Are credit cards really evil?  Not at all.  In fact, credit cards can be used to leverage your existing cash while teaching you boundaries and limits when spending using credit.

Believe it or not, while there are consumers who struggle with debt repayment, there are some who benefit tremendously from using credit cards wisely.   If you travel, pay for gas or groceries or even use the ATM, there’s a rewards card out there with your name on it. The following details tips that you’ll need to keep in mind when choosing a rewards credit card.

Lifestyle Credit Cards

For example, if you don’t travel much, then it doesnt make sense to get a  points credit cards that gives you reward points for traveling because you’re not doing much of it.  However, if you’re spending a lot of money on gas and groceries then it makes sense to get a card that gives you cash back.

Read the Fine Print. Not Once But Twice

Read them carefully and understand what every word means.  Just because the fine print says “up to 5%” cash back, this does not mean that you get 5% cash back on everything.  This simply means that on some purchases you may receive 5% and on others you may actually receive less.

Pay Your Bill One Time – Preferably In Full

Here’s the deal with credit cards.  The credit card companies are praying that you’ll carry a bill every month and earn them money in the process of getting a few points here and there.  Beat them at their own game and spend wisely.  Pay your bill on time and if possible, in full every month.  Otherwise, you’re hunting for fool’s gold by paying fees and interest for the privilege of getting a few points in return.

Use With Care

Temptation is serious business when you engage in using credit cards primarily for rewards purposes.  Know ahead of time when you’re using the card.  Therefore, if one card allows you cash back at a specific grocery chain then only use it for that purpose.  This way you carry a small balance, can pay it off monthly and still get the benefits instead of being steeped in debt.

Compare Rewards and Rates

Every devil has a different color dress.  Know your cards and pick them based on their potential benefit to you.  Compare credit cards rates and go for the cards with low/no fees and the most percentage back for your purchases.  In order words, choose and use the card that gives you the most bang for your buck.  Furthermore, please don’t ever pay an annual fee for a credit card.  You shouldn’t be paying a fee and interest to use a card because this further negates the benefits of the card.

Follow these rules and you’ll be on your way to playing the credit card companies at their own game.  Remember, they are counting on you to rack up fees and interest charges.  Choose and use them wisely and you’ll avoid falling into this trap of never ending debt repayment.