NDSU Extension Service - Ramsey County

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Bigger, Better Rewards

Bigger, Better Rewards

 

          Credit card issuers are attempting to win back credit card users with new and improved reward programs.   Many Americans cut back on or eliminated the use of credit cards in recent years but with the economy slowing improving in some area, credit card use is again becoming popular.       One way credit card companies are looking to draw back past customers and attract new customers is by the use of reward programs.

Several major issuers have introduced enhanced versions of their basic rewards card, with better perks for those willing to pay an annual fee of up to $95.

          Also many companies are now offering reward programs on a multitude of purchases instead of just one category. For example, some cards now include rewards for groceries, gas and department store purchases – all on one card.

          Card issuers have long used sign-up bonuses to attract new customers but now the bonuses, such as the addition of points or frequent flyer miles have increased greatly. With some of the cards, the bonus alone can buy you a round trip ticket.

          As always an alert consumer will read the fine print – the interest rate charged, fees for cash advances, limits on cash withdrawals per day, length of time to pay your monthly bill and penalties for late fees – such as increasing interest rates – may seem mundane and boring next to a glossy, advertised rewards program but they are what will cost or save you money in the long run.

 

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