The best credit cards offer a wide variety of rewards and incentives. For some, the key to making any purchase is the reward. Other folks are more concerned with the overall costs associated with making purchases. Still others want to maximize their use of credit and rewards programs while still keeping costs at a minimum. Credit issuers have addressed these concerns by offering a number of different kinds of rewards programs that can be used or customized to meet a customer's needs.
One of the best credit card promotions is the bonus miles program. If a customer has an established credit account, such as a VISA or MasterCard, then the credit card issuer will often offer the customer a variety of ways to earn bonus miles. Some of these may include: airline miles, department store discounts, hotel stays at select resorts, and the ability to earn cash back on all purchases at select merchants. In order to keep costs down, these credit cards will often only pay out the amount of bonus miles earned within a specific timeframe. The customer must be aware, however, that the bonus miles are generally good for just air travel.
Another way to get bonus miles and save on costs is to take advantage of the annual fee waiver. By waiving the annual fee, the credit cardholder will not be responsible for paying the annual fee until the customer makes a single, qualified, purchase. After the first 90 days, which is the equivalent of nine months, if the customer makes a qualifying, low-cost purchase, then the cardholder will be billed for the fee. In many cases, this charge is waived altogether, although it may vary by institution and the card issuer.
Cardholders interested in getting perks and taking advantage of zero percent APR may want to consider the foreign transaction fees and annual fee waivers. Credit issuers in several countries around the world have implemented higher interest rates and foreign transaction fees recently. If the credit card holder is traveling outside of the country involved, they may still benefit from the offer, although they will likely pay a premium on top of the already inflated interest rate. Credit card companies also offer incentives to consumers who use their services abroad. For example, some credit card companies will waive foreign transaction fees and one may even be offered an annual flight discount.
The best credit card promotions include those that have lowest interest rates. These interest rate promotions and sign-up bonus credit card offers are almost always offered to consumers with good credit. If the consumer's credit score is substandard, however, the interest rate will be slightly higher than it would be for a consumer with excellent credit. If a person plans to carry a balance from month to month or plans on paying off their balance rapidly, the interest rate will be high as long as it remains in place.
In order to maximize the advantages of a credit card bonus, the consumer needs to see their spending take effect immediately. To do this, it is advisable to find a credit card with an instant approval period. Three months is the minimum that most companies need to approve new applications before they send the consumer's account to the credit bureau for credit reporting. With three months, consumers should be able to pay off their balance and begin receiving rewards. If a person does not have three months of time available, they should think about waiting until their spending on the card will start to pay off.
When looking for the best credit card sign-up bonus, it is wise to compare any offers that offer points per dollar spent. There are a number of cards on the market today that offer a maximum of five points per dollar. While these cards are ideal for individuals with a low spending threshold, they might not provide the best value. The best credit card sign-up bonus will allow consumers to accumulate points that can be redeemed at a later date. These rewards may include airline miles, cash back, or merchandise items.
Other rewards programs, such as those offered by the card issuer, are even better. Most cards will allow consumers to redeem their points towards travel rewards, like the airline miles that are featured with American Airlines' frequent flier programs. Or, more often than not, these rewards come in the form of cash back. In addition, some card issuers have generous redemption options that will award consumers with cash back for every purchase they make. For the individual who likes to shop, but wants to ensure that their spending is monitored, such generous redemption options are the way to go.