Intro: Looking to put some money in your pocket for routine expenses? Well, Bankrate.com has released their annual cash-back credit card survey and here to discuss the findings is Greg McBride, senior financial analyst for Bankrate.com.
Kristin: What kind of reward payouts did you find in this year's survey?
Greg: We did see an uptrend in reward payouts both for all purchases as well as specific categories, when compared to last year. Nearly half of the cards, 48%, pay one percent out beginning with your first dollar of spending. So when you're comparison shopping, at the very least, use that as your starting point. But the top cards pay 2% across all purchases and if you're looking for higher payouts in certain categories; nearly half of the cards offer that, but with some of these cards the categories themselves may rotate each quarter.
Kristin: Are there a lot of cards paying introductory bonuses to attract new cardholders?
Greg: Yes, there are. We found 44% of cards have some form of introductory bonus. Now, these introductory bonuses tend to take one of two different forms. It's either based on achieving a specific spending threshold within the first few months. Say spend $1000 in the first three months and get a $100 cash bonus or based on a certain category. So, for example, it might be earn 3% cash-back on all gasoline purchases in the first 90 days.
Kristin: What about annual fees and expiration dates on rewards?
Greg: Good news, 83% of the cards we surveyed had no annual fees, so whatever reward you earn on those cards is pure gravy. Expiration - not much of an issue either. Two-thirds of the cards have no expiration on the rewards and even those that do tend to give you three years or five years before it kicks in.
Tag: Anytime you're looking for a specific credit card - we have over a dozen categories of cards to suit your needs. All you need to do is click on the credit card tab at Bankrate.com. I'm Kristin Arnold.