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Exclusive   Cash-back reward credit card study
  STATISTIC: The highest amount for an annual rebate is $1,000 -- but you  
  have to spend $100,000 to earn that with a USAA Federal Savings card.  
Cash-back glossary

A guide to the cash-back reward study

Here are the details we looked at for each reward program in the survey:

Issuing bank: The bank or financial services company that issues the credit card.

Card: The specific card issued by the bank or financial services company.

Annual fee: Fee charged for use of the card or to belong to the reward program.

Intro bonus: Extra points, cash or introductory APR when cardholder signs up for the card.

Percent rebate on everyday categories: Everyday categories are generally grocery stores, drugstores and gas stations.

Percent rebate for other purchases: This would apply to restaurants, travel, department stores, etc., as long as they are not excluded from the program.

Percent on other rebates: These include balance transfers or interest paid on an account balance. Some cards also offer additional rebates when you make purchases from their designated partners.

Reward tiers: How much you need to spend to earn a certain percent return. Many programs don't pay the full rebate amount until you reach a certain level of spending.

Reward increments: What spending level you need to reach in order to earn a reward.

How rebate is redeemed: This explains whether cardholders receive a check for cash, an automatic credit statement or check, or a gift card, and whether they have to request the rebate or if it's automatically disbursed.

How often rewards can be redeemed: When a cardholder can expect to receive a reward.

Cap on rewards: This is the highest amount of cash back a cardholder can earn annually.

Expiration date on rewards: This is the date by which a cardholder must redeem or use rewards before losing them.

Comments or excluded merchants: Many programs exclude purchases at warehouse stores and other merchants or specific types of purchases. This column also includes any other program details.

Create a news alert for "credit card" -- Posted: June 2, 2008
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