The highly competitive nature of the credit industry makes for a treasure trove of sorts for many consumers. Banks and card companies jostle with each other and oftentimes try to outdo one another by offering seemingly outlandish rewards to reel in potential clients.

Most major card issuers offer consumers with different forms of reward credit cards. These particular cards are not just useful for purchasing products and services without cash. They also give cardholders several other benefits and advantages not commonly found with regular plastic.

For instance, some banks tie up with travel agencies and airline companies to offer travel points to cardholders. By simply using maximizing the usage of their plastic, consumers can earn points that they can redeem in exchange for free air miles or even free trips to tourist destinations. These cards are designed almost exclusively to attract Americans fond of travelling. Aside from the reward points, the cards themselves provide consumers with added benefits that fit their travel lifestyles.

Cardholders who prefer to stay on the ground can also find great rewards in the form of gas credit cards. Consumers who travel mostly by car can opt for cards that offer points whenever they pay for gas using plastic. Continuous and regular use of these cards can almost certainly mean cash rebates or free gas points for cardholders. Most banks offer these reward programs and cards to businessmen who are always on the go and to companies with service vehicles.

Then, of course, there are the cash-back reward credit cards. These particular cards offer cash rebates whenever cardholders use them to purchase products and services. Most banks classify purchases and points based on the nature of the products purchases. For example, groceries can yield two or three points for every dollar spent. Gas purchases can mean three or four points for every dollar. Everything else can be classified as other purchases and yield a single point for every dollar. The monthly accumulated points can be redeemed by the consumer in the form of payment reductions or even gift certificates.

Some card companies offer free gift certificates whenever a consumer accumulates a certain amount of points, usually 3,000 to 5,000 points. The value of the gift checks also differ from $25 to hundreds of dollars.

However, cardholders need to maintain full and on-time payments to avail of the points and rewards offered by card companies and banks. As always, the secret to enjoying all the benefits that come with plastic is for consumers to live within their means.

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