While low interest rates can be the key to saving some serious dollars, if you are a big spender who always pays your balance off on time each month - the real value may lie in the rewards.
One of the benefits of having a credit card, besides the convenience of online purchases, is the rewards. If you want to get more out of your credit card, then perhaps you should consider a card that has a rewards program attached. This way you will be rewarded every time you use your credit card instead of just incurring nasty interest charges.
There are a range of different types of rewards programs available including:
Frequent Flyer rewards
If you are a loyal airline traveller you could reap the benefits with a frequent flyers rewards card. Each time you pay for something using your credit card, you will receive Frequent Flyer reward points that can be redeemed towards Qantas, Virgin, or other flights anywhere in the world. This type of rewards program is great for those people who are frequent travellers or for businesses whose staff travel frequently. Most programs have a main partner such as Qantas Frequent Flyer or Virgin Velocity, however some cards allow you to convert your points to a range of global frequent flyer programs based on what you need for your next dream holiday.
Everyone loves money don’t they? Especially cash! Cashback rewards programs allow you to redeem your points for cash. There is usually a limit on how many points you need to collect before you can redeem for cash. The cash usually comes in the form of money credited back to your account, so it is essentially a delayed discount on your spending. Cash back is often not the most efficient way to claim rewards, requiring more of your precious rewards points to claim each dollar worth of cash back. However the trade-off is versatility, once the cash is back in your account, you are free to spend it as you please – something not offered by any other type of reward.
If travelling is your chocolate - your ultimate indulgence - then consider using your credit cards to earn yourself points to redeem for your next holiday. For each dollar you spend, you are allocated points to redeem to book a range of products and services depending on the provider such as tours, hotels and flights. Australians love to travel, so being rewarded with a travel voucher once a year could turn your dream holiday into a reality.
Get rewarded for shopping with your credit card with more shopping! For each dollar you spend you are allocated a certain amount of points to go shopping for a wide range of items such as appliances, sports gear, entertainment and more. While your choice can be limited by what is offered in your provider’s catalogue, merchandise rewards often have the best ‘bang for buck’, or point. The card providers can negotiate bulk discounts, so if they offer something you want, you may find this to be the most efficient use of your hard earned points.
Gift cards make great presents, even for yourself. Use your points to receive gift cards for a range of outlets such as Myers and David Jones. Gift cards could just be the happy medium between cash back and merchandise. While not quite as versatile as cold, hard (electronic) cash, you have significantly more to choose from than merchandise, you can even take advantage of the sales at some of the big stores. The ‘bang for point’ is reflected in this too. For every thousand points, you’ll generally get more back claiming gift cards than cash back, but not quite as much as merchandise.
Be aware that cards with reward programs often cost more in fees and interest so only choose a rewards card if you can pay off your balance in full each month and your annual spending will outweigh the cost of the rewards program membership.
It's nice to be rewarded so make sure you compare credit card rewards on RateCity to find out how you can cash in.
Walk through the complete Home Loans Step by Step guides below;
Credit Cards Guide - Step 1 of 7 - Usage
Credit Cards Guide - Step 2 of 7 - Interest
Credit Cards Guide - Step 3 of 7 - Rewards
Credit Cards Guide - Step 4 of 7 - Features
Credit Cards Guide - Step 5 of 7 - Brands
Credit Cards Guide - Step 6 of 7 - Type
Credit Cards Guide - Step 7 of 7 - Checklist