Credit card cashbacks are a scam

Save money in everyday life with cashback credit cards

If you use the right credit card cleverly, you can turn every expense into a small plus. Simply pay for the next trip with your cashback credit card and take discounts or airline miles with you. Or collect bonus points and redeem them for a stylish bonus. And participants in a real "money back" program will have money credited to their account.

Are you interested in cashback? Then find out which cashback credit cards could even save you cash.

Cashback credit card - what is it?

Cashback literally translated from English means "money back". With this extra, credit card providers want to win and retain customers. Cashback does not always represent the program to reward purchases in hard cash. Rather, through cooperation with third parties, purchase discounts, bonus miles for frequent flyers or awards are offered. For credit card owners, such a cashback credit card can be a useful tool to get a refund - in whatever form - for everyday shopping. Examples are:

Real cashback

With the Targobank gold card, users receive one percent of the purchase value automatically credited to their card account in the following month for every payment they make with it. This is the simplest type of cashback card. You can think of this cashback system as a small discount on every purchase. If someone buys with the card for 500 euros in a month, he automatically saves five euros and ultimately pays only 495 euros.

collect points

American Express, for example, offers its customers the versatile Membership Rewards bonus program. Points are credited with every cashless payment. Depending on consumer behavior and card usage, a lot of points can come together. The customer then exchanges them with an Amex partner for goods, e-codes (digital shopping vouchers), flights, hotels, etc. Or - which is a really nice idea - he makes a donation to a charity. Important note: The annual fee of 30 euros for the Membership Rewards is included in the card fee for the Gold and Platinum Card, but this does not apply to the Amex Green Card.

Earn miles

Whether flying, shopping at the airport or in daily life: "Miles & More" cardholders collect so-called award miles with every purchase. They can then redeem them for flights, hotels, rental cars, upgrades or products from over 300 partners. Interesting for frequent travelers: Don't underestimate extras such as taking over car rental insurance or discounts on rental cars. If you do the math here, you will notice that you can save hundreds of euros - provided you don't forget to use the card.

This is how the cashback card is used optimally

Refueling, online shopping, weekly shopping - please take out your card! To get the most out of your cashback credit card, it's important to actually use the card for the majority of your purchases. Since Visa, Mastercard and now American Express are accepted almost everywhere anyway, this is no longer an impossibility, as it was twenty years ago.

The cashback or bonus programs are not always easy to understand. However, users can easily get an overview of their status quo online: Where do I stand, how many bonuses do I have, what do I get in return?

If you have several cashback cards, you should use them strategically. For example: Pay for trips and vacations with the card that Cashback also offers when used abroad. Does the son want the headphones from a certain bundle of bonuses? Then please only pay for all purchases and the tank filling with the card valid for this rewards shop in order to collect as many points as possible. And redeem the award as soon as possible. If you don't want gimmicks, but simply want your money back, you should pay for each monthly bulk purchase with a card, which gives you a percentage refund of the purchase value.

Biallo tip: If you have too many credit cards, you can quickly lose track of things and cause financial chaos. It is easier to use a few cards and only those that suit your personal use.

What should you watch out for with cashback cards?

If you want a cashback credit card, you should know your own user habits. Because not every card is profitable for every customer. Note:

  • Those who consume little should choose a card with a lower - or even better - no basic fee. Because if the fee is high, the result is a kind of "zero-sum game" with regard to the price of the card and repayment.

  • A cashback card has to suit the user, not the other way around. If you never get on a plane, you definitely don't need a "Miles & More" credit card.

  • Keep your eyes open when choosing a credit card partner! Crediting five percent of sales is obsolete if you can only book holidays with a specific travel agency. Especially when it is more expensive than other providers.

  • Anyone who uses the card not only for cashback programs, but also to withdraw cash at home or abroad, should find out more about the withdrawal fees.

Take out a loan with a credit card?

The name says it all. Because neither a cashback card nor a normal credit card are suitable means of lending money. As a rule, the issuers only offer the zero percent interest rate until the credit card account is cleared on a monthly basis. Anyone who slips into the debit for this settlement with their clearing account - i.e. the current account - pays overdraft or overdraft interest.

If you have a credit card with a partial payment function, you should be particularly careful. These cards rarely give the freedom they promise. With these installment agreements, a large amount of the credit card bill is deferred and the cardholder is allowed to repay the credit in the following months.

What sounds tempting can quickly become a debt trap. On the one hand, the annual interest rates for these partial payments are usually extremely high - often much higher than a bank loan. And repayment is made more difficult by the growing mountain of debt - interest and compound interest. Experts and consumer advocates warn against cards with a partial payment function or revolving cards.

