Want Free Money? Jump Through More Hoopshttp://www.fool.com/how-to-invest/personal-finance/credit/2011/04/28/want-free-money-jump-through-more-hoops.aspx Dan Caplinger
April 28, 2011
Wouldn't it be great if you could have a single credit card that gave you the best rewards for everything? Unfortunately, that sentiment seems to be a pipe dream, as credit card companies are doing everything they can to carve out narrow niches that give you maximum cash back only on very limited items.
Should you pay for rewards?
With the changes, however, cardholders have a choice of two cards. One card, dubbed Everyday, gives 3% cash back at grocery stores, 2% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% on other purchases. This card comes with no annual fee.
The other card, called Preferred, has a $75 annual fee. But in exchange for the higher cost, the Preferred card gives enhanced rewards. Cardholders get 6% on groceries and 3% at gas stations and department stores, with 1% still applying to other purchases.
A big juggling act
Such programs add enormous complexity -- and hassle. Typically, you have to track your spending, because they usually include limitations on how much you can spend that qualifies for the higher reward amount. Moreover, you often have to enroll for each quarterly program separately -- with no option for automatic enrollment. Forget to sign up,