Choosing a rewards credit card definitely makes sense if you pay more often with your credit card than with actual cash and more importantly, you do not mind risking steep interest charges if you don`t pay your bill on time for whatever reason. However, there are different kinds of rewards that credit cards offer today. It would be a good idea if you were to know all your options first. This will help you more accurately determine which reward program is most suitable for your needs.
Credit cards that offer air miles as a reward are understandably most popular with frequent travelers. Your credit card purchases are converted into air miles and in time, you may rack up enough air miles to enjoy free flights to your destination of choice. With this type of credit card, keep in mind that the conversion rate for air miles from dollars spent varies from one card to another. Participating airline companies are also likely to vary.
Another great choice for travelers would be credit cards that offer fuel refills as the primary reward. Similar to the above type, the conversion rate for how much gas refill you get for how much you have spent would depend on your credit card`s terms and conditions. Likewise, participating fuel companies would vary.
If you prefer a broader selection of rewards from which to choose, you may probably enjoy using your credit card more if it had a point-based reward system instead. With this type, every dollar you spend using your credit card is equivalent to a certain number of reward points. And no, before you even ask it, there is no way that you will get to enjoy a $1 to 1 reward point ratio! That is mathematically impossible for any financial institution to offer. In any case, the conversion rate also varies from card to card.
Another variable would be the selection range you enjoy with your reward program. Some banks, for instance, concentrate on offering consumer products only. These include, but are not limited to, refrigerators, cell phones, laptops, designer bags and shoes. In other cases, services such as spa treatments, fine dining courses for two, or even a variety of workshops may also be included. Finally, if you are lucky, both products and services and everything else you wish for may be included. It could be a stay for two in a luxurious city hotel or even tickets to world-class shows.
Cash back cards, on the other hand, offer no limits when it comes to the rewards you get to enjoy because you “earn” your cash back instead. This is made possible by rebates, which may be offered if you purchase a particular product for a particular amount. However, this type of arrangement rarely means literally getting your cash back. More often than not, the amount of rebate you earn would be used to further reduce your credit card balance.
Other Factors to Consider When Choosing a Rewards Credit Card
Naturally, there are other factors to take into account. Knowing what they are will ensure that you get the most out of your money when shopping with your credit card.
- How much are you being charged for interest? Is it equal to or higher than industry standards?
- How much will you have to pay for late fines and other penalties?
- What will your credit limit be?
If you keep in mind the <a href=”http://www.simplyfinance.co.uk/“>money saving money</a> tips above, there is a very good chance that you will enjoy shopping for lower rates overall. So, do your research and get those rewards.
You don’t have to be a slave to credit card debt your entire life. You can get rid of credit card debt if you use the following tips to help you out with keeping your debts from being worse than they could be.
Avoid Using More
You need to stop using any problematic credit cards or else the debt situation will get worse. You particularly have to avoid using these cards for borrowing money as well. You might have a good credit line to use for borrowing money off of cards but the interest rates are only going to hurt later on.
Use Cash Often
It helps to use cash often if you want to keep debts out of the way. It could be used to cover any expenses or purchases you have while also reducing the amount of added pressure on your credit cards.
Try and Get a Better Rate
You may be able to qualify for a better rate on your credit card over time. You could transfer the money on a card to a different card that has a reduced transfer balance on it. This could be used to give you a lower interest rate on your debts. Some credit cards will even allow you to have a certain number of interest-free days on your transfer balances.
Renegotiations are Useful
A credit card company may be willing to renegotiate with you by setting up a payment plan or by reducing your interest rate. You may get this from a company that wants to reduce the likelihood of you declaring bankruptcy and not being able to make payments at all.
What Balances Should Be Paid Off?
You may want to take a look at what balances you should be covered first. You should consider dividing your balances between different terms to see which one is appropriate for you to cover first. These include balances like:
- The one with the highest interest rate
- Whatever is smallest in value
- Any account where you have gotten more fees added onto it
- An account that has been past due for a longer period of time
Pay More Off
The interest additions on your credit card debt can only make it harder for you to pay off your cards. Therefore, you have to reduce the balance on your cards in order to be charged less interest each month. One way how you can do this is by paying off more than what you have to pay for a minimum payment each month.
