Credit card rewards programs are everywhere these days. If you want to save for a new car, get discounts at your favorite clothing store, or even contribute more money towards your retirement account, there’s likely a program out there that suits your every interest and need. But the glut of rewards programs has its drawbacks, as well. First of all, it means that there are numerous restrictions and regulations that consumers must navigate and which differ from offer to offer. Secondly, on a more basic level, the sheer number of programs out there can be overwhelming for many people. If you have a niche interest it can be easy to determine which credit card you want. But, for most of us, it can be difficult to decide exactly where we want our points and our cash to go.
This is even more so the case when a growing family is involved. As a mom with two young children, I know very well how a family’s needs and interests can change rapidly as a child develops. What my children like today they make not want tomorrow. What resources may help my family the most this year may not be important in years to come.
But I don’t want changing interests to force my family to forgo the benefits that credit card rewards programs can provide. For this reason I have chosen to enroll in three programs – all of which are practical, generally applicable, and will always help meet my family’s needs.
Card #1: Gas Rebates
My first rewards program helps my family save money on an expense that most Americans regularly pay: gas. With gas prices high these days, it doesn’t take a commute calculator to show you that a significant amount of money likely goes towards transportation costs on a monthly basis. For this reason, I have enrolled in a BP gas rebate program. So long as I fill up at BP, I will receive discounts on my gas purchases.
Card #2: Grocery Costs
Any family with young kids surely knows that growing children are capable of consuming a fair amount of food. Furthermore, as a core and necessary expense, food costs are the kind of thing that adds up quickly over time. Even if you shop smart and avoid high-price grocery items, there’s still a good chance that you spend a considerable portion of your budget on food. Consequently, I have recently begun using a credit card that offers rewards on grocery items. While these cards were once restricted to individual stores, the one I use promises the rebate at any shopping center I may frequent.
Card #3: Cash Back
For the ultimate in flexibility and practicality, nothing out there can truly beat a card that offers cash back, especially no fee credit cards of this sort. It’s important to do your research properly, however, as there are a wide range of cash back offers out there, some of which are far better than others. I use a 5 cash back credit card that gives me 5% back on most purchases.
In my opinion, these three rewards types are the most practical and flexible for any consumer out there. If you have a young children and a growing family, however, they are even more important and worthwhile to have.
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