There are a number of different types of credit card rewards programs on the market today, giving consumers a lot of different options on how to use their purchases to their advantage. Some of these credit cards with rewards translate directly into miles on airlines, while others give the consumer a laundry list of options on what to do with their reward points.
American Express was one of the first credit card companies to offer a credit card rewards program. When American Express started giving points to customers that were equal to the amount of money spent using their cards, they established a credit card rewards program that included a number of travel opportunities. These included free flights, hotel rooms and reservations at deluxe resorts if a high enough point total was accrued. Card members with gold or platinum cards were able to obtain points at a greater rate. There are also a number of other ways those reward points can be used.
Once the popularity of these cards was established, card companies began to establish alliances with airlines around the world, offering travel rewards with their credit cards. Credit card companies like Citibank, Capital One, and others offering Visa and Mastercard credit cards are now also offering credit cards with rewards. For every dollar spent, a point is accrued, and those points can be used for a variety of purposes, depending on the amount of points earned and the type of program designed by the credit card company.
Some credit cards with rewards offer a number of points or miles upfront, so the consumer may get to totals for desired objectives faster. But some of the better credit cards with rewards require the consumer to pay a substantial membership fee upfront before any points are accrued. The credit card issuers believe the ability accrue rewards faster will attract applicants in spite of the upfront cost.
Credit card rewards programs are becoming increasingly popular, as card users look for more out of their credit cards. The opportunity to translate their grocery and gas purchases into an something like an all-expenses paid trip is highly appealing to many consumers.