Once a year, I revisit the “rewards program” tab of my personal finance spreadsheet. This tab lists all the loyalty programs I am part of, how many points / miles / credits I have, my login credentials and when they expire.
As I was going through this sheet last year, I questioned whether I had the right mix of rewards credit cards. At that time I came across a service online that recommended the best rewards credit card for you based on your individual spending patterns.
After going through this service, I had to make a few changes, but overall I’d say I was 80% there. The service is called CreditCardTuneUp.com. It is a comprehensive website that requires you to input quite a bit of information. The more information you input and as accurate it is, the better the recommendation will be.
You will be asked information about what you spend on such as groceries, restaurants, how much you spend, whether the card is for personal or business, whether you are willing to pay an annual fee (I don’t recommend this), whether you usually pay in full, etc. Ball park figures will do, and the closer to actual the better.
Recently I know NerdWallet.com is doing something similar. So this year when I revisit my loyalty program tab, I plan on using both CreditCardTuneUp and NerdWallet to get an independent opinion on the best rewards credit card for me, just like seeing another doctor for a second opinion.
Over the years my rewards credit cards have given me thousands in cash back, have funded both domestic and international trips, given me free car rentals when traveling, free hotel stays and gift cards to shops I frequent. I don’t use cash at all, and I don’t remember the last time I paid for a purchase with cash.
In addition, I have a separate reward credit card for each business that I own. I do pay them all in full every month, but I do some serious damage on each one. With the amount of cash that flows through those pieces of plastic, for me it is worth spending some time to maximize the rewards.
I have no opinion at this point about which service is better to help you find the best rewards credit card for you, but since they are both out there, why not use both? The few minutes spent upfront can pay off in the long run, just as with most things in life. Whereas picking credit cards in the past was a matter of card design, vendor advertising, personal preference or complete randomness, the process is now actually quite scientific.
What is the best rewards credit card in your opinion? How do you pick out your credit cards? Do you pay an annual fee? Which one(s) do you have right now and what do you think about them? Do you know of another screening service that has worked well for you?
Find the best rewards credit card for you with Credit Card Tune Up. Note: I am not an affiliate of this service.Previous: How Not to Pay Taxes on Your Affiliate Commission Earnings Online