BOSTON (CBS) – I am on the fence on this one. I do like free a lot and with a good credit score you may be able to get both.

With reward credit cards you can earn points, airline miles, gift cards or even cash. I particularly like the cash back for unless you have an airline card for miles it could take you forever to earn enough points for a trip on many cards.

With a cash back card, some offer a set percentage back on all purchases while others reward you at different rates depending on what you buy and where you buy it. Those categories often change quarterly, resulting in fewer rewards than hoped for.

And studies have found that some folks tend to spend more simply to earn the rewards.  If you can’t pay the balance in full each month, a reward card is not for you.

Most of the airline cards will cost you an annual fee, usually the first year is free though. If you fly a lot, it would be worth the effort to get one.

A wise daughter (mine) once told me she treated her frequent flyer miles like money. These were the miles that got her home from California on a regular basis.

Also those airline cards may get you free checked bags as well as priority boarding which is a plus if you travel a lot. And the payback after 2 trips is the cost of the card if you had to pay for luggage.

Look for a free reward credit card. I like cards that allow cash back. The Discover card was the first to use this reward to increase business and it was successful.

Fidelity offers a free rewards credit card to its customers. The money can go into a Fidelity account of your choosing such as the college 529 plan.

There are many savvy consumers who have learned to manage their points as they would cash. If you can do that, then you can benefit greatly from using a rewards credit card.


You can hear Dee Lee’s expert financial advice on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 each weekday at 1:55 p.m., 3:55 p.m., and 7:55 p.m.

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