typically carry a balance from month to month, it's best to choose the credit card with the lowest APR. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards">Credit Cards with Low Interest Rates</a>)</p> <p><strong>Foreign transaction fees</strong>. It's also a bit disappointing that there are foreign transaction fees. Many credit cards are moving away from these fees, and one would hope that a bank with an international reputation and presence wouldn't charge foreign transaction fees.</p> <h2>Who This Card Is Best For</h2> <p>The Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard&reg; is ideal for someone who is interested in earning extra rewards for everyday purchases. It's perfect for the consumer who puts all of his or her groceries and gas on the credit card and then pays the balance at the end of the month. It is also a great card for those who can arrange to pay their utilities automatically by credit card; you can get double the points without having to think about it.</p> <!--<p><p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=80&amp;pid=22&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1078"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard&reg; today!</strong></a></p></p>--><!--<p><p style="text-align: center;"><a target="_blank" rel="nofollow" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=80&amp;pid=22&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=send&amp;fot=1078"><strong>Click here to learn more and apply for the Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard&reg; today!</strong></a></p></p>--><!--<p style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-072215.png" /><br /> <a title="Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg;" alt="Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=80&amp;pid=22&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1&amp;fot=1078"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p>--><!--<p style="text-align: center;"><img border="0" class="img-exempt" alt="" src="http://www.imgsynergy.com/191x120/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-072215.png" /><br /> <a title="Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg;" alt="Barclaycard&reg; Rewards MasterCard&reg;" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" href="http://ct.wisebread.com/click.php?pg=80&amp;pid=22&amp;pp=0&amp;uv=sbutton1&amp;fot=1078"><img alt="" class="img-exempt" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/apply-now.png" /></a></p>--><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/miranda-marquit">Miranda Marquit</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-5"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclaycard-credit-card-offers-applications-reviews">Barclaycard Credit Card Offers: Applications &amp; Reviews</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-new-travel-rewards-card-on-the-block-barclaycard-arrival-plus-world-elite-mastercard">The Best New Travel Rewards Card on the Block: Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/get-extra-cash-back-with-barclaycard-cashforward-world-mastercard">Get Extra Cash Back with Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/citi-platinum-select-aadvantage-world-mastercard-review">Travel with Comfort and Ease: Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/earn-award-flights-faster-with-the-jetblue-rewards-mastercard-from-barclaycard">Earn Award Flights Faster with the JetBlue Card</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards barclaycard credit card reviews MasterCard rewards cards Fri, 26 Jul 2013 10:36:31 +0000 Miranda Marquit 980865 at http://www.wisebread.com How Rewards Cards Make Money http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-cards-make-money <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/how-rewards-cards-make-money" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/happy-shopping-blonde-mall-iStock_000011736470Small.jpg" alt="happy shopper in mall" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>My husband and I only have a single credit card to our name &mdash; a card that puts 1% cash back into our son&rsquo;s 529 account. It&rsquo;s extremely important to me to be able to send my peanut to any ridiculously expensive private liberal arts college his little heart desires (as my parents did for me), so I love the idea that my grocery and gas purchases are working to make Harvard or Yale a (financial) possibility.</p> <p>But any time I&rsquo;ve rationalized a purchase by saying &ldquo;well, at least that will add another $3 to the 529 plan,&rdquo; I&rsquo;ve found myself wondering if I&rsquo;m really making smart financial decisions by having this card.</p> <p>That&rsquo;s a valid concern. While it may seem as though responsible credit card users would make rewards credit card programs a losing game for issuers, the truth is much more pernicious, even for those individuals on top of their credit spending. Here is what you need to know about the psychology behind rewards cards, and what you can do to make sure you&rsquo;re actually getting the benefit of the rewards. (See also: <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-myths-about-credit-card-rewards">5 Myths About Credit Card Rewards</a>)</p> <h2>Rewards Cards Increase Spending&nbsp;</h2> <p>There is a great reason why credit issuers offer rewards &mdash; they work to make even the thriftiest cardholder spend money almost wantonly. A <a href="http://www.chicagofed.org/digital_assets/publications/working_papers/2010/wp2010_19.pdf">recent study</a> by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, which analyzed data from 12,000 actual credit card accounts, showed that &ldquo;only a relatively small financial incentive was required to change consumer behavior.