POINTS, PRIZES, OR REBATES

How to pick the right reward card

AAA World Article
    1. DOES IT FIT MY SPENDING? 

    A card with high rewards on gas is good if you have a long commute, but one that offers more points on groceries may be better if you have a large family. 

    2. WHAT’S THE TRUE VALUE? 

    The typical cash-back card offers 1% back on all standard purchases, or $1 back for every $100 spent, so a higher cash-back percentage is better. 

    3. ARE REDEMPTION'S FLEXIBLE? 

    The best cards offer multiple rewards, such as cash back, airline miles, and gift cards. For travel rewards, opt for a card with options for multiple airlines and hotels. 

    4. IS THIS A LIMITED-TIME OFFER? 

    Some cards offer higher earnings for a few months (or that don’t kick in until you’ve reached a substantial level of charges). Think twice about temporary rewards and compare to the permanent rewards. 

    5. ARE REWARDS CAPPED? 

    A 5% cash-back bonus is great, unless it’s capped at $300 in purchases. Look for a card that doesn’t limit your earning potential. 

    6. DOES IT OFFER A PERCENTAGE OF EARNINGS ON ALL PURCHASES? 

    Some cards offer a percentage of earnings only in certain categories, like gas. Look for a card that offers a percentage of earnings in multiple categories, such as gas, groceries, and travel purchases. 

    7. WHAT’S IN THE FINE PRINT? 

    Don’t focus on the prize and overlook the terms. Thanks to the Credit CARD Act, issuers now provide a summary sheet that details rates and fees in a simple format.