This may be used to give you more support for your card while also reducing the amount of interest that you might be charged on your card in the long run. It also reduces the amount of time you have for paying off your debts.
You have to use these points if you want to get rid of credit card debt as soon as possible. Your debt can be troublesome unless you are capable of paying it off with the right procedures to make your money easier to handle.
Before credit cards and their accompanying interest rates, paychecks offered a simple but absolute budget. The amount shown on a consumer’s paycheck was the spending limit allotted to the consumer. A person with a paycheck could never overextend themselves—like they might through credit lending—once they depleted their funds.
With the arrival of the credit card though, things changed. Or perhaps more accurately, people changed.
People now have the peace of mind and convenience of not carrying around a ton of physical cash. These new rectangular pieces of plastic allow consumers to purchase goods on “credit,” and repay the credit card companies on a later date.
But unfortunately, the use of credit has negated the absolute budget offered by carrying cash from a paycheck. With that absolute budget gone, many people freely charge up their credit card debt since they lack experience with credit lending and managing a credit card budget.
The Credit Card Budget
Despite what some financial advisors may preach, credit cards can be used in a healthy budget. Thanks to the inherent qualities that credit cards boast, these forms of cash advances can actually help borrowers become better at budgeting.
Like any other industry, the credit industry competes with itself. This has caused credit lenders to offer cards with a host of benefits, like earning miles or points.
Some credit cards even offer cash-back rewards. These cards give money back to borrowers based on a percentage of all purchases made with their cards. In practice, this means that borrowers are actually getting a discount on everything they charge to their card.
These rebates can be saved up and put towards vacations, bills, groceries, or any other offer approved by a consumer’s specific card. Credit lenders even offer options such as having cash-back rewards automatically deposited into a savings account to simplify saving for customers.
Let us assume for example that a young couple is remodeling their kitchen. They’ve decided to sign up for a credit card with a cash-back rewards program at their bank. The cash-back rewards program offers a generous five percent cash back rate for the first six months as an incentive by the bank to sign up. The couple decides to use the cash-back rewards program only on a high priced purchase for their kitchen since they have a small cash budget set aside for the rest of the remodeling.
The couple decides to use their credit card towards the purchase of a new refrigerator. After a weekend of shopping they decide to purchase a refrigerator for $2,329.
The couple then receives a cash-back reward into their checking account of $116.45, which is five percent of the $2,329. In effect, if the couple decides to just hold onto their cash-back reward, they then only paid $2,213 for their new appliance.
However, credit card users looking to tap into the benefits described here must know how to use credit cards responsibly. Many cards come with very high annual percentage rates (APRs), which can equate to very steep late fees. If consumers pay off their entire credit card balance each month though, then the credit cards interest rates never kick in, and the consumer freely reaps all of the card’s benefits without any of its drawbacks.
The best way for consumers to ensure themselves that they will pay off their monthly credit card bill is to treat their credit card like their checkbook. A healthy credit card budget works much like an absolute budget. Consumers should return to the basics and only use what money they have in their bank accounts.
Are you scouting the market for the best business credit card that will help you finance your business venture and also help manage other employee expenses? Well, once you begin reviewing Capital One credit cards, the leaders in the credit card arena, there’s no way you’ll feel the need to look any further.
Consumers of these cards enjoy a wide array of features, like the free itemized report, purchase security, extended protection and many more. But the problem arises when you have to choose the Capital One card that best fits your requirements. The decision is a tough one because the array of choices they make you available can actually make your head spin, splitting you in several directions that all seem good enough. To help you make this decision easier for you, I’ve listed below my top 3 choices of Capital One business cards for 2012:
- 1. Capital One Spark Cash For Business
This one has to be one of the most outstanding business credit cards in the market at present. The offers on this card include the following:
- 2% cash back on every purchase.
- $100 bonus cash back on purchases worth $1000 in the first 3 months.
- No credit card fee for the first year.
- Credit card fee is as low as $59.