&rdquo;</p> <p>This study found that the average cash back reward for a 1% rewards program was $25 per month. Considering that an additional $25 each month is a cool $300 per year that you don&rsquo;t have to work for, that doesn&rsquo;t seem like too bad a deal. Unfortunately, that wasn&rsquo;t the end of the story. First of all, in order to earn $25 each month with a 1% cash back card, you must be charging at least $2,500 each month. That&rsquo;s a hefty monthly credit card bill.</p> <p>In addition to that inescapable fact, the study found that cardholders increase their spending when they enroll in rewards programs &mdash; by $79 each month, just during the first quarter of enrollment. Both that additional spending and the hefty amount cardholders are charging each month would be just fine if cardholders were also paying off their bill every cycle. But the study also found that cardholders increase their monthly debt by $191 each month <i>just during the first quarter of enrollment</i>.</p> <p>The bad news doesn&rsquo;t stop there. Apparently, the prospect of cash back can scramble anyone&rsquo;s brains &mdash; even individuals who otherwise are not likely to use credit. The study reports that cardholders who did not use their credit card before switching to a cash back program increased their spending and their debt once they had the carrot of cash back dangling before them. In fact, these responsible credit users increased their spending and debt with a cash back program <i>more </i>than cardholders who previously carried credit card debt did. Basically, cash back rewards programs were likely to entice non-credit card users into debt.</p> <p>So for the relatively small price of 1% cash back, credit card issuers are raking in profit on all the extra debt cardholders are carrying &mdash; both from people who&rsquo;ve always had an issue with debt, and from those smart spenders who have never carried a balance.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s going on here is that credit card issuers are appealing to our vanity by offering rewards. We all believe that we are capable of gaming the system. These rewards make us think that we can easily make some money off of those suckers at the banks. The truth is that most of us aren&rsquo;t going to be successful &mdash; even though we have complete confidence in ourselves.</p> <h2>Gaming the System</h2> <p>There are certainly ways for cardholders to take advantage of rewards programs, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">signing bonuses</a>, <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">0% transfers</a>, and the like. Multiple personal finance bloggers have written (and continue to write) about their experiences with playing these games, and how they can earn fairly serious money doing so.</p> <p>What&rsquo;s interesting about these &ldquo;gamers&rdquo; is that credit card issuers are not worried about them. Even though the ways that these individuals take advantage of rewards cards and bonuses are all perfectly legal and spelled out for each and every cardholder (provided they read their contracts), the number of individuals who do so remains a tiny percentage of all cardholders.</p> <p>This is because playing these games requires precise budgeting, attention, and most of all, time. Unless you are the sort of person who thinks that balancing your checkbook is fun and gets flushed at the mention of the words &ldquo;0% APR,&rdquo; then it is unlikely that you will be able to win the credit card rewards game. For most of us, dealing with our finances is at the very least an obligation and is often an out-and-out chore. For the gamers out there who are able to earn money from credit card rewards programs without giving up a penny in interest, dealing with finances is the most fun part of their day.</p> <p>The difference between the extrinsic motivation (&ldquo;I have to deal with my money or else something bad will happen. Sigh.&rdquo;) and the intrinsic motivation (&ldquo;Yay! I get to use their system to earn money for free!&rdquo;) is the difference between <i>believing</i> you can game the system and actually being able to do it.</p> <h2>Earn Rewards Without Paying Interest</h2> <p>Even if you do not become a master-gamer of credit card rewards, it is still possible to earn rewards and keep yourself out of debt. It&rsquo;s just a matter of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/stupid-credit-card-tricks-how-your-credit-card-company-lies-to-you">recognizing the psychological tricks</a> the card issuers are using. Here are two methods you can use to prove that you&rsquo;re smarter than the banks think you are.</p> <h3>1. Keep an Eye on Your Account</h3> <p>Paying off your balance each month may sound simple, but the psychology of rewards cards is such that you&rsquo;re encouraged to spend, and then the bill comes as a shock at the end of the month. If you keep careful track of your spending or log into your credit card account several times a week, you can stay on top of your spending to make sure that you don&rsquo;t go overboard.