Find the Best Cash Back Credit Cards

By: Robert Alan

If you are not a frequent flyer or interested in gift certificates to stores you rarely visit, then cash may be much more appealing to you. A cash back credit card can get some of the money you spend right back into your wallet.

Sounds rather funny that a credit card company would offer you cash back on purchases that you make. In fact, some offers are rather hilarious. But picking the best cash back credit cards can be sticky business. But knowing what to look out for can leave you running to the bank with extra cash in hand.

Read Between The Lines

Let's take a look at examples of what cash back credit card companies often offer:

Card one: "Earn a full 1% cash back on purchases at your local gas station." Card two: "Earn up to 1% cash back on purchases at your local gas station."

These two cash back credit cards see to offer the same, but look at them again closely. Earning "a full 1%" sounds almost the same as "up to 1%." Consider this illustration... if you spend $1000 at your favorite store, you will earn $10 back from card one. If you do the same with card two, your cash back could be anywhere from $1 to $10. You are not guaranteed $10. The "up to 1%" may involve restrictions that require you to reach specific spending amounts.

Here's another example:

Card one: "Earn 5% cash back on purchases." Card two: "Earn 5% cash back on all purchases."

Again, these two cash back credits cards appear to have the same cash back terms. However, one generalizes "purchases" while the other specifies "all purchases." What could this mean? Well, cash back credit card issuers sometimes pay for money you spend at any place of your choice. However, other card companies will credit you with cash back only if you make a purchase at designated locations that they specify.

Before signing up for any cash back credit cards, be sure to read between the lines -- or more appropriately, read the fine print.

Cash In On The Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Most cash back credit cards offer actual cash as rewards for purchases. When considering different offers, be sure that cash is what you get, rather than gift certificates or points that are redeemable only at specific stores.

Some cash back credit cards offer a single percentage option that you can earn in cash back. Others may offer more than one. For example, you might earn 1% on all purchases, but 2% if at a particular retail outlet affiliated with the credit card company. So, if you spend $1000, then you'll get back $10. Spend $1000 at the special location and earn $20 cash back. Try get the most cash back by cashing in on the higher percentages.

In addition, a cash back credit card might specify that you may earn "up to" a certain amount or percentage - this may mean that you won't necessarily get a full 1% cash back unless you make a larger number of purchases. There might also be a limit on the amount you can get back.

And lastly, many cash back offers give you a limited time in which must qualify for any cash back amounts. If you plan on taking advantage of these offers, make sure that you do so well within the timeframe specified or you may lose your benefits.

When evaluating any cash back credit card offers, be sure to pay close attention to the wording use in advertising. And before applying for a card, read the fine print to be sure that you are getting one of the best cash back credit cards.

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