According to a study by the American Bankers Association, Rewards credit cards are fast becoming very popular with a share of 80 percent of all new cards accounts in the first quarter of 2014. The issue however is that the card you consider your favorite may be costing you more that you should get from it as was established in a NerdWallet study conducted recently. These are the 3 signs that your Rewards credit card is very much unrewarding.
1. Your spending does not match your annual fees for the card
Up to half of all credit card owners do not want to pay credit card annual fees. However, a survey by NerdWallet of over 2000 adults found out that up to 31% of those who own credit cards do not even know the annual fees for the credit cards they own.
The annual fee for a rewards credit card was $58 as of June. The average worth of a reword point was 1.14 cents. This means that one has to spend up to $5088 annually, which is around $400 a month in order to claim the promised rewards. It does not end there because you have to bill for the opportunity costs of the rewards for a card without the rewards.
Cards with annual fees come with improved perks and better rewards. Such cards for instance can come with travel cards, better purchase protection advantages and better sign-up bonuses. Choosing to go for an annual credit card fee will depend on your credit spending habits and how you are suited to use the benefits that such annual fee cards come with.
Have your money back: If you do not use your card often enough to realize the annual fee through the reward system, you better give it back and apply for a card that does not charge an annual fee. This is no implication that you will lose the perks held by the card. No annual fee cards do allow money back or travel cards of about 1 to 2 percent of every purchase.
Focus your attention to the perks offered when evaluating a no annual fee card. There are three popular benefits that you can get from a no annual fee card: protection when purchasing, improved options of redeeming rewards and free foreign transactions.
2. No reward redemption
Most consumers consider credit card rewards as very important when determing which card they should subscribe to. The US Credit Card Satisfaction Study by J.D Power found out that over half of all those who switched credit cards in 2015 did so based on how better the reward redemption guidelines were. However, some of the consumers may not be using the rewards.
The NerdWallet survey found out that 1 in every 5 people with credit cards did not redeem the rewards promised in the rewards credit cards last year. Although there are benefits of not redeeming reward points like hitting the elite level or saving for a big trip, there have been documented a number of risks of not redeeming the rewards that a consumer may accumulate over the time they use their cards.
The major risk that is associated with failure to redeem card rewards is devaluation. Commonly, mile devaluation has been of the greatest concern. Though a consumer may keep on accumulating rewards, over time the miles are devalued meaning that it will take more rewards to cover for a reduced amount of miles. This directly translates to more miles and consequently more rewards in order to get a free trip.
The second risk that has been identified is expiration. As time moves on, the unredeemed rewards near their scheduled expiry dates. So, if not redeemed within the specified dates, the won rewords can expire and the consumer will lose them just like that.
Have your money back. You should regularly check your rewards balance. You should also be decisive and understand what the rewords you will have earned are worth. Redeem the points if you are sure you receive the best redemption offers. Do not waste your rewards because these rewards are one of the most important features of a credit card.
3. Spending on multiple cards
Considering that a card requires up to $5088 to break even, using multiple cards will require you to use more money in order to break even. According to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, an average consumer can have two rewards credit cards. This means that they will need to spend no less than $10000 annually to break even. It is only after spending this amount within the current year that a consumer will begin realizing the promised rewards.
Have back your money: Multiple cards come as very effective. They offer different benefits and promise great rewards. However, if you do not a lot of money within a year, you should just stick to the card that promises the best rewards. Consider owning one or a maximum of two cards with annual fees. If you need an extra card, go for one that does not have an annual fee and that promises the best rewards.
A credit card should serve you better earning you money and rewards and not to cost you. In order to realize the maximum of your credit cards, make sure you are spending enough to offset the annual fees. You will earn rewards which you can redeem within the appropriate time. Ensure that you do not oversubscribe to cards that have annuals fees.