</p> <p>Credit card companies earn incredible profits through cardholders losing track of how much they&rsquo;ve spent. Rewards cards can further blind cardholders to their own spending habits. It&rsquo;s easy to become so focused on the money you&rsquo;re earning that you forget what you have had to spend to get there.</p> <p>Making sure that you use your credit card mindfully and always know what you&rsquo;ve charged and how you intend to pay it off will keep card issuers from profiting on your lack of paying attention.</p> <h3>2. Ignore the Category Spending Incentives</h3> <p>On the other hand, not paying attention to some aspects of your card can really help you. Knowing exactly how much you earn in rewards can be a terrible curse, as it becomes a factor in your spending decisions. Don&rsquo;t let that happen.</p> <p>For example, in my case, my credit card can earn me a whopping 5% cash back on purchases at certain restaurants, as well as some percentage above the normal 1% at some grocery stores.</p> <p>I&rsquo;m a little hazy on the details because I don&rsquo;t care to know exactly what categories can earn me more cash back. Just like Admiral Akbar, I know it&rsquo;s a trap. If I start thinking about how much cash back I can earn at a dinner at Applebee&rsquo;s, it makes me start thinking that dropping $60 on a weeknight meal there is a reasonable thing to do. Instead, I plan out our dinners on the town, and we pay cash for them.</p> <p>Similarly, I do my grocery shopping at stores that are convenient to me and that have the lowest prices &mdash; and I buy my groceries with cash. I don&rsquo;t want to know how much I could be earning for my son&rsquo;s education by paying with credit, because that could tempt me into spending more than I budget for. So, I&rsquo;m satisfied to only earn 1% when I use my credit card &mdash; and I only use it on purchases I&rsquo;ve already planned.</p> <p>I&rsquo;ve decided that it is much better for my family to treat the cash back as an unanticipated bonus rather than something to plan for. That way it stays out of our heads when we&rsquo;re making spending decisions. And we still get a nice little chunk put away each year into my son&rsquo;s 529.</p> <h3>The Bottom Line</h3> <p>We all feel like we&rsquo;re such smarties that we can outwit credit card rewards programs. But for the vast majority of us, sucker is a better descriptor. Unless you can make gaming a rewards card a part-time job, you&rsquo;re unlikely to win big in rewards programs.</p> <p>It is possible, however, to win &ldquo;modestly&rdquo; if you pay off your balance each month and you studiously &ldquo;forget&rdquo; about your rewards program until it&rsquo;s in your (and only your) best interest to remember.</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/emily-guy-birken">Emily Guy Birken</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-cards-make-money">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-6"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-type-of-rewards-credit-card-is-right-for-you">Which Type of Rewards Credit Card is Right for You?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">12 Travel Perks You Didn&#039;t Know Your Credit Card Had</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-from-credit-unions">The 25 Best Credit Cards From Credit Unions</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards rewards cards Tue, 13 Nov 2012 10:36:52 +0000 Emily Guy Birken 955727 at http://www.wisebread.com Which Type of Rewards Credit Card is Right for You? http://www.wisebread.com/which-type-of-rewards-credit-card-is-right-for-you <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/which-type-of-rewards-credit-card-is-right-for-you" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/woman-choosing-credit-card.jpg" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="166" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>Everyone talks about rewards cards.</p> <p>We see them advertised on TV, plastered on the sides of buses, and stuffed into our mailboxes. In fact, we hear about rewards cards so often that they all begin to blur together. It&rsquo;s become a buzzword used describe nearly every card under the sun.</p> <p>Yet it&rsquo;s important to realize that rewards cards are not all the same. There is actually a surprising amount of diversity within the market, such that two cards you think are similar (based on &ldquo;surface indicators&rdquo; like the APR or annual fee) might be night-and-day different from one another.</p> <p>Compounding the problem is the fact that rewards cards are not tailored to individual consumers. They&rsquo;re created by marketing teams and designed to appeal to as many consumers in a homogeneous group (say, &ldquo;business travelers&rdquo; or &ldquo;students&rdquo;) as possible. In short, the credit card companies don&rsquo;t really know &ldquo;you&rdquo; at all.</p> <p>That means it&rsquo;s your job to sift through all of the many rewards cards you could pick and find the one(s) for you.</p> <p><strong>How Rewards Cards Changed the Rules of Picking the Best Card</strong></p> <p>Picking the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/topic/personal-finance/credit-cards">best credit card</a> was relatively simple before rewards cards came into existence. The best advice could be summed up in one-sentence truisms like &ldquo;make sure your card is accepted everywhere&rdquo; or &ldquo;avoid annual fees&rdquo; (which is horrible advice when evaluating rewards cards) and, of course, &ldquo;look for the lowest APR.