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Top 5 Coolest Credit Card Rewards Programs

by on November 10, 2010

Rewards programs from credit card companies may have been downsized recently in an effort for providers to save money and cut risks thanks to the CARD Act reform regulations but competition is still tough in the credit industry. There are still some pretty cool rewards programs out there if you take the time to look.

What kind of stuff can you get from a credit card rewards program? Here are the top 5 coolest credit card rewards on the market today:

Cold, Hard Cash
Sorry but there is nothing cooler than straight up cash back in your wallet. Most major credit cards offer 1% cash back on every purchase you make on the card. But others take it a step further like Capital One’s No Hassle Cash Rewards Card. In addition to the 1% anytime cash rebates, you also can earn a 25% bonus annually based on your card usage throughout the rest of the year. Discover also takes it a step further. If you opt to redeem your cash back rewards for a gift card, you can double the amount you get. If you earned a $15 rebate, you can cash it in for a $30 gift card from a participating retailer.

Sporting Fun
There are several major card issuers now offering VIP service to sports nuts. Bank of America offers not only cool card rewards they offer cards that look cool. You can pick your favorite major league baseball team’s logo to be showcased on your card. You can redeem your earned rewards points for VIP access and discounts on game day tickets. If you prefer NASCAR, the RacePoints Platinum Plus card offers a credit at the online NASCAR store. Points can be redeemed for an up close and personal tour of the race garages, opportunities to meet your favorite driver, or even earn your way to the pit as a crew member for the day. If you go gaga for golf, check out the Diners Club International rewards card and you can play at one of 200 semi-private or private golf courses around the country.

Lounging at the Airport
If you are a frequent flier, there is no doubt you would appreciate finding solace in a nice, quiet airport lounge during a hectic flight schedule. Exclusive access to one of the many airport lounges can be found through American Express Platinum cards or Diners Club International. This can be a savings of $400 a year or more you’d normally have to pay for such access.

Driving Excitement
Citibank’s Driver’s Edge Platinum Select MasterCard earns rewards you can use toward the purchase of any vehicle brand, new or used. You can earn 1% on all your regular purchases, except for gas, drugstore and supermarket purchases. On these purchases, you earn an incredible 6% during the first year and 3% after that. You also earn $1 for every 100 miles you drive, up to $500 or 50,000 miles. You must verify your miles by submitting a maintenance receipt with the odometer reading. Rebates are capped at $1,000 per year.

Charitable Greenness
If you like to give to your favorite charities and enjoy helping out environmental causes, Visa has the Working Assets Signature card that donates cash to your favorite non-profits each time you make a purchase. The charity of your choice will get 10 cents for each purchase you make and if you use the card to buy gas, a tree will also be planted to improve the environment. In addition to the charitable donations your purchases bring, you also have the opportunity to earn rewards toward airline tickets and cash rewards.

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