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Rewards credit cards have become one of the most popular ways that American consumers spend their money. Credit card companies are consistently upping their offers to encourage spenders to sign up for their lucrative rewards programs. Retailers and various other companies have been teaming up with lenders to tailor-make rewards credit cards that can help cater to their customers. If you’re someone who loves to shop, and loves to get more out of your credit card, an awards card is probably your best option. You’ll want to make sure that you are very responsible with the credit card though, as rewards cards typically charge much high interest rates than traditional low interest credit cards.

Choosing which rewards card is best for you should largely depend on the types of goods that you value. If you value having extra cash in your pocket, a cash back rewards card is probably your best option. If you enjoy having miles to fly around the world with, a travel card is probably the most convenient option. If you prefer staying in high-end hotels when you go out of town, you might want to look into the various hotel partnership awards cards currently on offer. This article will delve into the various types of rewards cards available to consumers. It will outline what to look for and how to make sure that you get the most out of your rewards credit card.

Different Rewards Categories

There are four primary rewards categories to choose from if you decide to opt for a rewards card. These include: airline specific cards, hotel specific cards, cash back cards, and general rewards cards.

  • Airline Specific Card – An airline specific card is simply a credit card that accumulate air miles for a specific airline. Say you have a frequent flyer account with United. If you have one of their credit cards, every time you spend $1 you will receive 1 mile towards Untied flights. This is a great way to couple your current frequent flyer program with additional credit card based points.
  • Hotel Specific Card – Many hotels offer credit cards through partnership banks and lenders which help you accumulate points which can then be redeemable for upgrades or hotel rooms. Some of these cards also include automatic status upgrades which allow you hotel-specific perks and various other advantages if you choose to stay with the same accommodation provider whenever you travel out of town. This is another awesome rewards card choice for those who travel.
  • Cash Back Card – People get cash back cards in order to recoup some of the money they spend on their credit card. Depending on the lender, various cash back credit cards offer different percentages in return. Make sure to check out what offers are currently available as some lenders periodically boost their cash back percentages.
  • General Rewards Card – Some lenders offer general rewards cards in which you accumulate points that you can redeem for various things including travel, consumer items, and balance credits. This is a great option for those who don’t like being restricted to a single program. You can often redeem them for gift cards to certain stores, or for miles to most major airlines. You’ll need to be aware of the full terms and conditions prior to choosing which general rewards card to choose.


Rewards cards can be the perfect way to get more out of your credit card. But those who do opt for a rewards category should be certain that they can afford the interest rate on the cards, as they are typically higher than those without rewards. In addition, it is important to be wary of annual fees – rewards cards typically have large annual fees, which are often payable on the first credit card bill. When deciding on which card is right for you, discern what you will get the most value out of. Don’t opt for a travel card if you don’t think you’ll be able to take advantage of all the perks included in the offer – in order to get the most out of a card you need to be utilizing almost every aspect of it (lenders expect you not to). Also, make sure that you qualify for the card prior to applying – if you get rejected it can hurt your credit score and prevent you from obtaining other rewards cards in the near future.