Authors

Curtis Arnold
Curtis Arnold, Editor-in-Chief
Joe Taylor
Joe Taylor Jr., Reporter
Amber Stubbs
Amber Stubbs, Managing Editor

Rewards Credit Cards

  • Are your credit card rewards points taxable?

    It's bad enough we have to turn over anywhere from 10 to 40 percent of our hard-earned income to the federal government at tax time, but some unlucky cardholders may have also received tax forms for their credit card rewards this year. The question of whether credit card rewards are taxable has been the subject of [...]

  • How my mom lost $640 in credit card rewards

    When I cash out my reward points, it's generally for a $50 Gap or Home Depot gift card. I don't have the patience to let it build up for years and years -- I want it now. Since I do almost all of my banking and bill paying online, I keep pretty close tabs on [...]

  • 5 ways to play cupid with credit cards this Valentine's Day

    Want to treat your sweetheart this Valentine's Day? Although motivated by love, Valentine's Day can quickly become an expensive affair. Last year CNN estimated that the average American spent $130.97 per person for a total spending of $18.6 billion. But you can use your credit card to make the holiday less expensive for you and [...]

  • Should you charge a medical bill on a rewards credit card?

    A trip to the dentist's or doctor's office can be pricey. Should you put the bill on your favorite rewards credit card? Here are some things to consider before pulling out your card. You've already got a rewards card There is a good chance you are carrying a rewards credit card in your wallet. According to a 2012 [...]

  • Should you pay for your wedding with plastic?

    Gonna get married? The average wedding these days costs more than $28,000, according to TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com's annual survey. Between the wedding and the reception, it can add up to a big chunk of change. While moms and dads are likely to help, you still could end up paying for a good deal of your big [...]

  • The dos and don'ts of maximizing credit card rewards

    Free trips, free stuff and cheap gas. You know you can get it, and you want it. That's perfectly understandable, and it may be why you signed up for a particular credit card in the first place. But as many long-time credit card holders know, just because you have a credit card that offers rewards, it [...]

  • How do I know if my credit card does that?

    We've all heard about the platinum cards with VIP benefits. And most of us know how to play the credit card and airline miles game. But you most likely have a credit card right now in your wallet with perks and benefits available that you are not using. Many cards available with no annual fee [...]

  • Best Valentine's Day credit card perks

    Editor's Note: Thank you for your interest, these offers have expired and are no longer available. If you are still looking for the perfect Valentine's Day present for your sweetheart, look no further than your credit card perks to express your love. But if you are wondering if using perks will diminish the gift in your [...]

  • Don't know which card to use? There's an app for that.

    I have more than a half dozen credit cards in my wallet. A new app on my iPhone, Glyph, tells me which of these credit cards to reach for to get the most rewards when I'm buying groceries, getting gas, dining at restaurants or shopping at Macy's or CVS. At least two of the credit cards [...]

  • Do point tracker programs really work?

    Whenever possible, we pay with credit and then pay off the balance each month to earn more rewards. I love seeing how many points and miles I've earned when I open my statement each month. But as much of a thrill as I get from getting the points, I have forgotten to cash out countless [...]

  • Should you redeem your points to pay for gifts?

    With money still tight in many families this year, you may be considering using credit card reward points to save money while purchasing gifts for loved ones on your holiday list. But is this really a smart financial move? The answer, of course, is "It depends." When should you use rewards points to buy holiday gifts? If [...]

  • Rewards roulette: can you pay all your bills with your credit card?

    When Beverly Harzog's dog needed surgery in August, she paid the $1,086 veterinary bill with her rewards credit card. "I figured I might as well get a little bit back on it," says Harzog, a credit card expert, author and consumer advocate from Atlanta. A little she did - 1 percent cash back for $10.86. Harzog advocates [...]

  • Do investment cards really add up for college?

    Here's a smart thing to do: Use your credit card rewards to save for your child's college education. You can earn 2 percent on your purchases with the Fidelity Investments Rewards American Express credit card and the Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards American Express credit card. Upromise World MasterCard issued by Barclays Bank offers rewards of more [...]

  • A billion reasons to donate your credit card reward points

    You are planning to make a balance transfer for a better credit card deal. But you have unused rewards points on that credit card. You don't have enough rewards points to redeem them for something you want, but you'd hate to see them go to waste. Here's a charitable idea: Donate your unused credit card [...]

  • 7 mistakes your credit card company wants you to make

    You were saving those airline credit card miles for your dream vacation. Finally, you accumulated enough and go online to reserve your flight only to get bad news. Your miles have expired. They are no longer good. It's a mistake that even John Ulzheimer, president of consumer education for SmartCredit.com, has made, to his utter dismay. The [...]

