Reasons you should stay away from credit cards with rewards

By Leni Parrish on August 17, 2010

It is not surprising to see people bending over backwards to apply for the rewards credit cards. They are lured towards them with the promises of air miles and cash back offers being made. In this process, they fail to realize that these are just small freebies being given away by credit card lenders who end up making millions of dollars. There is more to it than meets the eye when it comes to rewards credit cards. There are some underlying truths that each of us should know before we make this choice.

First of all, the credit cards that carry seemingly irresistible rewards come with expensive price tags. Not only are the promotional offers less attractive, even the interest rates and fees associated on these cards are much higher than those for the other normal cards. While those air miles may seem to lure you, did you know that you would actually have to spend thousands of dollars using your card to avail something substantial?

Most of the cards come with rewards which a layman may never use. What is the use of opting for a frequent flier miles credit card when you plan to travel by airlines just once each year? Some of the cards offer discounts in restaurants and stores that you may never frequent. In such cases, you only end up paying high fees on these cards and get nothing in return.

Added to these, there are innumerable terms and conditions associated to claiming your rewards. Sometimes the person may have to wait for at least a year before he becomes eligible to claim his rewards or the limit up to which he has to spend to gain eligibility may be very high. In either case, the consumer is at the losing end. Most often than not, it is the greed to claim these rewards that make people use their credit cards recklessly without exerting any kind of control which in turn leads to insurmountable debts.

Finally, the time limit to claim the rewards is very short that most often than not the reward points lapse before consumers can claim it. Once it lapses, there can be nothing done to retrieve the points even if you are late by a day. Considering all these drawbacks, it is recommended that you think twice before opting for credit cards based on the rewards that come with it. Instead, focus on factors like interest rates, annual fees and other charges that make an impact.

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