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Practical Credit Card Reward Programs | Financial Planning Tips

Practical Credit Card Reward Programs

It often seems like there are no lack of credit card reward programs out there. Regardless of the card you carry, the frequency you use it, or the interests that you hold, there is almost certainly a reward program that you may find tempting. But most people choose not to take advantage of reward programs, figuring that their benefits will be minimal and that the hassle of signing up for a new card overshadows any positives that may result. And those that do seek out reward programs often appear to validate this thinking by infrequently using the card and by rarely seeing any returns.

But there are a host of good rewards programs out there that can offer regular and practical benefits to the average consumer. The rewards that most interest you, of course, are highly shaped by your personal preferences. Still, there a couple mainstream programs that users roundly find useful. If you want to get onto the rewards bandwagon but you don’t know where to start, here are a few ideas:

Guaranteed Cash Back Cards

Of course, the most practical type of reward program is one that just gives you cash back. This gives you full control to spend that cash however you’d like. You can buy a sailboat, go on a safari, or buy a promise ring for girlfriend . But be careful: many programs offer cash back and a large number fail to satisfactorily deliver. Look at the small and pick a rewards program that guarantees you get that cash back.

Airline Miles Cards

Even if you aren’t a heavy traveler, racking up airline miles can help you incrementally save for what is normally a big purchase: an airline ticket. Airline rewards are some of the most popular credit card programs out there for a reason. Airlines profit tremendously by securing frequent flyers and customer loyalty, meaning that a card regularly used will probably, eventually, lead to a free flight. Depending on how much you spend, you may not be able to fly free to Sydney but you’ll certain rack up some domestic mileage.

Gas Cards

Most of us own a car and need to regularly fill it with gas. And many of us who buy gas often cringe at the ever-higher prices. For this reason, since it is such a regular and considerable expense, gas stations are great candidates for credit card rewards programs. You’ll get discounts on gas and convenience store snack, and you’ll probably get some cash back, too.

In a world of limitless rewards programs and plenty of options for more niche-oriented consumers, it can get overwhelming when it comes to taking advantage of credit card rebates. Sometimes, then, it’s best to stick with programs that are practical and will give you something that you can always use.

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