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Credit Card Tips and Strategies, Issue #003 -- How to choose a reward program credit card?
September 27, 2005
Credit Card Tips and Strategies Newsletter 003
Date : 28th September 2005

Table of Contents

1. How to choose a reward program credit card?
2. Reward progam reviews
3. Best Credit Card Design contest.
4. New Credit Card offers - Citi Professional Card.
5. New Credit Card offers - Centra Platinum
6. New Credit Card offers - Impact Visa
7. Latest Airline News

How to choose a reward credit card?

To choose a reward credit card that will benefit you the most, there are three important things to consider. (Note : we are not talking about frequent flyer programs, but rather reward programs offered by credit card companies).

The first is to ask yourself what rewards you would like to have. This may be travel, either in the form of free airline tickets, hotel stays or shopping vouchers and gift certificates. This is not a trivial matter because the type of rewards you like will determine which credit card you choose. Some credit cards have reward programs are good at certain types of rewards and answering this question honestly goes a long way to helping one choose an appropriate credit card.

The second thing is to look at your spending pattern. Some reward credit cards allow you to earn more than the standard one point for every dollar you spend if you spend on items like gasoline or at a supermarket. Getting a reward credit card that lets you earn more points on the items you spend more on goes a long way to helping you get rewards faster.

The last thing to ask yourself is how much do you spend on your credit card a year. This is important because if you if you like to redeem your points for "bigger" tickets like airline tickets, and you do not spend enough a year, it may take you a few years to redeem your reward points. But most reward points expire and hence you have to take that into account.

Obviously, the annual fee and apr may be an issue as well. Answer these questions honestly before you choosing your next reward credit card.

In the next newsletter, we will explore the different types of rewards available in most reward programs.

New Project - Reward Program Reviews

As mentioned above, asking what rewards you would like to have in your reward program will affluence your choice of reward credit cards. However, many credit card companies do not highlight their reward programs on their websites. In many cases, you only get their reward program details in the "mail package" after you are approved.

To help our readers and subscribers make better informed decisions on reward credit cards, we are now gathering all reward programs, looking at them in detail and will be doing a series of reviews on credit card reward programs. As a start, I have just written a review on the Citi ThankYou Redemption Network. More to come later.

You can read our review of the Citi ThankYou Network Redemption here :

New Project 2 - Best Credit Card Design

We will be having a short list of candidates for the best credit card design for the year 2005. We will be inviting readers and subcribers to vote for the best credit card design. The winners (top 3) or may top 10 will be announced towards the end of the year. More details in our next newsletter.

New Card offers - Citi Professional Card

We have added a couple of new credit card offers recently. The first is the Citi Professional Card. This is a small business reward credit card that is based on Citi's ThankYou Redemption Network. This card will appeal to the small business owner who is looking for a good reward program. You can earn 3 points for every dollar you spend on restaurants, gas stations, auto rentals and certain business supply merchants. You can earn up to 100,000 ThankYou Points in one calender year and these points are valid for three years. You also get a signing bonus of 10,000 points after you make your first purchase. There is no annual fee and the apr is quite low.

You can read the review of the Citi Professional Card here :

New Credit Card offers - Centra Platinum

We are also now offering the Centra Platinum. This is a catalog card (not a credit card) that is designed to help rebuild credit. Those who find it difficult to get an unsecured credit card may want to consider this, though I think one should consider a secured credit card before considering this.

The Centra Platinum distinguishes itself from its rivals by offering a "free computer". It is not exactly free and you have to pay $178.97 for "delivery". The specs are not exactly state of the art but should work for those who do not need capabilities of the latest computer hardware. As a service, the card will also send your details to a few companies to get you offers for an unsecured cash loan of up to $1,500. You can also get a credit line of up to $7,500 that can be used to make purchases at Centra's catalog stores.

You can read our review of the Centra Platinum here :

New Credit Card offers - Impact Visa

We have started offering the Impact Visa. This is a prepaid/debit card that would appeal to those who have would like to build or rebuild their credit and would like to have a prepaid card to maintain spending discipline. This card partners with CreditBuilder, a program that charges you a montly payment that is reported to credit agencies as an interest payment, which helps one build a credit history.

You can read our review of the Impact Visa here :

Latest Airline News

US Airways will soon emerge from Chapter 11 and will merge with America West. The new entity will take after the US Airways brand. This should not affect existing frequent flyer programs or miles, though one should expect the two programs to merge in due course.

Early last week, both Delta Airlines and NorthWest Airlines filed for chapter 11 to reorganize their business. Both are looking to shed expensive labor and legacy pension cost. Operations are not affected, nor are their frequent flyer programs.

Nick Lian

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