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Rewards Credit Cards Aren't Right for All

If, however, you are brand loyal and travel significantly, a travel rewards credit card is a great option. You will earn points and miles that can be redeemed for upgrades, improved status and free flights and hotel stays, among many other things.

Additionally, because you regularly accumulate benefits, you have the opportunity to redeem them routinely, thus minimizing the detriment of reward plateau changes. Credit card companies -- Discover ( DFS), American Express ( AXP), Chase ( JPM) and Citi ( C) -- have the power to alter rewards benchmarks at their own discretion, devaluing points and miles already earned. Such action will have a relatively minimal impact for the frequent traveler, but will essentially represent a rewards stock market crash for the traveler who accumulates and does not use significant point or miles amounts over time.

If you have excellent credit but travel sparingly or with different providers, get a cash-back credit card. You will not have to navigate loopholes and restrictions, and your rewards cannot be devalued because you are not trading in points or miles for goods; you are systematically accruing cash.

Ultimately, your choice of credit card depends on what utility you require from a card. If you need to build your credit, you should use a secured credit card or an unsecured credit card for bad credit. If you need to mitigate the effects of interest on a balance, find the credit card with the lowest interest rates possible.

If, on the other hand, you have good credit, no credit card debt and want rewards, you must consider your travel. Those consumers who travel infrequently should look into a cash-back credit card while people who travel often and use the same airline or hotel, should by all means explore the game-show like excitement of racking up points and miles. Above all, practice credit self-awareness and the places your credit card takes you will be positive, whether you are using a travel rewards card or not.

>To submit a news tip, email: tips@thestreet.com.

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This guest post comes from Odysseas Papadimitriou, CEO and Founder of CardHub.com, an online marketplace for credit card offers.
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