There are few people today who have a credit card that doesn't offer them anything in terms of a rewards program and does not have at least a few cards in their wallet that promise them free things for their downtown condominium or at the movies if they are used enough. If you're interested in becoming part of a travel rewards program than there are lots of different choices out there. Some might help you towards getting a free night in a hotel while others will allow you a very inexpensive flight across the ocean every once in a while. But, you should know that not all reward programs are created equal. Here are some things to consider before signing up.

The first thing that you should look at when you're evaluating the merits of different rewards programs are the fees and limitations that come with signing up. If you get a credit card that gives you a couple of miles each time you spend money on gas or for groceries for your Waterloo real estate you might think that is definitely going to save you money when you go to travel. But, if you have to pay a couple of hundred dollars annually for that card then it might not be as cost efficient as you originally thought. There are also lots of plans that will only give you a select number of flights when it comes time to cash in your points to go towards that dream vacation. If you're only allowed to choose a few seats on select flights that might not work with your schedule.

Make sure you know where that program stands on using your points for things other than flights. You will find that there are some rewards programs that will allow you to rent a car if you need one to travel from your place of business to the airport or will even let you trade in your points for merchandise. And there there are those that are more specific in what you can get and are mostly reserved for just booking plane travel. Choose the one that you're most likely to make use of.

Some of the best reward programs are those that are associated with a particular airline rather than those that are more generic. If you're someone who travels often as part of your work as an art dealer or as a salesperson then you might be able to rack up points quite quickly by staying loyal to one airline. These are usually the programs that will allow you the largest range of seats for the least amount of points. There are also some programs that will allow you to consolidate your points from many different places into one reward. But, you might find that you're losing a lot of points from one program to gain just a few with another.

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