Choosing the Best Credit Card Reward Points for you

by : Ann Wilson

Copyright (c) 2008 Ann Wilson

With so many reward credit cards to choose from, how can you pick the best one for you? Here are some questions which you can ask yourself before deciding on which reward credit card you'll be getting for yourself:

What type of reward do you really want? Rewards credit card may offer travel rewards, gas rewards, and cash back rewards. Which type of reward really suits your lifestyle? Make sure that the reward program you'll choose is something that you can really benefit from.

Does it have an annual fee? Some reward credit cards charge for a high annual fee to continue your membership in the rewards program. If this is the case, does the annual fee off set the rewards you earn for the whole year? For example, if you need to spend $100 or more for the annual fee just to get a $50 reward points, then that's not much of a benefit. However, there are many reward credit cards today that offer a free annual or a low annual fee plus the chance to earn unlimited reward points which truly make a great deal.

Does the credit card have a fixed rate or a variable rate? Most reward credit cards have a fixed APR or 0% APR as introductory offer. However, when the introductory period ends, a variable APR applies. Bear in mind that this means your interest rate will be based upon the Prime Rate so there is a risk that when the Prime Rate increases, your APR can also be incredibly high. Also, remember that credit cards have a minimum cap which means even if the Prime Rate falls dramatically, your interest will not go below the minimum cap.

How much will it take before you get a reward? Study carefully the point system that applies on the credit card reward program that you choose. You need to be especially aware about the exact conditions when it comes to earning and redeeming rewards even before you sign up the card.

Does the one point per dollar spent policy apply on general purchases or does it only apply to purchases you've made from selected stores? If so, then you might want to consider if the affiliate shop you need to purchase from is a store that offers reasonable prices. If you need to buy from an expensive shop every time just to collect points, then you might only be spending more than what you can afford.

Is if there is a limit on the number of points you can earn? Some credit cards give generous points for their cardholders but only for a limited time period. Afterwards, you may be restricted to earning just a few points in your account.

Is there also an expiration period for collecting rewards? Will the rewards be forfeited if not redeemed after a certain time period? Be sure that the credit card you choose will give you enough time for collecting and earning points, especially if it's a travel rewards card. Otherwise, you might end up collecting points in vain just because you didn't earn enough points in time. Better yet, choose the rewards credit card that lets you save as much point as you can for an unlimited period.