Always pay off credit card? Pick a perk


If you're the type of consumer who pays off your credit-card bill each month, are you also earning a perk from that credit card? You should be.

Some experts estimate that more than 700 credit cards offer perks - such as cash back, free gas or saving on a new car. Many do so without charging an annual fee.

Other cards reward your loyalty to an airline, a retailer or even a hotel chain. Newer perk cards even deposit rebate rewards into college savings plans.

It's mind-boggling to wade through all the cards and their perks, but a number of Web sites can help. Among the most helpful are and's site lists about 80 reward or cash-back cards. Links to the issuing banks' sites are rare, if you want to see all the terms and conditions. lists most of the important terms and conditions in a comment section, and a toll-free number is provided. has some advertising, but the sponsored cards are clearly marked. Beyond that, the site has more than 11,000 staff-written credit-card reviews, which are very helpful in pointing out the pros and cons of a card. To go directly to a search function, which will allow you to enter the type of card you're seeking and whether you are willing to accept any type of annual fee, go to

There are some other sites. Some list only advertisers, but they could be helpful in gathering more information about a specific card. Other sites include,,,,, and

If you're a frequent traveler or you frequent a certain retail merchant, it might make sense for you to get a card that gives you a rebate for merchandise, said Curtis Arnold, founder of

"But if you're just doing everyday spending in a variety of places and you're looking for a rebate that's flexible, then for most consumers, the cash-back cards make the most sense," he said.

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