  • Rewards credit card showdown: US vs. UK

    There's sometimes a penalty that comes with being innovative: often those who copy your idea leapfrog you. It happened with color television. Americans were enjoying this for many years while Europeans and others continued to peer at murky, mushy monochrome screens. Then, in the late 1960s, some countries adopted the PAL color television coding system, which [...]

  • Best credit cards for traveling abroad

    An estimated 58.5 million Americans traveled overseas in 2011, according to the International Trade Administration. That's a 3 percent increase from the year before, signaling that our wanderlust and our love of travel bargains has inspired us to start globetrotting again. To help you get ready for your next adventure outside the United States, we [...]

  • Best credit cards for spring break road trips

    Whether you're celebrating spring break as an actual student, or you're young in spirit, we can suggest six of the best credit cards to help keep you from losing your shirt. At least, a shirt you don't want to lose… Best credit card for spreading out spring break travel costs If you've already splurged on airfare and [...]

  • Bonus or bogus: Who pays for rewards credit cards?

    When you pay with a rewards credit card, you might get airline miles, points redeemable for merchandise, or cash back into your account. Ever wonder who's footing the bill? Every time you pay with a debit or credit card, retailers get charged an "interchange fee" from card issuers to accept the payment. Interchange fees vary from [...]

  • Best credit cards for Valentine's Day

    Even though it falls on the same date every year, Valentine's Day still takes many of us by surprise. If you're in a new relationship, you're trying to figure out how far you can go with gifts, flowers and dinner on the town. And if you've been with the same partner for years, you're probably [...]

  • Showdown: American Express Centurion vs. Visa Black Card

    Like a heavyweight fight in Las Vegas, the newest entrant in the super-premium credit card arena, Visa Black Card, challenges the defending champion, the American Express Centurion Card. Last year, CardRatings.com talked with two entrepreneurs who carry the Centurion card to find out how they use the most exclusive credit card to manage their lives. One [...]

  • 6 rules of rewards credit card power users

    Play your rewards cards right and they can lead to enviable vacations, luxury gifts or cold hard cash. Play them wrong and they can cost you. Maximizing your rewards credit cards boils down to understanding how your card works and minding the pitfalls, say the experts. Here are six strategies to help you get the [...]

  • Premium credit cards: Golden goose or golden noose?

    Every year, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency surveys the leaders of America's major banks to understand the overall lending landscape. This year's Survey of Credit Underwriting Practices marks the first time in four years that a majority of credit card issuers left their consumer lending requirements unchanged, instead of tightening them. In [...]

  • 2 credit cards that reward healthy choices

    You've surely heard about credit cards that earn you cash back or airline miles. But did you know that some rewards credit cards can benefit your body, too? A number of major credit card issuers, including American Express and Discover have reward credit cards that make it even easier to be a health and fitness [...]

  • Ditch debit fees for credit card rewards

    Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Chase, SunTrust and Regions Bank have all announced plans to charge a monthly fee to use a debit card, running between $3 and $5 per month. And debit rewards programs look like they're next on the chopping block. JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, SunTrust and Comerica have ended their debit [...]

  • How I spent my summer...credit card rewards

    Over the summer, we asked a sampling of our site visitors to tell us how they spend their credit card rewards. The results of our survey show that you're a frugal lot, with plenty of spending and traveling to do! Our respondents chose from five broad credit card rewards categories, with the rankings turning out [...]

  • Score! 6 best credit cards for sports fans

    Credit card issuers have discovered that loyalty cards and experienced-based rewards can help their products stand out in a crowded marketplace. Maybe you want to show your fan loyalty every time you open your wallet. Or, maybe you're willing to switch teams if it means getting a better deal on your daily purchases. Either way, [...]

  • Why it pays to be a credit card deadbeat

    Freeloader. Mooch. Deadbeat. You'd never want your bank to call you any of these names. However, after a series of financial reforms that has upended the banking industry, lenders can't wait to issue some of their most prestigious credit cards to deadbeats. Redefining "deadbeat" As Inigo Montoya might have said if he were a banker in "The Princess [...]

  • How credit cards are wooing back the consumer

    After the credit crunch and a series of new consumer protection laws, credit card companies have been working diligently to get back into good graces with their customers. With promotions involving generous bonus airline miles, increased cash back percentages, and gift cards galore, it recalls the old song that goes "Working my way back to [...]

