6 ways to choose the right debit card rewards program
Rewards on debit cards have become more common, but complex in their array of choices. These six tips will help you in choosing and managing a debit card reward program that's right for you.
- Do the math. Understand that if it's rewards you're after, you can probably rack up awards more quickly with a credit card. But if you prefer using debit, be sure you understand how much you need to spend to earn a reward. Also watch for limits on rewards.
- Check your own bank first. Because switching banks can be time-consuming, look first at your bank's debit program to see if it fits your needs and how it compares to other programs.
- Be wary of fees. Fees can quickly eat into the value of debit rewards.
- Look at credit unions. Credit unions in your area often have very competitive debit card programs.
- Signature or PIN? Make sure you understand whether your reward program requires you to sign for purchases. Some banks encourage signature transactions, which make more money for the banks.
- Consider an additional account. Instead of thinking of a debit card as an all-or-nothing proposition, think about using a debit account for particular kinds of purchases, such as grocery shopping. You can often get the full advantages of debit rewards programs without putting all your purchases on that card.
See related: Debit rewards program grow in size, complexity
- Bitcoin credit cards? Mastercard patent suggests it's possible – A new patent issued to Mastercard covers a method for “managing fractional reserves of blockchain currency.” Translation: A consumer someday could use a credit card to pay in virtual currency like bitcoin ...
- These gift cards add an extra bonus: discounts, even cash back – Want to earn cash back rewards while making purchases with a gift card? Start by leveraging them with loyalty programs and rewards cards ...
- Baseball fans, swipe your credit card for 'Ice cold beer here!’ – MLB vendor Aramark will arm its in-seat food and beverage sellers with card payment systems for the 2018 season ...