In the highly competitive credit card market, the pressure is on the credit card companies to create and maintain innovative benefit programs to lure and keep customers. One very popular benefit has traditionally been airline miles. However, with the current state of the airline industry and the commonly understood drawbacks of blackout dates and inconvenient travel times (hardly rewards) credit card companies have gone back to the drawing board in order to create a new generation of benefit programs to please the consumer and boost the pull to new customers.
There are companies that offer a ranking of the top cards and their benefit programs. Though many consumers search for low rates or a waiver of the annual fee, other rewards have come into play that distinguish the cards from one another in more interesting, personality driven ways. For example, The Discover Platinum card the annual fee is has been waived and the 0% Intro APR fully touted but it is probably the 5% Cashback Bonus and an option to double your money through shrewdly shopping with Discover's “brand name partners. " Discover appears on the list several times, though all the cards are pretty much equally represented.
At the bottom of the list, A CitiBank card geared towards college students. It seems the major benefit to this card is being able to get one with little or no credit. In addition to the 5% back on gas purchases consumers get up to a 5% annual cash reward. Making money just for spending money is the common theme among the cards in the top ten.
Even debit cards are starting to compete with offers to customers. Typically, the credit card's biggest selling point, cash back, cannot be matched by the debit card. Positively, debit cards unlike credits cards usually offer consistent rewards across the board, rather than only offer a percentage or cash back when the shopper buys something at specific stores or “brand name partners". One trick is the debit card rewards are usually based on the signature. This means that although you may have made the purchase, if you put it through by using a pin or “point of sale" purchasing you won't receive the points you might otherwise be owed.
The biggest point with credit card rewards is this: Most information/consumer websites agree that if you are unable to pay your balance off each month the reward you are getting is rarely worth it.
The author is owner & operator of several successful credit sites. For more info & resources visit: Credit Cards For Bad Credit or: Bad Credit Credit Cards