Reward Credit Cards

Updated on September 07, 2012
J.G. asks from Chicago, IL
15 answers

I've been a long time user of Amazon rewards. I home school, so I tend to use my rewards to buy supplies and things for the kids. It works out great. Recently, however, we got an offer from American Express for $400 in travel credits if we spent a certain amount over a few months. Fortunately, hubby and I both applied for these cards before we found out we'd be doing a last minute trip to Ireland. I just used my $400 free travel credits, and I am soooooo thankful for this extra money to help pay for this unexpected trip (our airline tickets were ridiculous!)

What is your favorite reward credit card?

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So What Happened?

I think I will just stay with my Amazon rewards. We've gotten a 56' plasma with it, plus all of the kids bday and xmas presents (well those I don't buy on clearance at Target) tons of books, etc. It's something a bit more practical, but it sure did feel great to apply $400 towards our airline bill this morning. I'd love some other great deals like this....... I love it when they want to give you free money for spending money you will already be spending (we pay our balance every month, I've never paid interest on a credit card in my life).

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answers from Pittsburgh on

Chase for CASH back.
Paid in full each month.
Not used for anything above and beyond what is needed.

Perks are basically always a scam. People that pay with credit cards routinely spend 4-10% MORE than they would if paying with cash (debit).

3 moms found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

We currently use Chase and get cash back.

I prefer chase vs the travel perks because the airlines have cracked down so much on availability of reward seating.

Of course, the card is always paid in full and never carries a balance. I got $560 back about a month ago.

We use it for our company and personal expenses which are high due to a lot of airfare, hotels, rental cars, conferences, etc.

We have a BOA card with cash back and went to Chase for more perks but I understand the BOA card may have more perks for us now due to our expenses. I'm checking on it now.

As long as someone uses these cards smartly it is ok but never carry a balance or you get on the slippery slope to debt.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbus on

I love my BP Visa - altho, they just recently changed it. I used to get "cash back" and I would get it in the form of a gift card so when my kids and I were out and about we could get a treat or I could use it for gas. Now, with the way they've got it set up, any points I earn by using the card just goes toward getting cents off each gallon of gas. Which I guess in the long run I'll be happy with; but it was fun being able to get a "free" treat after school on Fridays. At least they didn't completely get rid of the rewards program.

But I shouldn't complain - there's no yearly fee; I pay it off each month and earn reward points to get cheaper gas. They're basically paying ME to use their card!!!

Gotta love it!!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Eugene on

You got $400 in travel credits?!!... you did good!

I just got a Chase Freedom card that offered me $300 in credits. I used to have an Alaska Airline Credit card and got some great deals with my points, like a couple $750 seats for 25K miles each. Those days are not gone. It's become so hard to redeem miles that I opted for a couple of cash back cards. The Chase Freedom gives me 5% back on certain charges like gas and restaurants and has no annual fee. Not as exciting as travel rewards, but it's nice to have money back.

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answers from Washington DC on

We use a British Airways Visa card (we go to England each year to see family) and it has helped us get one free ticket about every....five years. But it's worth that since tickets are so expensive. No other real benefits but we'll take that one. I'm glad you got those initial free travel credits at just the right time for you, but don't expect to get much in the way of any free or discounted air tickets again any time soon; usually it takes years to build up enough points to get tickets or even a discount, and the airlines are very picky about when you can and can't use them to fly. We spent years being told by the airline that credit card points couldn't be redeemed any time between about May and October! The downturn in the travel industry means we've gotten summer tickets twice now but if things pick up they'll go back to their "not in spring or summer" routine. I do like getting the benefit when it comes but it's very much in the airline's control.

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answers from Washington DC on

did you really? i gave up trying to redeem travel points. it was so complicated and difficult and confusing it just didn't seem worth it.

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answers from Los Angeles on

I got 2 round trip tickets from South West.

I earned 4 round trip tickets to the Caribbean and used two last year with American Airlines.

I have 2 tickets on any airline from USAA and only a 12% interest rate IF I had to carry a blance, which I don't.

Carnival Cruise lines has a credit card that will get you a free cruise, but I don't use it often enough.

I have a couple of credit cards with a 0% interest.

Good luck to you and yours.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My husband has an United Airline card he used exclusively for work. He is in sales and puts a TON of expenses on this card - about $5k/month (then submits an expense report and we are reimbursed). The nice thing is that this card is in our names, so the points we earn are ours to keep! We're saving up to hopefully go to Europe for free (well, the flights!) So far we have 350,000 points! I think we need 400,000.

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answers from Columbus on

I have an AmEx Blue that I put everything on -- groceries, gas, every purchase I can. With the points we have gotten a $700 camera, an $800 iPad, and a $200 guitar and speaker -- all for free with free shipping. Since Amazon now allows you to pay with points, it's gotten a lot easier to get the most with those points.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

My State Farm Visa lets me use my rewards to pay my insurance bill. That's nice. I also have a Thank You rewards card from Citi Bank. I have about 13K points, not enough for anything good, but they do offer a huge variety of things. I think my favorite is Babies R Us Mastercard. I often times get $10 gift certificates. I don't spend enough on credit cards to get huge rewards.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Grand Forks on

I have a Presidents Choice Mastercard. It earns reward dollars to spend at the Real Canadian Superstore (think Super Target, but larger grocery section). I use it to pay for everything, and the points add up quickly. Instead of just using my reward points for groceries I like to use them to buy bigger things. I've bought my backyard fireplace, a 50" plasma tv, a wii, 2 ds's, a 42" plasma tv, a bbq, a wagon and several video games with rewards.

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answers from Washington DC on

Discover, I use it for everything and can get gift cards (cost are 40 for $50!) to alot of places or buy gift cards to rent a car/ book hotel or airfare. So far i have earned $450 this year alone just by ensuring I sign up every qtr for the extra cash back on certain purchases But I am one of those people who uses it for EVERYTHING and pay the balance every 2 weeks so I NEVER incur finance charges

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

Hubby has a visa card through BJ's. It's really simple, once you reach the required points, they send us a $30 voucher to be used at BJ's. The only draw back is it expires is just a few months.

I have a Chase card that offers Disney rewards. You collect the points, and then call in and get a gift card that can be used at Disney stores, Disney theme parks and hotels. It really came in handy when my girls took a school trip and needed some spending money.

Of course there's the 5% savings for using the Target card, and the constant 15% off at Kohl's.

Love getting free money!



answers from Chicago on

Capital One Venture Card with double miles. We travel often. We use the card and pay it off monthly. Every year, we get at least one trip when my family of 5 all fly free. Additionally,you can apply the rewards toward anything travel related--lodging, car rental. They give you 90 days within your travel purchase to apply more rewards, if you are close to earning more "free" things with a few more purchases.

Also as a side note, their security is extremely thorough. E.g., if you don't tell them you are going out of state and try to use the card, they will decline the purchase until you call & verify that you are actually there.



answers from Chicago on

I only use cards that pay me back and pay all my credit cards in full each month. I have one card that pays me back for all gas purchases (AAA) and then I use my Chase card for other daily purchases and Discover card for other purchases. The key is to make sure you always pay off your cards in full. For those that don't have cards that pay you back, all you have to do is call your credit card companies and ask to switch to cards that pay you back.

Oh, and don't forget to use all cards at least every 6 months - if you don't, those credit cards companies will eventually cancel those cards and your credit score will drop (due to you not using them). Don't listen to the so called "experts" who say if you don't use your cards, cut them up.

Good luck!

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