Rewards are a good thing that much is obvious. But when it comes to rewards credit cards, there are a number of programs with different types of benefits. From the mundane cash back programs to point-based rewards programs promising Caribbean cruises and free travel, there are plenty of options available. With so many programs to choose from, we decided we d cover some of the pros and cons of major reward program types so you can find the best fit for your lifestyle.

Frequent Flyer Miles

Rewards programs offering members frequent flyer miles that can later be redeemed on airplane tickets are increasingly popular. And if you routinely fly with the same airline, doubling up miles from flights and credit card purchases becomes an easy way to get free flights. Many rewards programs offer bonus points for sign up and double points on purchases as part of introductory offers. Other miles programs reward double miles for purchases made with selected retailers or for purchases made on travel-related services.

Typically, frequent flyer miles have expiration dates along with annual caps on the amount of miles and bonus miles you can earn. Don t forget to be on guard for high annual fees when it comes to miles-based rewards cards.

Rewards Points

Programs based on rewards points offer many advantages miles cards do not. Rewards points can be redeemed for everything from gift cards to hotel rooms to merchandise. This is particularly useful for credit cardholders that don t travel frequently. Typically, you earn bonus rewards points for purchases at certain retailers along with bonus points for purchases on everyday goods such as gas, groceries or clothing. Making everyday purchases on a lucrative rewards card makes the points stack up fast. Happily, many point-based rewards programs don t have annual fees either.

When it comes to redeeming rewards points for travel, it usually takes more points to get a flight than it would with a miles-based program. Adding some slight inconvenience, some rewards programs offer bonus points with retailers and services that you might not visit regularly.

Cash Back Rewards

Cash back rewards programs are about as simple and straightforward as they come. On all purchases you make, you receive a rebate typically of 1% of all purchases. With some programs it is even possible to earn 10% rebates on qualifying purchases at affiliate retailers or websites.

Ultimately, a cash back card translates as a 1% discount on all purchases you make and doesn t offer the exciting prospect of vacationing or getting free flights.

Whether you re hoping to get bonus points on everyday purchases, get free airfare for vacations or simply go for cash back, there s sure to be a rewards card out there to fit the bill. Be sure to compare leading rewards credit cards you ll find side-by-side feature comparisons along with in-depth reviews of the most generous rewards credit cards. With so many cards offering the chance to turn the purchases you re already making into vacations, gifts and cash, there s no reason to be paying plastic without getting something back.

More Top Stories