Paper or pay? - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Paper or pay?

MADISON (WKOW)--The credit card crisis has people reevaluating how they spend.

46% of Americans carry a balance on their credit card.  Statistics show that people with rewards cards spend twice as much on average as people who don't.

"This is what gets folks into trouble because they try and use the cards because they want to get the rewards from it." says financial expert Melody Hobson.

But the economy has companies cutting back on reward programs.

"So, for example, american express has the delta sky miles card.  And it used to be in certain places where you'd shop you'd get double points.  Now you only get single points.  Citi had premiere pass and in that situation, just for signing up you'd get 10,000 points.  Now you have to spend $300 to get those points."

In many cases, companies are requiring you to spend more to get the same number of rewards.

Maybe you have to redeem more points to get something or they're actually shortening the expiration date so the rewards expire faster.

"Believe it or not, 41% of people who sign up for these programs never ever cash in the points at all.  Reward programs are best for people who don't carry a balance."

On websites like and, you can compare credit cards and find the one that's best for you; likely one with little risk and maximum reward.

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