These are trying times for many and a credit card might seem like the best solution for all your problems. Admittedly, despite the horrors that credit card debt can inflict, this tool can be extremely useful. Therefore, the smart thing to do is to learn how to minimize the risks of this debt. Getting a cash back credit card is an effective way to achieve this.

What Are Cash Back Credit Cards and How Do They Work?

In essence, a cash back credit card is exactly what it says on the tin. It works like any other credit card, but it has the added feature of offering rebate for a percentage of purchases you make with it. Simplicity is one of the main selling features of this financing tool.

However, you should understand that cash back offers are diverse. Therefore, it’s imperative that you study your options thoroughly before committing to anything. The most common kinds of cash back options are:

  • Bonus category
  • Tiered rewards
  • Flat percentage cash back

The simplest type to use is the flat percentage cash back type. With this card, you basically set it up once and get your cash back from any purchase. However, other types are much more flexible and offer more rewards in time.

Bonuses and tiered rewards require more strategic planning when using. Therefore, it’s imperative that you know your spending patterns before you choose one of such cards. It’s necessary because these kinds of bonuses will only be afforded for specific types of purchases.

This means that from the very beginning if you want to maximize your cash back, you have to choose a card with a reward or bonus system that matches your spending patterns best. Moreover, you need to remember that these cards are still credit cards.

This means that you need to take into account things like:

  • APR. Annual Percentage Rate, which is similar to interest percentage rate on any regular credit card. You’ll need to know this in case you are unable to keep up with timely payments and end up with debt.
  • Fees. Cash back and credit cards usually come with a variety of service fees that might be charged monthly or yearly.
  • Point caps. Some cards have maximum amount of points that you can earn for cash back.
  • Payback terms. These vary greatly, so you always need to make sure that you are actually able to get your cash back without a fuss.

Pros and Cons of Using Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards have multiple advantages, including:

  • Actual cash rewards that you get
  • Reasonably low fees (usually)
  • Extra bonuses (many cards offer sing-up bonuses, for example)
  • A variety of shopping perks

However, you also need to remember that credit card debt is at an all-time high now. And using any kind of credit card always has some disadvantages, such as:

  • High ongoing APR
  • Higher fees for some types of transactions
  • Cash back point earning caps

Those are generalized pros and cons of cash back credit cards. But you shouldn’t forget that these offers are extremely diverse. Therefore, every card you consider might have its own selection of advantages and disadvantages. You should take the time to research the terms and conditions of its use thoroughly before you actually sign up.

Also, note that there is no such thing as a “perfect” cash back card. The usefulness of each option will vary based on your personal situation. This means that you should monitor offers in this field regularly. This way, you might switch to a better type of card once you find it.

Another huge issue is that people tend to spend more money when they use credit cards. And that number increases further when they use cash back cards. Those literally encourage you to up your spending to earn more rewards. These patterns are driven by your subconsciousness, so to combat them, you have to rely on willpower and self-control.

Are Cash Back Credit Cards Worth It?

Everyone’s situation is different. However, this doesn’t change the fact that under certain circumstances, cash back cards can be a great solution for you. If you find yourself in a position where getting a credit card is unavoidable, this is the type you should choose. It’s because cash back should help you alleviate your financial troubles more effectively.

However, like with any financing tool, you should only use this one if you have a plan to deal with credit card debt. You also need to keep iron control of your spending. A credit card can help you when you use it as a tool, not an indulgence. Limit your reliance on it to the minimum and develop a budget. That budget must have preventing credit card debt as your priority. This means, you should plan your expenses in a way to ensure you keep up with mandatory payments on the card every month.