How To Choose A Cash Back Credit Card

There is no absence of credit card offers to choose from but how do you decide which card is best for you? You could choose from the many offers that arrive in the mail, appear in your e-mail inbox or that you find online but you’re going to have to go hunting for some of the best offers. Here are several pointers to help you choose:

Start with the basics – What is the card interest rate? Does the card have an annual fee? What are the other fees and what is their policy regarding late payments and how they relate to your rewards? Some cards will instantly take away your rewards points if you are late with even one payment. So make sure that you research the basics of each credit card. There are plenty of websites available that allow you to do side by side card comparisons.

What do you use your credit card for the most? Think about what you purchase most frequently and apply for a card that offers the best rewards for these purchases. For example, if you have a family and need to shop for groceries once or twice a week, you probably want a card that awards purchases at grocery stores. Some cards pay up to 5% cash back for certain types of purchases.

Do the math on this. If you spend $1,000 on groceries each month, you are making $50 in cash back rebates. Maybe you don’t spend quite that much but if you have a larger family, $1,000 may not be that far off. That’s $600 per year just for spending what you would have spent anyway.

What hoops do you have to jump through? It’s nice to know that you have a sizable amount of cashback coming your way but how do you really get it? With some cards, it’s simple while other cards take a fair amount of work to get these rebates coming. When looking for a card, look for the card with the fewest amount of limitations. If it seems like the card company is making it difficult, they usually are. You should look somewhere else.

Is there an expiration date? Here is an example of more hoops to jump through. Although most would not recommend it, some people save up their rewards for various reasons. Maybe the rewards are going to fund a vacation, for example. If that is your goal, make sure you know the company’s rules on how long rewards can add up. Those rules and disclosure sheets can be lengthy and hard to read so call the customer service department and ask.

Is there a maximum amount or rewards you can earn per year? If you are a big spender, you shouldn’t get a card that is going to limit how much of a rebate you can receive. You wouldn’t want to get to October and reach your annual maximum. There are plenty of cards on the market that allow you to charge as much as you would like. Make sure to do your research very carefully.

Make sure every time you talk to a customer service representative, you write down the rep’s name, the date and time you called, and what the call was actually about. Some of the newer phones are even able to record conversations. If possible, you should record it. Never trust that these credit card companies will simply do the right thing.

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