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How inflation is fueling the popularity of rewards credit cards

Posted at 4:18 PM, Feb 17, 2023

As Americans continue to feel the cost crunch of inflation, many people are turning to credit card rewards programs to make ends meet.

Research firm Morning Consult found about half of Americans say the rise in inflation and cost of living has made them more interested in earning credit card rewards.

"Among people who have credit card rewards cards, 91% of those people find them useful in everyday purchases," said Clint Henderson, managing editor of The Points Guy, a website that offers resources about rewards cards.

There are various benefits to having a rewards card. They include getting cash back, points and travel miles.

Those benefits can help pay for things like groceries, gas or vacations.

Henderson cautions, though, not everyone should be applying for a rewards credit card right now.

"We always tell people, 'You have got to pay your balance off every month. If you can't do that, then don't bother opening a rewards credit card," he said.

People don't necessarily need a credit card to earn rewards. Some banks offer debit cards that also feature rewards programs.