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Want to Earn Credit Card Rewards? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself First – Money Talks News

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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

TV spokespeople are quick to tell you why the credit card they’re shilling is better than the rest.

Double points! No bl…….

ALPA PROD / Shutterstock.com

Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on The Penny Hoarder.

TV spokespeople are quick to tell you why the credit card they’re shilling is better than the rest.

Double points! No blackout dates! No annual fee!

They make it seem so easy to rack up points and trade them in for free flights and top-shelf resort stays.

But there’s no such thing as a free lunch — even if you’re earning points on it.

That’s not to say there aren’t benefits to using rewards credit cards. You can earn free travel and other perks — but you have to be strategic to make them work for you.

Before you apply for that hip new card you’re seeing in commercials, ask yourself these five questions first.

1. Will You Really Pay the Bill in Full Each Month?

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If you already have credit card debt, stop reading now and focus on paying that off.

Dan Miller of the travel blog Points with a Crew said that financial discipline is the key to success with rewards credit cards.

“Make sure you have the ability to pay off your bill in full each month,” he said. “If you don’t, interest and fees on these cards are going to eat up any rewards you might earn.”

If you are steadfast about following your budget and meeting your financial goals, you’re a good candidate for a rewards credit card. But don’t let your own confidence fool you.

If you get a higher credit limit than you expected for the new credit card you applied for, ignore it. Don’t treat it as an invitation to spend.

Scott Rick, professor of marketing at the University of Michigan, explained that we’re better at planning for future income than we are at anticipating future expenses.

“We’re good at ignoring bad news and looking for reasons to indulge,” Rick told The Penny Hoarder.

2. What Does That Credit Card Agreement Actually Say?

fizkes / Shutterstock.com

Be sure to read through all the details of a credit card agreement before signing up. It’s important for two key reasons.

First, you want to have a clear view of interest rates, annual fees, late fees, expiration dates, foreign transaction fees and other conditions of use.

Second, you want to make sure the benefits of the card are worth it.

For example, it would be a waste of time to use a card to earn flight rewards if you can’t …….

Source: https://www.moneytalksnews.com/slideshows/want-to-earn-credit-card-rewards-5-questions-to-ask-yourself-first/

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