&rdquo;</p> <p>Credit cards were basically commodities, with very little to differentiate one from any other. Rewards cards changed all that by introducing new variables and rendering incorrect much of the standard credit card advice people followed before.</p> <p><strong>4 Major Types of Rewards Cards</strong></p> <p>First, you should understand that there is no such thing as a &ldquo;rewards card&rdquo; in general. Rather, there are cards that reward certain types of spending with certain types of perks or benefits. Brief summaries of each (as well as who should get which cards) are offered below:</p> <h2>Airline Miles Cards</h2> <br /> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="Vacation" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/island-vacation-bridge.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">Airline miles cards</a> enable you to accumulate &ldquo;miles&rdquo; (or points) based on the flights you buy with the card. Over time (and with enough trips charged to the card) you can earn enough points to take entire round-trip flights for free.</p> <p><strong>This card IS for you if</strong>: you already were a frequent air traveler and would be, with or without this card. In your case, an airline miles card is icing on the cake&mdash;a way to get rewarded for what you already do and would have done no matter what. Even a high annual fee (say, $85) doesn&rsquo;t matter because you&rsquo;ll easily <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-5-travel-reward-credit-cards">travel</a> enough to earn it back&mdash;and then some&mdash;in points.</p> <p><strong>This card is NOT for you if</strong>: you fly once or twice a year but love the idea of getting &ldquo;enough points for a round-trip flight just for signing up.&rdquo; What the stewardess didn&rsquo;t tell you is that after those initial complimentary points, you would need to spend tens of thousands of dollars per year on your airline miles card to earn another free flight. As <a href="http://www.smartmoney.com/spend/travel/keep-the-miles-why-airline-cards-aren-t-worth-it/" target="_blank">SmartMoney</a> reported in 2009:</p> <p dir="ltr" style="margin-left: 40px; ">&ldquo;The Continental&nbsp;Airlines World MasterCard, for example, carries an annual fee of $85, and earns one mile per $1 spent. One mile is worth about a penny at redemption, so you'll have to spend $8,500 just to offset the fee.&rdquo;</p> <p>Infrequent travelers are virtually assured of not spending enough for the fee to be worth it (never mind accumulating enough points for free trips!)</p> <h2>Gas Rewards Cards</h2> <br /> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/pumps-at-gas-stations.jpg" /></p> <p>It&rsquo;s no secret that gas prices have skyrocketed during the last decade. Sensing that consumers are feeling pain at the pump, credit card companies launched <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-5-credit-cards-for-groceries">gas rewards cards</a> which rebate anywhere from 3%-5% of the gas you buy on credit.</p> <p><strong>This card IS for you if</strong>: you have a long commute, frequently drive for pleasure, and/or drive a gas-guzzler of some kind. If anything about your lifestyle results in having to buy lots of gasoline, gas rewards cards are an excellent way to be rewarded for it.</p> <p><strong>This card is NOT for you if</strong>: you work from home, rarely drive for pleasure, and/or drive an extremely fuel-efficient vehicle. Personally, I&rsquo;m a horrible candidate for gas cards because I drive a diesel-powered Volkswagen that only needs to be filled up once or twice a month!</p> <h2>Balance Transfer Cards</h2> <br /> <p><img width="605" height="341" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/balancing-stones-zen.jpg" /></p> <p>Credit card companies are well aware of the widespread debt problems that today&rsquo;s consumers have. That&rsquo;s why <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-0-balance-transfer-credit-cards">balance transfer cards</a> (which offer you a 0% APR for 6-12 months after transferring a balance) have become some of the most popular offerings from banks and credit card companies.</p> <p><strong>This card IS for you if</strong>: you owe a staggering amount of money on one or more credit cards ($5,000-$10,000 or more) and believe you can pay a significant amount of it off during the 0% APR &ldquo;teaser period.&rdquo;</p> <p><strong>This card is NOT for you if</strong>: you have little or no credit card debt and therefore have no strong reason to care what the APR is (neither for the first 6-12 months nor anytime after.)</p> <h2>Cash Back Cards</h2> <br /> <p><img width="605" height="340" alt="" src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/u4/cash-back-pocket-jeans.jpg" /></p> <p><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-cash-back-credit-cards">Cash back cards</a> are the closest thing to a rewards card that can appeal to just about anyone. As the name implies, these cards reward you by refunding a certain percentage (usually around 2%) of all your spending. That means, for instance, that spending $2,000 on your cash back card will net you $40 at the end of the month&mdash;simply for doing your spending on that card.</p> <p><strong>This card IS for you if</strong>: you are comfortable doing most or all of your spending with the credit card so as to maximize your cash back reward.