MemberSince99 wrote:f they do it smart and treat it like a debit card, the companies pay you hundreds if not thousands of dollars every year for buying stuff you would have bought anyway. Why not take the cash back?.
While I agree with what people have posted, we should all remember that it is not quite as simple as that. Many studies show that with a rewards card, you don't
buy what "you would have bought anyway", you buy more, probably 15% is an average from those studies. And that is of course why the credit card companies want to give rewards, to increase spending for additional swipe fees (and interest charges if they are lucky!).
Now remember these are statistical averages, so I'm sure some people here are thinking "Not me, I only buy what I would have bought with cash/debit." Then you are an exception, or perhaps mistaken! I certainly have done this "OK, that costs $2, but with my rewards that's only $1:80, which is pretty cheap so I will get 2" or "If I buy those, I will be up to 40K miles I need for the trip".
These aren't bad necessarily, and certainly don't imply that you are getting into a credit debt death spiral, but it is easy to spend more.