Budgets and Money

Can Spending Habits Influence Credit Card Rewards?

Get rewarded for your credit card spending? It is possible - if managed properly. If you are disciplined enough to use a rewards credit card to manage your monthly expenses, you may be able to ring-up the rewards depending on the card and program. 

Get Rewarded For Your Spending

It seems as just about every credit card these days has some type of rewards program associated with it. So when it comes to selecting a credit card, what's the best way to choose? With all the different options available to you, one of the best budget-friendly ways is by looking at your spending habits.

The following are four common types of credit card reward programs that can offer you specific rewards based on how you spend your money. By understanding what they are, you can make better budgeting decisions and reap the rewards!

Cash back cards

Cash back cards are always a great choice in that you get a portion of your spending back. This is cash that you don't have to use at any particular retailer or anywhere else for that matter. Try and find cards with high total percentages or high reward points in the area you spend most. So if you eat out frequently, you might want to go for a card that offers double points (or something like that) at restaurants. Some cash back cards will even add your earnings to an account that you can use whenever you want, to reduce your balance or even apply to a payment.

Company specific cards

Company specific reward cards also offer you cash, but only with a specific company or category. This could be in the form of free cash cards that you can use at a favorite retailer. These credit cards are typically higher in interest, but if you use them only to take advantage of sales at a particular store that you frequent and don't carry a balance, it can be a great way to buy the things you want and need with a type of revolving discount!

Gas cards

Some credit cards offer you a percentage or a certain number of points that you can use towards gasoline purchases. Much like travel rewards, you accrue points based on how much you spend. So if a weekly retail therapy trip to the mall isn't in your budget, you may want to find a card that you can use for everyday purchases, such as the grocery store. You'll have the convenience of paying one bill at the end of the month, and you'll rack up points that you can use for your next fill up!

Travel rewards cards

Travel rewards cards offer you direct seats and frequent flyer discounts on a particular airline. These cards are ideal if you travel frequently. However, these cards not only commit you to a specific airline, but block out certain dates and times in which you can't use them (also known as blackout dates). Although, some travel cards pay rewards as credits against future trips. It's always nice to start out a vacation with a discount!

Note: Every credit card company has different program limits and guidelines, so be sure to do some research and read the fine print before you make a commitment.

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All Learning Center articles are general summaries that can be used when considering your financial future at various life stages. The information presented is for educational purposes and is meant to supplement other information specific to your situation. It is not intended as investment advice and does not necessarily represent the opinion of Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Learning Center articles may describe services and financial products not offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries. Descriptions of financial products contained in Learning Center articles are not intended to represent those offered by Protective Life or its subsidiaries.

Neither Protective Life nor its representatives offer legal or tax advice. We encourage you to consult with your financial adviser and legal or tax adviser regarding your individual situations before making investment, social security, retirement planning, and tax‐related decisions. For information about Protective Life and its products and services, visit www.protective.com.

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Budget 101 and Credit Cards

Saving money is budgeting 101. So if you decide to use a credit card for certain purchases, why not use one that will give you the most rewards? This article looks at how to select a credit card with a rewards program that matches your budget and your spending habits. For more information, visit the Protective Life Learning Center.