Credit card rewards. They still come in cash, points and mileage. But the terms and conditions have gotten pretty complicated. Consumer Reports sizes up current offers to find out which ones are the good ones. But these cards aren't for everyone.
Blue Cash from American Express. Consumer Reports Money Adviser says it's among the best cash-back cards out there. But it isn't for everyone. "if you regularly carry a balance on your credit card, don't even bother with these cards. Because the finance charges will eat up any rewards. But if you pay your balance every month, they can be great," says Tobie Stanger.
Consumer Reports just came up with a list of the best cash-back credit cards. But you have to size up which card is best for you. "You have to understand the terms, for example," says Stanger. "The credit card companies have become very creative. And the terms can be confusing."
Rewards still come in points, mileage, and cash. But with some cards, like the Chase Freedom Card, you have to choose the type of reward. And be aware, companies offering five percent cash back usually have restrictions. Take the Amex Blue Cash card, which according to a commercial gives you five percent cash back … at supermarkets, gas stations, and drugstores - but only after you've spent 65-hundred dollars at these locations. Another good card, the Discover Open Road card, gives you five percent back on gas and maintenance for your car. But it's only for the first 12-hundred dollars. "It's important to know the specifics of your card. And keep an eye out for any changes in terms," says Stanger. And Consumer Reports says be aware, you often have to ask for the reward, including the cash. But making sure you do can be rewarding, indeed.
Consumer Reports says when your monthly bill arrives, keep a look out for any change in terms. That's usually how you're notified. And it's a good idea to keep those notices on file. To learn more about how to choose the right card, go to ConsumerReports.org