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List Of The Best Credit Card Rewards Programs

Published 10/1/08 (Modified 12/17/13)
By MoneyBlueBook

Updated Selection Of The Top Credit Card Rewards For Each Spending Category

The economy may be struggling with higher gas prices and soaring food costs, and families may be reluctantly tightening their financial belts when it comes to spending money on vacations and even cutting back on basic necessities, but according to a Forbes personal finance article, many of us are under-utilizing a potential source of free money. This source of extra funds stems from loyalty programs, commonly in the form of credit card with rewards programs that offer everything from frequent flyer miles for free airline tickets, to free gas and grocery discounts, to free gift cards and straight up cash incentives for everyday purchases. In exchange for becoming a loyal user of their reward credit card program, card issuers are very willing to dish out a large variety of attractive rebates and rewards in the form of free dollars, miles, and redeemable reward points.

While I personally prefer cash back credit card rewards that require little to no redemption maintenance actions, those who want to earn the highest credit card rebates generally go with point rewards or airline mileage offers that provide higher earning opportunities. Of course, with the higher rebate rewards comes the extra work of redeeming and keeping track of bonus points and miles earned. But if you are savvy and don't mind engaging in a little bit of periodic program micro-managing, you are bound to enjoy quite a bounty of credit card usage incentives.

Oftentimes, card holders are already earning and may already be sitting on a pile of unredeemed rewards that they are neglecting to use. By not taking advantage of already earned points and rewards, consumers are letting these tax-free windfall bonuses slip through their fingers. Make sure you take a good look at the programs you are already a member of.



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4 Responses to “List Of The Best Credit Card Rewards Programs” 

  1. Tiffany says:

    Hi Ray, I noticed that some of the credit card links are not working. Does that mean those credit card reward offers are no longer available to new customers? I don't understand why the credit card issuers keep coming out with new deals, only to pull them back after some time. What happens to those credit card accounts? Do they get canceled or do they stay active with the same reward program that they had before?

  2. Raymond says:


    Yes, some of the credit card offers that I've disabled are either no longer available or their terms and conditions have changed. However, you'll notice that many of the credit card deals listed above are still working.

    As for the second part of your question regarding card program cancellation - credit card issuers generally don't close out existing cards even when the underlying credit card reward programs have been modified. For example, the famed Citi Card Dividend program used to offer 5% cashback on groceries, drug stores, and gasoline purchases with 1% cashback for everything else back in the day. When Citibank finally modified the card reward offer to incorporate only 2% cashback, all existing Dividend Card holders were switched to the new 2% back policy, albeit after receiving notice of the change.

    In rare cases that card programs are scrapped completely, most major card issuers have kept those card programs active, at least until the card's expiration date has passed, at which time the account holders are automatically issued new cards and switched to the new program.

  3. Diane says:

    Reward credit cards are great if you can pay the monthly bills back on time. Else you get stuck with huge interest penalties and fees that you'll regret months down the road when you're still paying them off. If you just want the benefits and conveniences of credit card use, then just apply for a credit card that offers nothing in return. Or you can just stick with debit card usage (although for security reasons I don't recommend debtit cards). Standard, no reward card offers tend to have the lowest purchase APR rate.

    But if you go with a high yield reward card like a frequent flyer mile program or cashback deal, then beware of the much higher rates.

  4. jenn says:

    Beware of CHASE as they like to jack up the rate of a loyal customer who has excellent credit and has NEVER once made a late payment! My rate went from 8% to over 13%! When I called to ask why, they said because of the economy! HA!

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