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News Summary: Tips for getting, using reward cards

Associated Press Published: September 12, 2012

GOLDEN DAYS: Credit-card issuers have been showering rich offers of points, miles and cash back on consumers for about the past year and a half in the quest to boost revenue and profit.

DON'T CHASE REWARDS: Avoid the tendency to buy things you wouldn't otherwise, just to get the rewards. And steer clear of rewards cards if you carry a balance.

INNOVATIVE OFFERS: Watch for lucrative sign-up bonuses and creative perks being offered by banks to coax suddenly credit-cautious consumers into using their cards, such as exclusive access to concerts and celebrities.