Earn Extra Money on your Credit Cards

Using plastic doesn’t really reward you well these days. Not even when it comes with all those heavily advertised rewards miles, bonus points and whatnot. The card issuers are taking back what they give you with the other hand – in the form of higher interest rates, stingier credit lines and a tougher fee regime. And worst of all, if you thought you could at least earn extra money through those rewards points, they’re taking an ax to those as well. Whatever rewards programs they offer you become encumbered with of rules and painful caveats. Aplication bonuses are harder to come by, or they artificially raise prices on those rewards. If they do make you run around in circles trying to cash in on their rewards programs, they still can make financial sense. Here’s how you can earn extra money or rewards on your cards’ rewards programs still.

Are you trying to earn extra money a little bit? Then choose a card that actually gives you money – a cashback card. In fact, today would be great time for those kinds of cards. The card issuers are coming up with all kinds of new offers and cashback cards. To begin with, cashback rewards are a pretty good idea because they are transparent. Whatever changes they make to your percentage will be completely apparent. And then, they are pretty profitable for the card issuers too. They don’t need to run an affiliation program with an airline or retailer and spend on administrative costs on them.

Whatever rewards program you end up choosing, be sure that you’re careful to pick the right one. You typically don’t want a program that requires you to commit months building up your points or balances before you can redeem them. The card issuers can always change the rules midway; and then you’ll just find yourself with a bunch of points that have just lost their value. A couple of years ago, Delta had its customers going along with this rewards program in the belief that collecting 25,000 SkyMiles would give them a round trip on the domestic route. And then Delta went and changed it to 40,000 SkyMiles. Make sure that you aren’t asked to make a commitment that large before you can redeem something.

Usually, if you signed up for a rewards program to earn extra money online, it’s a good idea to let it be all about the money. If they offer you a way to redeem your points by opting for merchandise instead, that’s usually a far more expensive way to you. They sell their stuff at their inflated prices. Make sure that you always redeem for cash. And finally, make sure that you don’t ever forget that rewards cards usually have interest rates that are higher by a couple of percentage points. Rewards are things you may or may not get – depending on how much you spend; but whatever balance you have on the card does a rack up the interest far more quickly than anything you can ever hope to balance out with your rewards. If you’re the kind of person who likes to carry a balance on your card, remember that rewards cards are not the way to go.