Analyze Reward Credit Cards Thoroughly
Travel has its payback in the form of reward credit cards. Choosing the best reward credit cards for yourself can be intimidating, and you should be guided by some factors that are personal to you. How do you choose and analyze THE travel reward credit card that suits your needs and lifestyle best? How do you, in fact, analyze reward credit cards in the first place?
Reward Credit Cards Should be Tailor Made for You
For one thing, the travel rewards companies work on the assumption that you want something – and they can give it to you. The problem is that most of us don’t know what that ‘something’ is and tend to lean towards fat, attractive packages that we may never use. For example, a travel reward credit card that offers you discounts on airfares might not be very attractive to a traveler whose airfare is paid for by his company. Then again, a reward credit card that offers exotic holiday cruises may remain unutilized in the hands of someone who does not enjoy sailing!
On the other hand, a frequent traveler might actually benefit from free upgrades on board if his card gives him that facility. Choosing a card according to how you would use it and benefit from the rewards would be most important. Are the rewards offered suited to your lifestyle?
Best Reward Credit Cards Offer Value and Usage
To begin, analyze your travel patterns. If a particular airline gives you special privileges on a particular rewards credit card, and if you frequently use that airline, it makes sense to go in for that credit card. Being faithful to a particular airline would result in accruing rewards that might actually result in much higher value in the form of points, cash back etc. Other credit cards may offer fancy rewards on airlines that you would prefer to avoid or which do not service the destinations you frequent. So choose a reward credit card where the value increases with usage.
Hidden Costs of a Reward Credit Card
The hidden costs need to be worked out too. Travel reward credit cards often come with hefty fees attached.
* Does the reward that you are likely to earn over a year cover the cost of maintaining the credit card?
* Are you going to be able to cash your rewards?
* Is there a time limit for earning and cashing the rewards?
* How easy is it to redeem your reward points?
* Is there a complicated process or is there an online or phone-based system?
The answers to these questions will dictate the kind of card you want.
Research Reward Credit Cards
Do not hesitate to ask such probing questions to the sales rep of the card company. Most prospects will not hesitate to ask for references from existing cardholders. Check forums and blogs online about the public opinion about the card. Do everything in your control to ensure that you are signing up for what you expected.
Reward credit cards come in several shapes, sizes, colors, and forms. It is easy to be tempted by a ‘once in a lifetime offer’. However, try to keep a sensible view of what YOU need from the reward credit card of your choice. The bottom line is - if you are going to travel you might as well make it work for you through the best reward credit cards you can find for yourself. Truth is, if you do not make a reward credit work for you, you may soon see that is working against you. Then, a reward credit card becomes almost equivalent to a penalty card – which should be avoided at all costs.
About the Author: For more information on different types of reward credit cards, Bert Roberts recommends that you visit CreditCardAssist.com.