MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Cash-back credit cards are popular now, and there is nothing wrong with people having something in their wallet that will let them earn something for all their spending.
Consumers can earn more bang for their bucks, but they must first know which card is best.
There are thousands of cards of to choose from. Matt Shultz, an expert from Creditcards.com, said the first thing consumers should do is make sure they are paying off their credit card balance every month.
"If you carry a balance every month, rewards may not be for you because it doesn't make a whole lot of sense to pay 20 percent on that balance to get 2 percent or 3 percent cash back," explained Shultz.
He added consumers need to figure out if they are a set-it-and-forget-it type of consumer, or if they will put in more work for the cash-back rewards.
"The best card or the simplest is probably the CITI double cash card," explained Shultz. "It's pitched as you can get 1 percent when you buy and 1 percent back when you pay your bill. In reality, what that is is a 2 percent cash back, which is pretty good and competitive in this market place."
The CITI cash-back card gives the same amount of cash back for every purchase consumers make. There are other options for opting in for rotating categories, which can result in high cash-back total over the course of the year.
"Discover is also a good one for those that like rotating category cards, but what makes that one so good is that they are offering to double your cash back at the end of your first year. So if you earned $100 cash back, they will give you an extra $100 at the end of that first year and that's a pretty good bonus," explained Shultz.
For those looking to rack up miles, Shultz said if customers prefer a specific airline, they should pay attention to that company. However, if a consumer wants more flexibility, he recommends the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
"With this card, you get 50,000 points as a sign-up bonus after you spend about $4,000 in the first three months and then you can take those 50,000 miles and transfer them to any number of hotel or airline loyalty programs," said Shultz.
The credit card expert said it is important to pay attention to the fine print, and consumers should make sure they know what the interest rates and fees are before signing up.