Value of cards

How Credit Card Rewards Rates Stack Up
April 22, 2012 – 02:27 pm
As expected, most of the cards

You’ve seen the commercials: Celebrities hold a shiny credit card and talk about the ample rewards you can earn on purchases. What they may not talk about is how much those points or miles are actually worth when you redeem them.

Valuing the ongoing rewards for credit cards is more complex than you might think. You have to consider two factors: the card’s earning rate and its redemption rate. NerdWallet’s, but they don’t include the earning part of the equation.

So the Nerds created a methodology that takes earn rates and redemption rates into consideration to determine which cards provide the most value for average American household spending.

Earn and burn rates: The basics

The earn rate is the amount of cash back, points or miles you receive on every dollar you spend with your credit card. Some cards have the same earn rate for every purchase; others provide extra rewards for certain types of purchases, like groceries or airfare. Our earn rates also factor in any applicable annual fees or quantifiable annual benefits.

A burn rate, or redemption rate, is the value of the cash back, or points and miles that you redeem for rewards. The industry standard is 1 cent per point or mile. But as you’ll see from our list, some cards offer more value, some less.

Using the most recent spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, we calculated the rewards based on the average American household. We also determined each card’s redemption rate. Multiplying these two factors gives us an earn-burn rate, which is the average value of the rewards you’ll receive on every dollar you spend.

Nerd notes: (1) This ranking is based on average spending data for U.S. consumers, and may not be representative of your personal spending and credit card habits. Always do your own research before choosing a card; check out our in-depth credit card reviews to get started. (2) Ranking doesn’t include the value of applicable sign-up bonuses or waived annual fees. (3) Ranking doesn’t reflect how easy it is to redeem rewards or how useful redemption options may be.

Interesting facts

A stored-value card refers to monetary value on a card not in an externally recorded account and differs from prepaid cards where money is on deposit with the issuer similar to a debit card. One major difference between stored value cards and prepaid debit cards is that prepaid debit cards are usually issued in the name of individual account...

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Popular Q&A
What is a soft 17 in Blackjack.

A soft 17 is any combination of an Ace and 6.
A soft hand is any hand you can hit and get a 10 and still have the same thing; an Ace is ALWAYS involved.

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