Are Credit Card Rewards Worth It?

In a word, yes, but you can avoid paying a premium for perks by following these five simple tips.

Ali Hardy Feb 28, 2019

Article originally published on February 28, 2019 and refreshed on March 18, 2021.

From free trips to cash back, credit card rewards boast exciting incentives. But is there a catch? Sometimes. That’s why it pays to be a savvy spender when leveraging credit card reward points for maximum returns.

Follow these five simple tips to avoid paying a premium for credit card perks.

Credit card rewards tip #1: Pay off your balance each month

Paying excess interest on your credit card balance may ultimately offset the value of any rewards you earn, so it’s important to pay your statement balance in full each billing cycle. If you plan to carry a balance for several months, a rewards credit card may not be a good value for you.

Credit card rewards tip #2: Don’t overspend for the sake of rewards

A rewards credit card shouldn’t require overspending on your part to earn rewards. If you find yourself spending more than you normally would so that you can generate rewards, this type of credit card stops being sensible. Aim for a card that you can use for regular, everyday purchases that fit your lifestyle.

With a Zions Bank Vivid Rewards Visa Credit Card*, you can use your credit card for your everyday purchases and earn rewards points for qualifying purchases. Gas, groceries, utilities — the more you use your card, the faster your points build.

Credit card rewards tip #3: Know the value of your rewards

Research how you can use your rewards and consider what best suits your needs. Choosing a card that provides you with rewards that you’ll use and enjoy is key. Look for multiple flexible redemption options and avoid a credit card that may adjust the value of your points based on how you choose to redeem.

Credit card rewards tip #4: Read the fine print

Review the credit card agreement and make sure to look for fees, rules or exclusions that may limit its usefulness. Check whether rewards points expire or if there are limits to the number of rewards points you can earn each year or each quarter.

Learn enough to get a holistic view of the value of the card you’re interested in – understanding the features and rewards as well as the fees and APR.

Credit card rewards tip #5: Pick a card with perks

In addition to rewards, the credit card you choose should also offer unique moneysaving cardholder benefits and services. For example, the Zions Bank credit cards come with the following additional services to cardholders:

  • Free mobile card fraud alerts
  • Car rental collision damage protection
  • Travel accident insurance
  • Travel and emergency assistance
  • Warranty manager service
  • Cardholder inquiry service

Ready to start earning rewards? Apply for a Zions Bank Vivid Rewards Visa Credit Card* today.

*Credit cards are subject to credit approval. Terms, conditions and restrictions apply. See banker for details.

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