How to pick the right rewards card

New credit cards and new deals come out all the time. So even if you currently hold a rewards card or two, taking the time to shop your plastic could mean cash in your account or a free hotel room.

Your rewards card should match your lifestyle. If you dream of free flights, you'll want to sign up for a card that pays two miles for every dollar spent. Money Magazine ranks the Barclay Card Arrival Plus World Elite Master Card as one of the best.

Here are the perks:

  • Mileage bonus worth $400
  • Pays 2 miles for every $1 spent
  • Pays 10 percent miles back on hotels, flights or cruises

If you are shooting for cash back, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card offers some of the highest rates on big expenses.

  • Six percent cash back on up to $6,000 in groceries
  • Three percent cash back on gas and at select department stores
  • Money Magazine ranks the U. S. Bank Cash Plus Card as its second favorite for its rotating categories option.
  • Allows you to choose your 5 percent cash back categories from a list
  • Change your selection every three months

And if you are looking for a reward on all purchases, Money Magazine recommends the Fidelity American Express, which pays 2 percent back on everything, and the Capitol One Quick Silver, which has a 1.5 percent earn rate on each transaction.

And remember a rewards strategy is worthless if you don't pay the balance each month. The amount of interest you pay could wipe out any rewards you receive. The same can be said for late fees that average $34 a pop.


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