  • Credit card issuers compete to be King of Rewards

    Credit card issuers have been battling for the unofficial King of Rewards title for years. That isn't new. But with the wheels of the U.S. economy moving forward, the best credit cards are getting better, and the rewards are getting richer, compared with what we were seeing during the so-called Great Recession. The unemployment news [...]

  • Points or cash? How to choose the best rewards

    What determines the best credit cards available? Is it the interest rate? An impressive array of merchandise and travel rewards? The lure of cash back? A large part of what determines the best credit card is you: your needs, your habits, and your credit history. These all can determine which type of card you should have, [...]

  • Rewards cards that do it your way

    EDITOR'S NOTE:  THIS OFFER IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE.  Click here for the latest offers from American Express.  User-generated content is all the rage on Internet sites, and many credit card issuers are following that trend to let younger cardholders generate their own rewards programs. Trendwatching.com predicted in 2004 that a new generation of consumers would co-create [...]

  • Rewards Credit Cards: How to Maximize the Benefits

    You're familiar with rewards credit cards and debit cards offering frequent flier miles, points or cash back, but did you know many of these reward programs allow you to pool, transfer or convert your rewards? Cash Back and Reward Points Some financial institutions offer programs that let you simultaneously earn rewards from two programs with one card. [...]

  • Reward Others With Your Credit Card Points

    Credit card reward points are redeemable for such things as gift cards, airline miles or hotel stays, but here's another thought: What about giving away your points to help someone in need? Giving is good for the soul, and also adds up to big dollars. The Red Cross noted that the $479 million dollars donated for [...]

  • Find out how to have a say over your credit card's features

    Many financial institutions offer customers a choice in the design of their credit cards. Some allow them to show their patriotism or an allegiance to a sports team every time they pay with the card. Recently, credit card companies have introduced customization that goes beyond the appearance of the card itself and allows cardholders to [...]

  • The 16 worst credit card mistakes you can make

    Credit cards are often vilified for the enticing ease with which you can get them, and the high interest rates you pay. However, in some cases you really do bring your problems on yourself. While credit cards can offer helpful rewards and provide you with a valuable financial tool, their misuse can end in heartache [...]

  • Don't Let Your Credit Card Issuer Cheat You Out of Reward Points

    Falling merchant fees and tight profit margins have put the squeeze on many credit card reward programs. Although most credit card issuers lure new accounts by offering special deals on reward points, the terms and conditions of reward programs give lenders ample opportunities to avoid delivering on those promises. Watch your statements for signs of [...]

  • Credit Card Smackdown: Cash Back vs. Airline Rewards

    Airline reward credit cards may lure you in with promises of big bonuses and double miles, but savvy consumers know to look for the fine print. In many cases, you might reap more benefits by trading your airline reward credit card for a cash back credit card.Sky-High Annual Fees on Many Airline Credit Cards Airlines and credit [...]

  • Turbocharge Your Credit Card Rewards: Five Ways to Maximize Rebates

    Maximizing credit card rewards in this environment of reward cutbacks is tricky at best. But here are a few reward tips that can help you leverage rewards no matter how bad the general market conditions are. Reward Credit Card Tip #1: Follow the KISS Method (Keep it Simple Silly!) When looking to maximize your card rewards, "keeping [...]

  • It's Not too Late to Save this Summer by Using Rebate Credit Cards

    Editor's Note: The informative exchange below was gathered during an interview with the founder of CardRatings.com Curtis Arnold. Arnold is the noted author of How You Can Profit from Credit Cards. Fuel prices and a bumpy economy are troubling many summer travelers this year. That's why it's great to hear from Curtis Arnold, the founder of [...]

  • Save this Summer by Maximizing Your Credit Card Rebate Program

    Editor's Note:  This limited-time offer has expired.  Editor's Note: This article is an interview with Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com and author of How You Can Profit from Credit Cards. Summer travel expenses are hitting many consumers hard and gasoline pump-pain is not helping. Curtis Arnold, founder of CardRatings.com and author of How You Can Profit [...]

  • Brokerage Reward Credit Cards: When Spending and Saving Mean the Same Thing

    Reward credit cards are nothing new to the credit card industry. But what about reward credit cards that deposit cash-back directly into your brokerage account? The cards, called brokerage rewards credit cards, are definitely something new and the timing could not be better. Why Open a Brokerage Reward Card?The loss of home equity, marketable securities, jobs, [...]

  • America's Love Affair with Credit Card Rewards and Rebates!

    February....the month conjures up images up puppy love, romantic escapes, and red roses. Granted, credit cards are typically not viewed as being very romantic :) , but America's "love affair" with credit cards that offer rewards and rebates remains strong. Despite restrictions on card rewards, which seem to have grown over the years, the demand [...]