Help With Rewards Credit Cards

by Guest on January 11, 2012

Welcome to 2012 everyone! How is your checking account looking with the holidays over? Mine took a hit, but all in all my traveling, gift buying, and family gatherings didn’t hurt too badly. How did I manage to get through this normally expensive time of the year? Aside from budgeting correctly my rewards credit cards helped soften the financial blow of the last month of 2011.

After reflecting on the gifts I bought, the travels I made, and the gatherings I attended here are my reward credit card recommendations for 2012!

The Approach

First, whenever you’re in the market for a new credit card, consider cards that:

1) Fit your needs. Avoid applying for and maintaining many accounts.  Having too many credit cards can ruin your credit score, and having so many bills to pay every month can be overwhelming.

2) Accumulate points, cash back, mileage or other perks offered for joining the program.

3) Compliment your lifestyle. Based on your spending habits, pick a card that rewards your frequent purchases. (I’ll explain more below.)


Don’t underestimate the power of consolidating your spending to a single points credit card. One of my fondest holiday moments was watching my brother open the digital camera I got him with my rewards points. Nothing is better than bestowing a normally expensive gift for free! Make a New Year’s resolution to research different point programs. I promise you wont regret it (especially around the holidays).

If you’re looking for a starting point consider the Citibank Forward Card. Citibank provides 5x points for every dollar spent at a restaurant, and 1x point for every other dollar spent! Finally, if you consistently pay your bill on time and stay within your limit Citi will throw up to 12,000 points for good measure at the end of the year.


For those who traveled during the holidays I hope you used an airline miles card. Mileage rewards cards allow you to “bank” flight miles with every purchase made on your credit card. Getting one or two tickets for free is fantastic when you’re attempting to fly a family of four across the country!

American Express Blue Sky Card rewards spending on flights with points towards gift cards for future hotel and airline purchases.  Every dollar spent equals one point and 7,500 points earns you a $100 gift card for your next vacation.


On the other hand, if the family came to your home this year (and does often) a cash back card is a great option. The No Hassle Cash Rewards MasterCard gives 2% cash back rewards at the pump and the grocery store. So, if you’re used to making incessant trips to and from the grocery store, this is the card for you. It’s also great for families that want a versatile program for everyday use, as all other purchases have a 1% cash back reward.

Tip: Compare other credit card options. And, when comparing the two credit cards, take note of the insurance and protection programs that each card offers.

My best credit card advice after reflecting on last year’s spending?  If you’re charging all your purchases, then make your payments on time. Otherwise the interest on the gifts you bought last year could still be haunting you by this Halloween.

About The Author

This post was written by Kyle Espinola of, an unbiased data-driven comparison engine designed to help you find the best of anything from credit venture capital firms to credit unions.

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