Credit Card Companies Try to Lure Chicago Customers with Rewards Points

Maybe the newest slogan of credit card companies should be, "Use it or lose it."

Creditors are offering up all kinds of new credit rewards programs to distract Chicago customers from the annual fees and other costly changes they're making as of late. So what's the problem? Those rewards points aren't guaranteed, according to Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

But before you give up on those long-awaited cash rebates or a dream trip to Hawaii, take heart - you might be able to salvage a free ride. You just have to read the fine print in your credit card agreement.

It's usually a common mistake that triggers the loss of rewards points, whether it's a single late payment or simple lack of use. Some banks will not only stop accumulating points after you've missed a payment, but they'll also deny you access to your earnings until you become current. They may even choose to charge you a fee to get your points back.

Making on-time payments might not be enough - some creditors require you to make regular charges. If your account is inactive for a certain period of time, your reward points might disappear. Even if you use your account regularly, rewards points can expire - usually after between 3 to 5 years, but it varies depending on the institution.

Of course, the biggest mistake isn't one that robs you of points. It's forgetting to use common sense. Sure, rewards points are a good deal if the stuff you're buying is stuff you really need - and if you can afford to pay for it. But spending money just to get money back isn't wise - especially when you're paying interest on everything you buy, not to mention risking your credit history.

If you got a little credit card crazy and now you're stuck with the aftermath - i.e. debt - bankruptcy might be able to offer you a fresh start. Want to know more? Then consider signing up for our free personal debt analysis - a one-on-one question and answer session with one of our professional bankruptcy attorneys in Chicago. Forget about saving credit card perks - we can help save your financial future.

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