title:Deciding Among Credit Card Rewards Programs author:John Mussi source_url:http://www.articlecity.com/articles/business_and_finance/article_5438.shtml date_saved:2007-07-25 12:30:07 category:business_and_finance article:

It seems as though every time you turn around there’s a new credit card rewards program trying to win your business by promising to make your everyday purchases count toward something more. Credit card rewards can be great, since they are a way to counteract the interest that you pay on purchases that you’d make anyway? but not all credit card rewards programs are right for everybody. If you’ve been considering getting a new credit card that has a rewards program but aren’t really sure which program is right for you, then you’re in luck.
Below you’ll find information on some of the most common rewards programs, so as to help you to decide whether that particular program is right for you or not.
Cash Back Rewards
One of the most popular types of rewards programs is the cash back reward? meaning that the more you use the card, the more money you’ll get back from the company as a reward. Generally, the amount paid is a low percentage? 1.5% or 2% are the most common percentages paid for cash back rewards, though there are some companies that will pay between 3% and 5% to at least some of their customers.
The reward payments are usually made once per year on the anniversary date of the cardholder (the day that they first activated their card), though there are a few companies that offer instant rewards on each purchase made.
Airline Miles
Giving free airline miles that can be cashed in for tickets at major airlines is another popular type of rewards program. The cards that offer airline miles as a reward generally grant a large number of miles either upon activation or the first purchase made with the card, and then a lower number of miles with each purchase based upon the amount of the purchase. Some cards offer miles that can only be cashed in for certain dates, whereas others have miles that can be used for any date. It goes without saying that individuals who don’t fly wouldn’t be likely to have much use for this particular reward program.
Shopping Discounts
There are two different types of shopping discount rewards programs? those that are offered by retailers, and those that are offered by manufacturers. Retailer reward programs generally carry a discount of around 10% on any purchases made with the card at their stores, though there may be some exceptions on certain items. Manufacturer discounts are generally offered by manufacturers of high-cost items such as automobiles or other vehicles and offer a discount whenever you purchase one of their products. Some models of products may be excluded from this discount.
Free Gifts
Slightly less common as a rewards programs are those that grant free gifts based upon use of the card. Each time you use the card, you’ll get a number of points from the store or company that the card is linked to which can later be redeemed in lieu of cash. Some retailers, online companies, or catalogue sales companies will offer this sort of rewards program, enabling you to get certain items for free after you’ve built up enough rewards points on your card.
The specific items that reward points can be redeemed for in this manner may vary from one company to the next? in some cases it is only certain items that can be purchased this way, whereas in others you can get any item that the store or retailer has in their stock.

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