Finance Formula How Long To Break Even Between Two Products Cash in With a Cash Back Credit Card

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Cash in With a Cash Back Credit Card

Consumers have different criteria when shopping for a credit card. Most credit card reviews focus on two features of the card: interest rates and fees. This is because statistics show that most people with credit cards do not pay their balance in full each month.

For those who pay their balance in full, the interest rate is not important. For many, they look at the type of rewards that come with the card. That’s where cash back credit cards look more attractive.

Don’t be stupid. A cash back credit card doesn’t mean you’ll get a check in the mail. Some cards are really simple but many package rewards in different ways. At the end of the calendar year, you get a check in the mail based on how much you’ve charged to your card. Sometimes you get a discount based on a simple percentage while some card companies have a complicated formula for computing rewards so trying to keep track throughout the year can be difficult.

You may remember when the Discover Card came into the market. At the time, MasterCard, Visa, and American Express were the big three credit card companies, but when Discover started, they advertised cash discounts. Due to this discount, the card became popular among consumers.

Since the days of Discover, cash back cards have grown in popularity and evolved into more options than just cash. Those cash rewards can be converted into investment products like airline miles, gas rewards, charitable donations, or 529 college funds.

Cards like these usually require you to have good or excellent credit. There are a small number of cards that cater to those with damaged credit but remember that those people must rebuild their credit first so reward quality should be further down their list of criteria. Low fees and interest rates should be towards the top.

Look at the fine print! With cash back credit cards and all rewards cards, you must pay your bills on time. Breaking the rules is not allowed or you could end up paying a higher price than those who don’t have rewards cards. Why? Sometimes there is a clause in the fine print that if you pay late, a portion of your reward will be taken away. Sometimes that amount can be much larger in addition to late fees, sometimes as high as $40.

Remember that if you are a consumer who usually carries a balance on your card, you should be more concerned with the interest rate. Carrying a balance almost always means you’re paying more in interest than you’re getting in rewards so only consider cash back credit cards if the interest rate is comparable to other cards.

Finally, don’t let the temptation to get something for nothing affect your good financial sense. A coupon to buy a name brand is often more expensive than an equally tasty generic, so no amount of reward points will be worth going into debt. Practice good financial discipline by following what the credit card company offers you.

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