If you love rewards credit cards, you might always be on the lookout for the latest and greatest deals out there. If you’re too busy to sift through all that fine print, though, we’re here to help. Here’s how to find and compare some of the best rewards credit cards of 2017.
What is a Rewards Credit Card?
If you’re not totally familiar, a rewards credit card is, simply put, a credit card that offers some type of reward for its use. Some offer cashback for purchases while others, like travel rewards cards, give cardholders airline miles or even points toward free hotel stays. Some cards only reward for particular categories of purchases (groceries, gasoline) while others are designed to pay you back for everything you buy. Otherwise, a rewards card looks and functions pretty much like any other credit card.
How Do I Find the Best Rewards Credit Card?
When it comes time to compare credit cards, there’s more to consider than just how many points you’ll earn or how much cash back you’ll receive. Don’t forget to check the annual percentage rates (APR) and whether the card has an annual fee or sign-up bonus. These items can make a big difference in your overall rewards. For example, if you think you’ll carry a balance, you’ll want to sign-up for a card with a lower APR. Keep in mind, though, that rewards cards tend to carry higher interest rates in general, so it’s best to avoid carrying a balance from month to month if you can at all avoid it. Which leads us to the all-important question…
Is a Rewards Credit Card the Right Choice for Me?
It might not be. If you’re going to eat away at any reward you earn by paying interest each month, you could be better off getting a more straightforward card that offers a lower APR. But, if you pay off your balance at the end of every month, looking for the best rewards return will usually make the most sense. This is particularly true if you use your card for lots of day-to-day expenses and/or big purchases. You can figure out whether a rewards card is right for you by figuring out how much you’ll have to spend to earn enough rewards to break even.
What’s the Best Kind of Cash Back Credit Card?
It all depends on your personal spending habits. For instance, if you use your credit card mostly for gas and groceries, choosing a rewards card that pays extra cash back in these categories might be the right choice. But, if you use your card for a variety of purposes, including paying your monthly bills, you may wish to find a card that pays a smaller percentage in rewards across all categories of spending.
At the end of the day, finding the best rewards credit card for you is going to depend on your rewards goals (do you want cash back or is free travel more important to you?) and spending habits. A good place to start the process is by comparing the cards in our roundup of the best rewards credit cards in America.
While choosing the right card may seem like a big decision, we’re here to help provide you with the latest information available to help you feel confident in whatever rewards credit card you choose.