Reward credit card: Basic things to follow to get the maximum

Cynthia Stewart
May 14, 2007
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Getting rewarded as you spend money with your credit card makes things interesting for a credit card holder. The cashback, free gas, free air travel, free shopping, discounted merchandise and other freebies that a reward credit card brings with it, add value to credit card ownership. But, there are many things that should be considered to get the maximum benefits from a reward credit card. Read on to get familiar with the basics.

Getting the right reward card that 'really' helps your cause is the first thing that should be kept in mind while going for a reward card. There is no point in taking a credit card with gas reward if you don't drive much. Similarly, if you rarely fly, an airline miles reward card will be worthless for you.

What are the limitations to reward program? Get clear about it. Ask the credit card agent or representative about store preferences, gas outlets to which the credit card is affiliated, airlines, blackout dates, travel restrictions, reward expiry, reward point accumulation and what is required to earn rewards. A reward credit card with lots of restrictions and difficult to redeem gift vouchers or reward points will only frustrate things on your end.

A reward program with balance transfer option with 0% intro APR is a good thing to have. It saves you money on high interest rates, and if used properly 0% intro APR credit card can be a good asset.

A good credit history helps you get a good credit card with excellent reward programs. Credit cards with reward programs have very low tolerance for repayment defaults. Generally, if a person defaults the 0% intro APR ceases instantly and a high regular APR takes its place. Similar things happen to other rewards. These things are not told, to the customer but are buried in fine prints. And fine prints control how your reward program behaves under different conditions. So, it is better to get a good idea about all the things that can affect your credit card reward program before settling for a particular reward credit card.