Believe it or not, there isn’t a “one size fits all” credit card rewards program. For every card on the market, it seems like there are hundreds of different ways to earn rewards.
With all the options, the research can be overwhelming and you might not know where to start. Have no fear, because we’ve come up with a few ways you can choose the right credit card rewards program for you!
Is a rewards card right for you?
That’s the first question you need to ask yourself. A rewards card isn’t right for everyone. Here’s a handy checklist to help you decide whether or not a rewards credit card is a good fit for you:
- You have a good credit score. Most card issuers are looking for consumers who have a FICO score of at least 670. Of course, a higher credit score will help you get a lower interest rate, but a that mid-600 range will get your foot in the door. FYI, the higher your credit score, the more lucrative rewards programs you’ll most likely have access to.
- You can pay off your balance every month. Rewards cards sometimes have a higher-than-average interest rate. When you carry your balance over each month, you could end up paying more in interest charges than you earn in rewards.
- You can maximize the value of your rewards. A rewards card can cost you money if you don’t maximize your reward-earning potential. If you don’t earn enough points, you can actually lose money if your card has an annual fee.
Now that you’ve determined if you could benefit from a rewards card, let’s talk about choosing the card with the program that best suits your lifestyle and spending habits.
Choosing the right card.
There are three main things to consider when choosing a card: your spending habits, personal preferences, and your credit score. If you don’t look at your spending habits and personal preferences, you could end up spending a lot of money and racking up rewards that aren’t right for you.
Let’s say you have a large family and your primary expenses are groceries and gas. It would make sense for you to have a credit card that offers bonus rewards on those types of purchases. But, if you’re single, have a small grocery budget or don’t have a car, those rewards wouldn’t make sense for you.
Use your cards for everything.
The more you use your card, the more rewards points you’ll earn. But, don’t let that be an invitation to start spending money on things you don’t need. Instead, use your credit card in place of cash or your debit card whenever possible.
Start looking for everyday situations where you can use your credit card instead of another payment method – gas, groceries, food, etc. But, always make sure you only spend what you can pay off every month.
What if a rewards card isn’t for you?
Rewards cards aren’t for everyone, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Maybe your credit score isn’t in the right range for a rewards card at the present time, or maybe you’re not interested in using your card to gain rewards. Maybe you’re just looking for a credit card for emergencies only.
Let us help you find the right card for you! Check out our website, stop by and talk to us or give us a call so we can answer any questions you may have. Or if you like what you see, you can apply online 24/7!
*APR varies up to 18% when you open your account based on your credit worthiness. These APRs are for purchases and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Subject to credit approval. Rates quoted assume excellent borrower credit history. Your actual APR may vary based on your state of residence, approved loan amount, applicable discounts and your credit history. No Annual Fees. Other fees that apply: Balance Transfer and Cash Advance Fees of 3% or $10, whichever is greater; Late Payment Fee of $29, $10 Card Replacement Fee, and Returned Payment Fee of $29. A First Financial membership is required to obtain a Visa Credit Card and is available to anyone who lives, works, worships, volunteers, or attends school in Monmouth or Ocean Counties. See firstffcu.com for current rates.