</p> <p><strong>This card is NOT for you if</strong>: you hate using credit cards for anything other than when they&rsquo;re mandatory (such as booking a flight, rental car, or hotel room.)</p> <p><strong>The Takeaway</strong></p> <p>The common theme here is ignoring the marketing-speak of the credit card companies and focusing intently on what each card can offer YOU individually. By taking a careful inventory of your lifestyle and spending habits, you can select the card that will provide the <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/5-best-sign-up-bonuses-for-airline-miles-credit-cards">most rewards</a> for what you already do&mdash;which is the whole point. Avoid the common mindset of impulsively signing up for a card that &ldquo;sounds good&rdquo; and then trying to change your behavior to benefit from it.</p><br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/jay-cross">Jay Cross</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/which-type-of-rewards-credit-card-is-right-for-you">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-7"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/avoid-these-6-mistakes-newbies-make-with-their-first-credit-cards">Avoid These 6 Mistakes Newbies Make With Their First Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/travel-perks-you-didnt-know-your-credit-card-had">12 Travel Perks You Didn&#039;t Know Your Credit Card Had</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/the-best-credit-cards-from-credit-unions">The 25 Best Credit Cards From Credit Unions</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/barclaycard-rewards-mastercard-review-a-promising-new-card-from-an-old-bank">Barclaycard Rewards MasterCard Review: A Promising New Card From an Old Bank</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards rewards cards Wed, 09 Nov 2011 11:49:18 +0000 Jay Cross 781297 at http://www.wisebread.com 10 Reasons Why I Prefer Credit Cards Over Cash http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash <div class="field field-type-filefield field-field-blog-image"> <div class="field-items"> <div class="field-item odd"> <a href="/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash" class="imagecache imagecache-250w imagecache-linked imagecache-250w_linked"><img src="http://wisebread.killeracesmedia.netdna-cdn.com/files/fruganomics/imagecache/250w/blog-images/credit-card_0.jpg" alt="credit card" title="credit card" class="imagecache imagecache-250w" width="250" height="167" /></a> </div> </div> </div> <p>There are a lot of people out there who are very distrustful of <a title="Guide to Using Credit Cards Wisely" href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-guide">credit cards</a> and the companies that offer them, and I can see why that's the case.&nbsp; With personal debt skyrocketing and conspicuous consumption now heavily frowned upon, many people have been vowing to <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/a-guaranteed-way-to-avoid-impulse-credit-card-purchases">freeze their cards</a> or intending to feed them to their shredders.</p> <p>But I have a completely different view of credit cards. My cash back credit cards have only served as positive financial tools for me; in my mind, it's all a matter of how you decide to make use of them.&nbsp; Although obvious, here are some reminders of how I've been able to truly optimize the use of my cards:</p> <h3>How I've Used My Credit Cards For Maximum Benefit</h3> <p><strong>1. I keep my cards to a minimum.</strong><br /> I've managed my debt successfully because I'm pretty conservative about how I use credit. I keep only a few credit cards around not only to avoid the temptation of using them, but also to keep my finances simple.&nbsp; The less plastic and credit card accounts I have, the less stuff I have to track, manage and worry about.</p> <p><strong>2. I pay my balances in full each month.</strong><br /> I only charge purchases on my card that I know I'll be able to pay off completely by the end of the month.&nbsp;&nbsp;By learning how to make a budget, I've been able to stick to my goal of paying off my credit card monthly bills in full.&nbsp;&nbsp;By doing so, I'm working towards <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/whats-your-financial-philosophy-what-it-means-to-live-below-your-means">living below my means</a>, and approaching my finances responsibly.</p> <p><strong>3. I limit the cards I carry around.</strong><br /> Why does <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/top-6-reasons-why-using-cash-only-rocks">using cash only rock</a>?&nbsp; Because statistics have shown that by sticking to cash, people end up spending much less than their counterparts who use plastic.&nbsp; I keep a card and a spare around in my wallet and found that by having fewer things in my purse, it's a surefire way of keeping the lid on my spending!</p> <p><strong>4. I enjoy the convenience of credit cards.</strong><br /> I don't have much in my wallet, not even cash.&nbsp; It's virtually empty.&nbsp; So thanks to the convenience of a few cards, I'm able to go about my day without having to swing by the ATM machines all the time. </p> <p><strong>5. I maintain a positive relationship with my credit card companies.</strong><br /> I've actually been pleasantly surprised that the credit card companies I do business with have been easy to deal with.