The competition to get your credit card business has heated up so extensively that banks are literally paying you to take a credit card from them. Nearly every major issuing bank now offers a credit card that gives you bonuses for using their card. Consider the following offers you can find today on Internet sites where you can apply for a card online.
Cash Back Credit Cards
These cards return money to you in the form of checks. Many of the cards offer deals like 5% cash back on purchases at grocery stores, drug stores, and gas stations. In most cases, the stores are the major chains where you probably shop anyway. On top of that, these cash back cards usually offer 1% cash back on all other purchases. Some cards offer even higher cash back percentages for specific gas stations or for buying specific grocery or drug store products.
A quick bit of math will prove how valuable this cash back proposition can be. Letís say youíre a family of four with two cars. You spend $600 a month at grocery stores, $100 at drug stores, and $200 at gas stations. If you pay for these purchases using your credit card instead of cash or a paper check, thatís $900 per month on which you get 5% cash back. That comes out to $45 per month returned to you. Letís say that in addition, you use your card to make another $500 in other purchases that qualify for 1% back; that adds another $5 to your coffers, for a total of $50 per month, or $600 per year back to you. Not too shabby for just using a credit card.
Rewards Credit Cards
Some credit cards offer you rewards such as bonus points that count toward gift certificates redeemable at top name stores, such as Best Buy, Home Depot, and Macyís. Other cards offer you rewards in the form of Frequent Flyer Miles to use on any airline.
Letís say you use your card to charge $1000 per month on items that you normally would pay cash for. Rather than simply spending your money, now you also get gift certificates to buy merchandise, or frequent flyer miles to tune of 12,000 per year. And some of the cards also offer you a bonus the first time you use the card Ė so in the case of miles, you can get an extra 15,000 miles, for a grand total of 27,000 miles in one year -- enough for a free ticket to anywhere in the US.
Maximizing Your Card Usage
Of course, the key to taking advantage of such cards begins with choosing the one that best fits your normal purchasing habits. Compare online credit card offers and find the offer that makes sense for your lifestyle. If you have a large family and buy lots of groceries, maybe the 5% cash back cards are the best. If you fly often and can benefit from the frequent flier miles, apply for those cards.
Then be sure you maximize your card usage to boost your returns. Use your card everywhere you can. Arrange to pay your regular bills using your credit card, such as your gas and electric utility bills, your doctor and dentist bills -- as many regular monthly bills as possible using your credit card.
Still More Amazing -- Sign Up Perks
Whatís truly mind-boggling is that many banks are also offering great incentives to sign up for their card. You can find offers where you not only will you get cash back and/or rewards, but the bank also has 0% APR financing for 12 months on new purchases and sometimes on balance transfers, and to boot, no annual fee.
All in all, todayís credit card issuing banks are hungry for your business and have become highly competitive in creating promotions to attract you to apply for their card. It is truly impossible to imagine why anyone would not apply to get one of these cash back or rewards credit cards when you have everything to gain, and nothing to lose.
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Click here to view Rewards Credit Cards.
Ed Vegliante runs www.credit-card-surplus.com, a directory of credit card offers.
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