- Lifelong validity of the cash back points.
- $50 bonus cash back on adding an employee credit card within the first 60 days.
- APR is as low as 13.9% on all purchases and balance transfers.
- 2. Capital One Spark Cash Select For Business
This business credit card comes as an upgraded version of the previous one. The offers that you will be enjoying while this credit card include the following:
- $0 annual credit card fee.
- Additional employee credit cards will also enjoy the $0 annual credit card fee.
- You will earn 1% cash back for all purchases made using the credit card.
- Your accumulated cash back amount will receive a 50% bonus after every year.
- Your cash back points will neither have an upper limit, nor will they have any expiry date.
- You will enjoy 0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers till January 2013.
- You can redeem your accumulated cash back points in the following flexible manner:
ü Check at the end of one year from the day of issue of the card.
ü Gift cards starting from a minimum of $20.
- 3. Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
The Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business happens to be yet another winner business credit card from the stables of Capital One credit cards. The hosts of benefits you will be enjoying include:
- $0 annual credit card fee for you and for any additional employee credit cards.
- You will earn 1 mile from every purchase of $1 using your credit card.
- Your accumulated miles will receive a 50% bonus at the end of a year.
- You can redeem your accumulated miles for the following:
ü Travel expenses.
ü Cash in the form of an annual check.
ü Gift Cards.
ü Other merchandise.
- Your accumulated miles come with no upper limit. Nor does it come with an expiration date.
- All your purchases and balance transfers till January 2013 will enjoy a 0% introductory APR.
- You can set limits for additional employee cards and also monitor their expenses.
You can also take a look at the Capital One Spark Classic for Business Credit Card in case you are looking for more options!
Brenda Lyttle is a finance expert with 5 years of experience under her belt. She deals in credit card issues and swears by the benefits of the top Capital One cards, for she believes them to be the best in the market at present.
We’ve all heard stories of individuals or couples who treat their credit cards as their own personal money tree. Instead of viewing their credit card as if it were a personal loan, they consider it an endless flow of cash. They visit store after store, indulging in all of the material items they can buy with their newly acquired piece of plastic. Their state of bliss lasts until they receive that bill one month later explaining that cash payment is due.
Then they begin pulling their hair, stressing over how they’ll repay their debt. The cardinal problem these people are guilty of is the exact problem that many payday and personal loan borrowers find themselves guilty of: they didn’t establish a healthy budget.
There’s a variety of reasons why people may not establish healthy budgets, one of which is because they don’t know how. The good news, however, is that establishing a budget is much easier than most may think. And with the virtually unlimited tools available online, creating a budget is becoming easier and easier.
The 50/30/20 Plan
One method of budgeting one’s money and expenditures is by sticking to what’s called the 50/30/20 plan. The 50/30/20 plan is one that’s touted by many economists and financial advisors. Elizabeth Warren, the former special advisor for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, even recommends the 50/30/20 plan.
The way this budgeting plan works can be seen in its name. Expenditures are broken up into three categories, and income is distributed to those categories in three allotments: 50 percent, 30 percent, and 20 percent.
Bills and expenditures that fall under one’s “Needs” are allowed 50 percent of one’s after-tax income. Needs include not only food and shelter (mortgage or rent), but also other items that are “needed” in our modern society. Minimal amounts of clothing, minimum personal loan payments, minimum credit card debt payments, insurance, transportation, gas, and anything else that is a necessity to operate successfully can be included as a “need.”
The next allotment is “Wants.” Wants are allowed 30 percent of one’s after-tax income. Most “wants” include everybody’s favorite purchases: restaurants, movies, extra clothing, video games, alcohol, toys, expensive cell phone plans, and any anything else that you can do without, but that you just really want. Also included in the wants category are extra payments on personal loan and credit card bills.
Finally, 20 percent of one’s after-tax income goes straight to the bank in the form of “Savings.” The reason for this large chunk of savings is because it creates a safety cushion of cash. This large sum of savings will allow healthy budgeters to save up for a large purchase, be prepared for an unexpected expense, or even completely pay off personal loans or credit cards.