Fixed rewards are the ongoing rewards programs that you are informed about at the time you apply for a credit card. There are a wide variety of fixed rewards, such as price protection, travel insurance, points programs, cash back programs, gas discounts and many more. These rewards may vary with the amount or type of spending, but they do not have expiration dates. However, don’t let the word "fixed" fool you. Rewards that are fixed at the outset of card membership can be changed by the card issuer at a later time.
Cash back rewards are credits you accumulate by using your card for purchases. These credits can be redeemed as cash paid back to you in the form of a check by the credit card company or in the form of credit applied to your credit card statement. Usually, rewards are only paid out once per year. The amount of the cash back reward varies greatly between programs, so it is always important to evaluate how advantageous the program is and where you must make your purchases to earn rewards.
Miles rewards are air miles you accumulate by using your card for purchases. Miles are often redeemed for free airline tickets, although they can be redeemed for other rewards as well depending on the rewards program. Some miles programs are specific to certain airlines and their partners. Others are more universal. The amount of miles granted varies greatly between programs. In some programs, miles can expire, so make sure to read the fine print before applying.
Points rewards are points you accumulate by using your card for purchases. Once accumulated, points can be redeemed anytime for a wide variety of rewards, such as hotel accommodations, airline travel, car rentals, cruises, merchandise, and much more. The amount of points granted varies greatly between programs. Sometimes card issuers offer introductory points or bonus points just for getting approved. Many points programs have restrictions, such as limiting how much you can earn in a certain period or when you can travel. In some cases, points can expire, so make sure to read the fine print before applying.
Purchase insurance includes insurance coverage, such as extended warranties, price protection and purchase protection coverage. Extended warranties allow the terms of the original manufacturers’ U.S. warranties to be extended on most items. Price protection ensures that you will get the lowest price for a product. If you buy a product and then see it advertised in print for less, you will receive a refund for the difference. Purchase protection coverage protects most purchases made on your card again theft, fire or accidental breakage.
Travel insurance includes insurance coverage, such as auto rental insurance, lost luggage insurance, travel accident insurance, travel and emergency assistance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance. Auto rental insurance provides automatic coverage when you charge the entire cost of your rental and decline the car rental company’s collision and loss/damage insurance. Lost luggage insurance covers permanently lost, stolen or damaged baggage or personal articles checked with a common carrier. Travel accident insurance provides you, your spouse and eligible dependent children with coverage when you charge airplane, train, ship or bus tickets. Travel and emergency assistance includes medical and legal referrals, lost luggage assistance, emergency transportation, translation services and more when you are traveling in the U.S. and abroad. Trip interruption/cancellation insurance provides you with coverage in the event that you are prevented from taking or continuing a trip.