How to Spot a Non-rewarding Rewards Credit Card

by : Ann Wilson

Copyright (c) 2008 Ann Wilson

Reward credit cards are meant to give you incentives or bonuses for being a loyal credit card holder. However, despite what the advertising says, not all reward credit cards live up to its name. In fact, some reward credit cards may even cost you more than actually save you any money. So how do you spot a non-rewarding credit card? Let this article be your guide in choosing the right reward credit card for you.

Shopping for the Right Reward Card

Today, doing research on credit cards is made easier by finding and utilizing credit card review websites. Here, you can find that credit cards are categorized according to their type and purpose. When you look at the list of reward credit cards, you'll see that it is further arranged according to the type of reward it offers. It is a good idea to decide first the type of reward program you need.

For instance, would you like to get a Travel reward credit card, a gas reward credit card, or a cash back reward credit card? Are you looking for a business reward credit card? Consider your needs and your spending habits so you can make the right decision on which reward program best matches your lifestyle.

After deciding the type of reward you want, you can see a couple of credit cards offering that particular reward program. This is the time to check on the reviews for each so you can have an idea on which reward credit cards are worth checking out. Remember, reviews often give you the best and weakest features of each credit card, but not the entire terms. Although credit card review sites don't usually include the disclosure statements of each card, the links to the official websites of the credit cards are included after each review. After you've chosen your prospective reward credit cards, go ahead and visit the credit cards website to read the Terms and Conditions in full. It may take time for you to read each of the reward credit card's agreement form but it's definitely worth the effort. As you read the fine print, you can compare one reward credit card from the other more accurately.

Features of a Non-rewarding credit card:

Don't forget to heed the signs so you don't have to get stuck with a reward credit card that doesn't work for you at all. Here are the signs that a reward credit card may not be as rewarding as it promises to be.

Expensive annual fees. Some reward credit cards charge from $50 to as much as $100 in the annual fee alone. Think about it. How much value of rewards do you expect to earn from your reward credit card? Is it worth paying $100 a year just to get the rewards? If the reward you can earn in a year amounts to only $50, then the annual fee defeats your purpose of getting the reward credit card in the first place.

Blackout dates. Blackout dates or expiration dates can cost you to lose all the hard-earned points in your account. Some reward credit cards impose a 2 year or a 1 year blackout which means your points are only good to last for 2 years or 1 year. If you fail $to earn enough points during this period, all the points you've collected will be forfeited. Thus, it's best to find a reward credit card that doesn't impose blackout dates at all.

Reward Limits. Some reward credit cards impose a limit on the maximum amount of rewards you can earn. For instance, your reward credit card may allow only up to $5,000 value of rewards. Afterwards, you won't be qualified for the reward points any longer.

High interest rates. Some reward credit cards have higher interest rates than non-reward cards. Nevertheless, if you do your search diligently, you can find ones with a reasonable rate of interest.