Rewards ProgramsBy Michael Hawthorne
Now that you know your credit score and what level of cards you can qualify for, you can begin looking at the fun stuff – credit card rewards! Typically rewards programs pay you back somewhere between 1 and 2% of the total value of purchases in the form of points, miles or cash back. Every card is a little different and with hundreds of cards on the market the search for the best deal can be dizzying, fun and frustrating by turns.
Types of Rewards
The most important question to ask yourself is what kind of rewards do you prefer? If you know you love and regularly use a particular airline or hotel brand then the best value might be an airline or hotel specific card. If you want as much flexibility as possible a points program that allows you to use your rewards for a variety of purchases might be best. For some of you the simplicity of cash back is most appealing (you’ll either get a statement credit or the cash back % will be deposited in a savings account for you). If you know which type of rewards you prefer, the "Best of" links in the sidebar will take you to tailored lists of our favorite rewards cards by category. If you would like to do more research, continue on to our discussion of sign-up bonuses.
Our favorite, no-fee rewards cards: