Credit cards are obviously an important part of the average consumers lifestyle. Just about all consumers in the United States have at least one of these pieces of plastic in their wallet. With such a demand for a product, we can be sure that there is a great deal of competition in the industry. Because of the overwhelming competition in the industry, banks had to find a way to attract people to their credit cards instead of them applying at other banks.

This lead many banks into offering rewards credit cards. Rewards credit card accounts work just like any other credit card. Consumers can use rewards charge cards for purchase, cash advances and some even offer balance transfers. The difference with rewards charge cards however, is that when people use a standard charge card, they don't get any perks except for not having to carry cash. However, with rewards charge cards, Americans generally earn points with each purchase that can later be used to redeem their rewards.

Because of the overwhelming amount of competition in the charge card account industry as stated above, there are several rewards programs out there to choose from. As a matter of fact, there are so many different rewards credit card account products available to Americans that there is no way I could write about them all. However, rewards are generally broken up into categories. I will go over these categories and who should be interested in them.

The first general reward category is travel rewards. Travel rewards charge cards offer consumers the ability to earn points that can be saved and later used for travel perks. These travel perks are usually free flights, free hotel accommodations, free rental cars and even theme park tickets. The prime candidates for travel rewards charge cards are consumers who travel often for pleasure. Those who travel for business will want to look into sky miles charge card accounts.

The next category is sky miles rewards. Sky miles rewards work a lot like travel rewards. When Americans use their sky miles charge card accounts, they will earn points that can be saved and later redeemed for air fare. Although, these air fare points usually cannot be used for anything else like hotel reservations and rental cars, they are usually of higher value than general travel rewards charge card accounts. This is why, those who travel for business often will be the best candidates for sky miles rewards credit card accounts.

The next general reward category is gas rewards: With gas prices at all time highs, many banks looked at this as a way to entire Americans to apply for their charge card account products. Gas rewards charge cards were born. These credit card accounts offer people the ability to earn and save points that can later be redeemed for fuel. Although this is a great perk, I wouldn't recommend anyone apply for a credit card that only offers gas as a reward. Consumers can do much better for themselves.

The final general rewards category is cash back rewards: Cash back rewards credit card accounts are usually the option that consumers should choose. This is because when getting cash back, people can choose what to use the money for. Cash back rewards charge cards give consumers the ability to earn and save points that can later be redeemed for cash back or gift cards. If your cash back charge card account has a gift card redemption offer, I would suggest using this option because the rewards on gift cards tend to be more valuable than the cash option.

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