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What are the Best Rewards Credit Cards?

Use a rewards credit card to make the most of your spending.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
5-minute read
Episode #179

Having a rewards credit card in your wallet can be a powerful tool to maximize your spending. But how do you know if you’re getting the most rewards possible? In this post I’ll tell you what the best rewards credit cards are and I’ll give you tips for using them to your advantage.

Why You Should Use Rewards Credit Cards

I’m a huge fan of rewards credits cards. I use one to pay for just about everything from everyday purchases to household bills. When you use a rewards card responsibly and pay off your balance in full and on time each month, you get to take full advantage of the rewards without having to pay any interest charges or late fees. The idea of using rewards credit cards is to get benefits for purchases that you’re going to make anyway—not to buy more than your budget allows or to buy extra stuff just for the rewards. So my advice is not to change your spending habits, just change your payment habits.   

How to Get the Most Rewards from Your Credit Card

Want to know the real secret to getting the most out of a rewards credit card? It’s simple; get a card that matches your spending. Where you shop, what you buy, and how much you spend are all factors to consider when you’re choosing a rewards card. The more qualified purchases you rack up, the more cash or points you’ll get back to spend.

Realize that redeeming points for merchandise or airline tickets may not be the most economical way to make those purchases.

On average, you can expect to get a reward that’s about one to two percent of what you charge on a rewards credit card each year. For example, if you spend $1,000 a month, or $12,000 a year, you might get a total reward that’s worth $120 to $240. But it varies depending on the card program, how much you charge, and how savvy you are about redeeming your rewards. It’s really important to clearly understand all the benefits of a rewards program so you can work it!  

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.