Cash Back Credit Card: How Rewarding Is It?

by : Robert Alan

As the credit card market becomes more competitive than ever, banks and lending institutions are coming up with new marketing and financial strategies to obtain more customers. One of those strategies used to acquire more customers is through the use of a cash back credit card.

By definition, those are credit cards that will return a fixed percentage of cash back to the customer according to the amount of purchases charged on the credit card. Usually, the cash back rebate is typically anywhere between 1 to 2% and is computed within a given time frame. Therefore, cash back credit cards might result in a good saving tool if used properly and conscientiously.

Let's assume that a given person will use his/her credit card and will also carry a monthly card balance. If the ongoing interest rate is very high, the finance charges will or than likely offset any of the savings gained from the cash rebates. On the other hand, if the card balance is paid in full at the end of every grace period, the cash back rebates earned from the credit card will usually end up earning the cardholder money back and sometimes a significant amount depending on how often the card is used.

Cash back credit cards will payout the cash rebates earned either by crediting the actual earned rebate back against the existing card balance or will pay the cardholder with a rebate check, usually in $50 to $100 increments.

With the notion of accumulating cash with card purchases, people will psychologically tend to use their credit cards more than other payment options. Very often, cardholders will set a specific time frame for their card purchase activities in order to accumulate the most cash rebates possible. As more and more companies accept credit cards, cardholders are becoming more and more comfortable with using their respective cards to pay virtually everything including utility bills, mortgages and rent payments. With a 1% to as high as a 5% cash back bonus on all purchases, cardholders anticipate some hefty savings from a cash back credit card.

Not surprisingly, cash back credit cards are very popular with consumers. But cardholders must be wary of using them correctly, if they wish to derive maximum benefit. Banks and credit card issuers typically design the cards to maximize their own profit not the consumers profit because card issuers anticipate the cards will not be used efficiently by some, if not many of the cardholders utilizing these cards.

Cash back credit cards are among the many financial tools that can be truly rewarding for cardholders that use the cards effectively and look beyond just the pure attraction of receiving cash back. If cardholders are vigilante about paying off their card balances each and every month, they can potentially rack up significant savings from a cash back credit card. But if not, they might end up paying out significantly more in finance charges over time than their old credit card.