Local News

Are Credit Card Rewards Worth It?

Posted November 19, 2003 11:36 a.m. EST

— Cars, hotel rooms, vacations, gas, groceries, even cash are "rewards" for buying other things and charging them on a particular credit card. As the charges add up, so do the rewards. Five On Your Side shows which cards could have the best deal.

One of the best deals for vehicles is the GM Card, Five On Your Side reported.You get 5 percent back on all purchases to use toward a General Motors vehicle and there's no limit on how much you can get back.

Subaru's MasterCard earns 3 percent in "SubaruBucks," but with a limit of $500 per year toward the purchase or lease of a new Subaru vehicle.

Toy prices can be anything but kid stuff. The Chase Toys "R" Us card offers a 5-percent rebate on anything bought at Toys "R" Us and its sister stores. On other purchases, you get $1 for every $100 spent.

BJ's Platinum MasterCard give 1.5 percent back on all purchases in its stores and 1 percent on other purchases. However, if you pay your balance in full, the rebate drops to just a half-percent.

The Chase Perfect Card gives a 6-percent rebate on gas purchases for the first 90 days and 3 percent afterward and 1 percent on other purchases. The rebate is credited toward future purchases.

Looking for a free hotel room? With the Marriott Rewards Visa, you get three points for every dollar spent at Marriott and one point for other purchases. Rooms go for 7,500 to 35,000 points per night, so you have to spend or travel a lot to make it worth it.

Does your family dream of a Disney vacation? Banc One's Disney card can help get you there. You get 1 percent of your purchases in Disney Dream dollars, which can be used toward Disney trips and merchandise.

Before you sign up for a card, along with your spending and payment habits, consider annual fees and interest rates. If you carry a balance and the interest is high, it may not be worth the reward. A good place to find credit cards that offer rewards is