Promotional programs from credit card companies are not affected by the same laws that have made debit rewards programs less lucrative for banks, says Beth Robertson, director of payments research at Javelin Strategy and Research in Pleasanton, Calif.
In fact, a lot of bank credit card rewards programs are being beefed up to attract more consumers, she says. Account holders can take advantage by selecting a credit card that offers low annual fees, a low annual percentage rate, or APR, and lucrative rewards perks, she says.
But Cohen warns that before making a switch, you must be sure you have the discipline to pay off the balance. Credit card rewards programs aren't worth it if you're paying more money in interest and card fees than you earn from rewards, she says. "It's best if you can pay the bill in full every month," she says.