How much do cashback credit cards cost?

Cashback cards are available from zero to several hundred euros for a platinum or black edition. But be careful: The free credit cards are sometimes linked to certain conditions, such as a certain minimum monthly turnover. This should be evident from the price information. So please always study the fine print and avoid trouble beforehand.

Would you like an all-rounder card for everyday life and a low monthly fee? Which is just as good for shopping in the drugstore as it is for refueling or for booking a vacation? Then a card that is well accepted, such as the American Express Gold Card, is a useful alternative. In addition to its extensive services and extras, the Membership Rewards program offers a good selection of rewards. Here, every euro you spend is credited as a collection point. Via the Amex app, the user has the current score constantly in view in real time. Big advantage: card transactions can even be settled retrospectively.

A comparison of selected cashback credit cards

A selection of different cashback cards with different programs. The focus here: fee and cashback program. For more information, please use our credit card comparison.

Note: If you click on a link in the following table, you are not yet entering into a contract. First you get to the credit card provider. There you will get a detailed overview of the offer. We have disclosed how we finance ourselves in the "About us" section.

providerspower
American Express Gold CardFee: € 12.00 per month
Cashback: Membership Rewards (€ 1 = 1 MR point) with, among other things, 13 frequent flyer programs
Promotion: € 72 starting credit
Advanzia Bank Mastercard GoldFee: € 0.00 per year
Cashback: 5% travel credit with best price guarantee, 5% reimbursement for rental cars
DKB Cash Visa CardFee: € 0.00 per year
Cashback: up to 20% when shopping at DKB partners; Prerequisite: only in conjunction with a DKB cash account and monthly incoming payments of € 700
Hanseatic Bank Visa Gold CardFee: € 0.00 per year; Free of charge in the 1st year, thereafter free of charge from € 3,000 in sales, otherwise € 35.00 per year
Cashback: 5% discount on travel at Urlaubsplus.de
Hilton Honors Credit CardFee: € 48.00 per year
Cashback: 1 Honors Point for every € 1 purchase value, 2 Honors Points for every € 1 spent in Hilton Hotels, 10% discount on food and drinks in Hilton Hotels
Promotion: 5,000 Honors Points as a welcome bonus
ICS Visa World Card GoldFee: € 0.00 per year; in the 1st year free of charge, after that € 35.00
Cashback: 5% reimbursement on travel bookings with the cooperation partner Urlaubsplus GmbH
Miles & More Blue Credit CardFee: € 4.58 per month
Cashback: earn 1 mile for every € 2 spent on your card; Earn multiple miles with selected partners
Promotion: 500 award miles welcome bonus
Payback American Express cardFee: € 0.00 per year
Cashback: 1 Payback point for every € 2 turnover / also outside the Payback partner, excluding petrol station turnover
Action: welcome gift
Targobank Visa Gold CardFee: € 59.00 per year
Cashback: monthly credit of 1% on all purchase sales (no minimum sales)
as well as a 5% bonus on travel bookings with the cooperation partner Urlaubsplus GmbH

Advantages and disadvantages of credit cards with a cashback system

With the credit card we pay cashless and increasingly contactless as well as mobile via smartphone. All over the world, shops, service companies such as hotels, restaurants, petrol stations and car rental companies accept card money.

Advantages of a cashback credit card:

  • Save money while spending money,
  • Participation in bonus programs,
  • attractive bonuses,
  • Discounts in the double percentage range with partners of the respective credit card,
  • depending on the card status such as gold, platinum or black: feet up in the luxury airport lounge.

Potential Cashback Credit Cards Downsides You Should Know About:

  • Depending on the card, a very high annual fee,
  • Discounts only with selected partners,
  • Really good rewards only with very high number of points,
  • extremely high interest rates for partial payments or an individual payment plan,
  • Cashback can be tied to minimum sales,
  • Cards with loyalty programs can mislead customers into overestimating their budget and into debt.

Biallo tip

Don't be too fooled by discounts, cashback and loyalty programs. It is better if you think about your own consumer behavior before deciding which credit card to use. Our guide "Credit Cards: Weighing Costs and Benefits" will help you.

Conclusion

Cashback can definitely be profitable. And redeeming points or selecting rewards on the Internet can also be fun. The "money back" option is probably best suited for discount fans. However, a rebate of just 0.5 to one percent is not really much. Earning award miles is suitable for frequent flyers and frequent travelers. Above all, consumer advocates criticize the fact that the cashback programs are usually very complex. When it comes to costs, you are on the safe side if the cashback offer on the credit card does not entail additional fees.




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