&nbsp; After all the dreadful stories I've read about the tactics these companies impose on their customers, I've come to expect the worst of them.&nbsp; But none of my fears have ever materialized each time I've had to approach them.&nbsp; Here are some cases in point:</p> <ul> <li><em>Fee reversals.</em> I've been late with my payments more than once, but each time, the card company has reversed or waived any incurred fees upon my request.</li> <li><em>APR adjustments.</em> I've known people who have successfully renegotiated their APR rates in the past; it helps that they have clean credit records and have consistently paid their bills on time.</li> </ul> <p>It's possible to have a harmonious relationship with these financial companies, but I suppose a lot of it has to do with playing by their rules.</p> <p><strong>6. I track my finances using my credit card statements and reports.</strong><br /> I appreciate the helpful reports offered to me by my credit card companies.&nbsp; It's just one more way I can properly track my finances.&nbsp; I've actually found that the reports, statements and tools I receive from these companies have been some of the best in my financial arsenal.</p> <p><strong>7. I use my card as a buffer between me and the merchants I deal with.&nbsp; </strong><br /> I've had a few disputes with some merchants, as I'm sure many consumers have had.&nbsp; But what's great is that I've had the benefit of my credit card company acting as an intermediary between me and those businesses.&nbsp; And just my luck, the disputes have always been successfully settled!</p> <p><strong>8. I sign up for the rewards.</strong><br /> Because I don't carry a credit card balance, I've been able to leverage the use of cash back credit cards and other <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-rewards-programs">rewards cards</a> really well.&nbsp; For instance, by using a gas credit card, I'm able to receive cash bonuses, points or additional benefits just by doing something I already do -- filling my fuel tank each week.&nbsp; But if you struggle with debt, any kind of card -- even the kind that provides rewards -- isn't worth owning. Understanding the rules of the card and knowing how to take advantage of the rewards without incurring <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-card-fees-hidden-and-otherwise">fees</a> is crucial.</p> <p><strong>9. I&nbsp;choose cards that offer a variety of protective services. </strong><br /> What's great about some cards is that they offer other extras such as return guarantees, and price, purchase and warranty protection. So if you've got any issues with the purchases you've made through your card, you have the opportunity to get them resolved via your card company.&nbsp; If you've paid with cash, you may have fewer options.</p> <p><strong>10. I build credit with a card.</strong><br /> The easiest way to establish credit is with your credit card.&nbsp; By using cards responsibly, you'll begin building your credit scores that can help you secure bigger purchases and perform larger transactions in the future.&nbsp; Before long, you'll be able to qualify for that mortgage!</p> <p>The subject of credit cards has always been very polarizing. In my case, I'm a lover of cards, and this is because my experiences with them have been purely positive, and downright smooth and easy.&nbsp; I prefer to view credit cards as simple spending tools to help facilitate my life and my finances, and by doing so, I've never been anything but happy with them.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <br /><div id="custom_wisebread_footer"><div id="rss_tagline">This article is from <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/silicon-valley-blogger">Silicon Valley Blogger</a> of <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-reasons-why-i-prefer-credit-cards-over-cash">Wise Bread</a>, an award-winning personal finance and <a href="http://www.wisebread.com/credit-cards">credit card comparison</a> website. Read more great articles from Wise Bread:</div><div class="view view-similarterms view-id-similarterms view-display-id-block_2 view-dom-id-8"> <div class="view-content"> <div class="item-list"> <ul> <li class="views-row views-row-1 views-row-odd views-row-first"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-many-credit-cards-should-you-carry">How Many Credit Cards Should You Carry?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-2 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/debit-or-credit-which-one-should-you-choose-at-the-checkout">Debit Or Credit? Which One Should You Choose At The Checkout?</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-3 views-row-odd"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/how-rewards-credit-cards-really-work">How Cash Rewards Credit Cards Really Work</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-4 views-row-even"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/10-tricks-to-save-money-with-credit-cards">10 Tricks to Save Money with Credit Cards</a></span> </div> </li> <li class="views-row views-row-5 views-row-odd views-row-last"> <div class="views-field-title"> <span class="field-content"><a href="http://www.wisebread.com/6-times-to-use-credit-cards-instead-of-cash">6 Times to Use Credit Cards Instead of Cash</a></span> </div> </li> </ul> </div> </div> </div> </div><br/></br> Credit Cards cash credit credit cards debit rewards cards Fri, 27 Mar 2009 18:00:58 +0000 Silicon Valley Blogger 2958 at http://www.wisebread.com