Credit Card Incentives

Credit card companies want your business. After all, lending money to people is profitable. Besides the interest fees that you'll be charged, the credit card company also collects a fee from merchants who accept their credit cards. In order to get your business, most credit card companies are willing to offer you some great incentives - not only to apply for one of their cards, but to use it for everything from car rentals to weekly groceries.

Among the incentives that you might be offered for using a particular credit card are frequent flyer miles, phone call minutes, rebates and cash-back on purchases, insurance on your purchases and more. Here's a list of some of the most popular incentives. Check around to find a card that offers incentives that make sense for the way you use your card.


One of the most common incentives for using your credit card is a cash-back or rebate offer. Generally, you'll get 1-5% back on various purchases. Depending on the credit card, you may get 1% back on most purchases, and 5% back on purchases made at convenience stores, gas stations, grocery stores and 'member merchants'. The rebate may be in the form of a credit on your bill, a gift card for $10, $20 or more dollars when you reach that amount in cash rebates, or a check sent from the credit card company.

Frequent flier miles

Another common credit card incentive is frequent flier miles that can be used on a number of airlines for personal and/or business travel. Check the individual cards' terms and conditions to find out exactly how to redeem your frequent flier miles.

Phone Minutes

A new incentive being offered by several credit card companies is phone minutes to use with your cell phone account. Redemption is generally via a phone card sent when the amount of the reward minutes reaches a certain denomination, but your credit card company may have different rules and policies.

Additional warranty coverage for the items you purchase

A few credit card companies offer extra warranty time or coverage on items that you purchase using their card. The additional coverage is only available on particular cards, generally the Premium cards. If any item that you purchase using cards that are lost, stolen or breaks within the stated warranty period, the credit card company will replace it at their cost.

Car rental insurance, Travel accident insurance or travel-related discounts

If you travel often and use rental cars, then it may make sense for you to have a card that offers insurance on you when you're driving a rental car - at no extra charge. Likewise travel insurance and travel discounts that may be available only to holders of that particular credit card, or is available at reduced rates to them.

Credit card registration

Some credit card companies offer to register all of your credit cards so that if your purse or wallet is lost or stolen, you only need to make one call to alert all of your credit card companies. It's a handy perk to have, especially since it's easy to forget a card you don't use often in the heat of the moment. Taking advantage of a credit card registry is one way to be sure that all of your creditors are notified that your cards are lost.

Joseph Kenny is the webmaster of the credit card comparison sites and also