If you're the type that pays your credit card balance in full every month and are looking to get something for nothing, then consider a cash-back credit card. This is a way to put money in your pocket for purchases you were planning to make anyway.
Bankrate.com recently surveyed widely issued cash-back credit cards from prominent card issuers.
Cards that pay 1 percent back beginning with the first dollar of spending are still the most common, represented by just more than half of the cards in this year's survey. Even better are the 15 percent of cards that pay greater than 1 percent cash back beginning with the very first dollar of spending.
And there are plenty of cards offering higher payouts for certain categories of spending -- such as gasoline, groceries or dining -- with 47 percent of the cards doing so.
One area of change was the introductory bonuses offered on the cards. More than half of the cards surveyed -- 55 percent -- offer an introductory bonus, up from 44 percent last year. While there was an increase in the number of cards with an introductory bonus, the bonuses themselves were diluted slightly from one year ago, either receiving fewer bonus points or requiring more spending to get the same bonus as in last year's survey.
Annual fees remain uncommon, with more than 3 in 4 cards having no annual fee. None of the cards surveyed added or deleted the fee since last year's survey. And nearly two-thirds of the cards surveyed -- 65 percent -- have no expiration of rewards. Even those that do, give you between three and five years to redeem before losing any of the accumulated rewards.
You can find the full results of this year's cash-back credit card survey at Bankrate.com. I'm Greg McBride.