RewardExpert Determines When Credit Cards Start Paying for Themselves

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Analyzes popular rewards credit cards to find how long it will take consumers to break even on annual fees and start earning rewards

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If you’re spending a good chunk of the year earning back the cost of your annual fee, it could be time to switch out your plastic.

RewardExpert --a free service that helps travelers fly for cheap by maximizing airline miles and credit card points-- today released a data report determining how long it takes for credit card holders to break even on their annual fees. The findings show that consumers spending less than $2,000 per month could take a significant portion of the year on average to start netting rewards from most luxury credit cards.

“The first year of owning a credit card is met with high initial value,” shares RewardExpert CEO Roman Shetyn. “Sign-up bonuses and other perks often cancel out the cost of an annual fee. Yet when cardholders move into the second year, they’ll have to determine whether their spending habits generate enough rewards to counterbalance the cost of owning a card; particularly in the luxury segment.”

Consumers spending less than $2,000 per month are not necessarily priced out of all luxury cards. US Bank’s latest release of the Altitude Reserve is giving its contemporaries a run for their money. RewardExpert’s report finds that consumers spending as low as $1,000 on the Altitude Reserve can start earning rewards after an unprecedented three months, putting this card in a class of its own.

The report analyzes luxury rewards cards, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the American Express Platinum, along with lower-fee cards, like Capital One’s Venture Card and the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Using a combination of consumer expenditure information and credit card rewards data, the report assesses which cards are best for consumers based on an individual’s monthly spend, ranging from $500 to $5,000 per month.

“This past year showed unprecedented interest in luxury credit cards from consumers of all stripes,” says Shteyn, “making it all the more important for cardholders to evaluate whether their spending habits are aligned with the right rewards credit card. If you’re spending a good chunk of the year earning back the cost of your annual fee, it could be time to switch out your plastic.”

Further details on the report are available on the RewardExpert website.

RewardExpert helps travelers navigate the world of frequent flyer programs and credit card rewards. Using a sophisticated algorithm, RewardExpert creates simple strategies for using points and miles to help travelers reach their individual travel goals. Simply decide where to go and let RewardExpert do the rest. To get started, visit

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Kaja Olcott
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