A New Cash Back Credit Card For The New Year?

This post was written by guest blogger Jesse D. from Credit Card Forum, where he reviews the best credit card deals. His work is published on the aforementioned site every Tuesday and Thursday.

Many of us make New Year’s resolutions. Maybe it’s to lose weight, to exercise more, or some other goal. But there’s something everyone should do for the new year and that is to re-evaluate their credit cards. Are they still the best ones to have?

What’s new for 2011?
During 2010 we saw several new reward credit cards hit the market. Meanwhile, many existing cards changed the way their reward programs work. So it’s important to pull those old cards out of your wallet or purse and see how they measure up.

To make it easy for you, here are some of the biggest changes we had in 2010 as far as credit card rewards are concerned…

The Chase Sapphire card is launched
The Chase Sapphire card is a new premium rewards card that is marketed to upper middle-class households. The regular version has no annual fee and gives you points that can be used for purchases on any airline, anytime, with no blackout dates. The Chase Sapphire Preferred does have an annual fee, but it gives you higher rewards and some additional benefits.

AmEx introduces the “Premier” Gold card
The AmEx Gold has been around for decades and continues to be a hit. It carries a $125 annual fee and offers a wide array of benefits. For those willing to shell out an extra $50, they can now get the “Premier” version of the Gold card, which offers higher rewards – 3x points on airfare, 2x points on groceries and gas, and 1x point on every other purchase.

The Citi Forward card cements itself as the best for restaurants
Now the Citi Forward card has been out for a few years and is well known for its 5x points on restaurants and fast food, but it wasn’t the only card to ever that. However due to reward program shakeups in 2010, the Citi Forward credit card is now the only one left on the market that still gives 5x points on those categories. Therefore if you eat out a lot, the Citi Forward card is definitely one to consider.

The Chase Freedom changes its rewards program
This card has been out for several years and is one of the most popular cash back credit cards on the market. Previously, the card gave an unlimited 3% cash back on your top 3 categories of spending. In 2010 they changed their rewards program – now they give 5% on categories that rotate every quarter, on up to $1,500 of spending in those categories. For some people this change will be beneficial, but for others it will be a step back.

Conclusion?
During 2010 the credit card rewards scene changed tremendously. Make sure you familiarize yourself with the new reward cards, as well as those which have changed their programs.

Labels: ,