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2009-02-13 05:06:46

Credit Cards with Rewards: New Trends and Programs

The power of rewards programs is great. These schemes stimulate buying and, according to the studies, customers report high satisfaction with rewards credit cards. As for companies, great customer satisfaction results in high levels of revenues. But now that the economy is deteriorating, banks and companies try to reduce costs. And the changes in the industry haven't gone unnoticed for credit card rewards programs - they have become more reflective of the current economic conditions. Read more about new trends in credit rebate programs.

For many years, rewards credit programs have been leisure oriented and less restrictive. Now many companies start testing higher earning caps, shorter expiration periods, so that it's getting more difficult to earn and redeem rewards.

Some really great rewards programs become less rewarding. It's especially true about air miles programs that now require more miles for a free flight. Some airlines programs no longer allow earning double miles for everyday shopping. So, if you have accumulated tens of thousands of miles, or reward points, you'd better cash them in as quickly as possible. Otherwise, they will be devalued.

Certain reward point programs lose their value, as holders have to spend much to earn enough for cashing in, or face spending thresholds to earn bonus rewards points.

Cash back rewards programs appear to be the best option for those who want to stretch their dollars amid these harsh economic times. You can still find cash rewards schemes that will benefit you for shopping. What's more, you can find really good deals that provide 2-5% on purchases in popular consumer categories.

While some companies toughen rewards programs policies, the others introduce new programs with more practical rebates. Take for example Fidelity Retirement Rewards with which you can earn a 2% rebate on all your purchases. The great thing about this bank offer is that rebates earned can be applied to your individual retirement account with no hassle.

Discover rolled out programs that stimulate paying on time. Motiva Card by Discover rewards those holders who have a good track of on-time payments. By making six on time payments in a row, you will receive the next month's interest back as a bonus.

Plus, the company has introduced Paydown Planner, an easy-to-use online tool with which credit and money management gets easy. You can set and analyze your goals. Even if you have a bad head for figures, the program will do the math for you. This tool enables you to see how this or that plan will work for you. Calculations will be based on your account information, so you can get real help while planning your next purchase or paying off your balance.

No matter what reward programs you participate in, it's crucial to be in the know of any changes. Companies can change the terms of rewards programs at any time. The problem is that they notify holders through letters or monthly statement inserts, so one would rather ignore these notifications. Be sure to be aware of the terms of your rewards program and cash rebates in without regularly so that they won't be devalued.

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