Cash Back Vs. Airline Miles – Which rewards credit card is better?

Cash Back Vs. Airline Miles – Which rewards credit card is better?

December 15, 2016

We all love to travel and we all love to shop. And we all know that rewards credit cards can help improve both activities.

Rewards credit cards can be free money, especially if you don’t have to pay annual fees or interest. Many people have them, and many more want them. That’s why many want to know which type of rewards credit cards are best, the ones that provide airline miles or those that provide cash back on purchases. Here’s what we found out:

Pros and Cons

You need to know what you want before you go shopping for any credit card. If you travel a lot, a travel rewards card is for you. If you spend a lot of time in shops, then maybe the cash back one is better. Each one has advantages and disadvantages.

A cash back credit card, for example, offers flexibility. You can spend that cash however you want, to make other purchases or even to travel. Miles are more limited, but they can be a much better choice if your lifestyle involves a lot of travel, or if you plan to travel a lot in the future. Airline miles build up at about the same rate as cash rewards.

Travel rewards credit cards come in different types. General travel cards are a lot like cash rewards card. They offer flexibility, but with similar rewards rates as the cash back cards. Meanwhile, airline- or hotel-specific cards will limit your ability to shop for the best deals. With one such card, you can only earn rewards from one company. The good thing is that the points can be redeemed at higher rates than what the cash back or general travel rewards cards offer.

When not to get a rewards card

No matter what type of card you choose, if you carry a balance on your credit card month to month or if you have problems with debt, it’s better to stay away from them. Try to fix your problems first, get rid of that debt, and you can focus on them afterwards. Just like I said earlier, those rewards aren’t free if you have to pay high interest rates to earn them.

Thomas Hookton

Thomas Hookton is a finance journalist, history buff and science fiction connoisseur. Hit him up via email.

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