If you apply for a cash back credit card, you are probably hoping to see some money come your way. That may or may not happen, depending on how you manage your account. While cash back credit cards do offer some valuable rewards, the secret to making them work for you goes much further than reading the highlighted features on a website before you apply for it. Here are the five things to do to make cash back credit cards work for you.
1. Check beyond the initial offers and bonuses
One of the great features of a cash back credit card is that it often comes with an initial zero percent interest period or a bonus for signing up. This can work to your advantage. Experts warn, however, that it is important to read through all of the information on the card and not just focus on the bonus. If it comes with high fees or a high interest rate, you could end up spending more than you make with the initial bonus. Study the whole card to make sure it is a good fit for you. Then fill out the application.
2. Find a correlation between rewards and your spending
Many cash back credit cards operate on a tiered system. You might earn just one percent back for the first $1,000 you spend, and then you can expect to get three to five percent after that on some cards. This will help you if you regularly spend that much and pay it off. If you don't, however, look for a cash back credit card that will give you a flat return rate of cash.
3. Look to see when the cash back rewards are granted
In some cases, you will only get cash back once a year. With other cards, you can expect to get it back in increments of $25 or $50, while with others you can access it on a more regular basis. The logistics don't matter as much as your preference toward them. Decide what would work best for your financial situation. When you have the card, track your rewards and make sure you're receiving them on a timely basis.
4. Read through reviews before applying
One of the important benefits of the Internet is that it allows us to do ample research on many things, including credit cards. Before you get a cash back credit card, read through some online reviews. You may find that it fits perfectly for your financial situation, or you may discover other things about the card that you didn't know before, and come to the conclusion that you should apply for a different one.
5. Spend within your means
With a cash back credit card, it is important to pay off the balance in full each month. If you do carry a balance, you'll end up spending more in interest than what you receive in rewards. So live within your means, pay off the balance each month, and use your cash back credit card as needed. Following these steps will help you bring in cash and enjoy the other benefits that come with a credit card.
Click here to find Cash Back Credit Card Offers Stephanie Andrews is a contributing editor of the website www.CreditCardSurplus.com , a credit card directory where you can apply for a new credit card with secure online applications. Visit now to compare all of the best online credit card offers.