With the exception of American Express, other major credit card companies are scaling back on their reward programs and benefits. Discover, Chase, and Citi have all recently made changes to their offerings, in areas such as auto rental insurance, trip cancellation policies, and flight accident insurance, among other things, Payments Journal reported.
While these companies are cutting benefits on their rewards credit cards, American Express is adding some, which could make it more attractive for consumers who have gotten used to getting perks for being a cardholder.
Why These Programs Matter
Consumers have become accustomed to receiving cash back for their purchases or free travel perks for using their credit cards. With the reward programs, consumers have to spend a surprising amount of money to earn enough points for a free trip or to earn merchandise.
But credit card companies that offer these rewards have to hope for consumers who don’t pay their credit card balances in full every month. They want people to hold balances so they’ll earn money with the high annual percentage rates they offer. That’s how they make money, and cash back incentives and other rewards cut into their bottom line.
What American Express Offers
For a limited time, American Express has ramped up its efforts to draw in new clients – but the incentives are slated to go back to normal on June 27.
Until then, American Express is offering more sign-up welcome bonus points on the Hilton Honors American Express card, the Hilton Honors American Express Business Credit Card, and the Hilton Honors Ascend from American Express. The cards are offering a range of 75,000 to 125,000 points if the spending requirements are met. But two of these cards, the Hilton Honors Ascend and the Hilton Honors business card, do carry a $95 annual fee.
In addition to the short-term point rewards boost, American Express is offering more than it used to in terms of extended warranties and price protection.
How Consumers Can Make the Most of Their Credit Cards
Before signing up for a credit card, consumers should carefully consider which type of cards will fit in best with their lifestyles. If they want a rewards card that can be used for anything, they should consider searching for a cash-back credit card that offers rewards for what they typically spend money on.
But the number one way to get the most out of a credit card is to make sure it is paid off every single month in full. If that isn’t done, the interest fees a consumer will pay can overshadow any points or cash back they earn.
Consumers should also keep an eye out for when reward points expire so they don’t miss out on what they’ve already accrued.
Author: Shannon Serpette
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