Rewards credit cards are an excellent way to get smart with everyday expenses. Spending money is unavoidable – but that doesn’t mean you can’t get something out of it.
Rewards credit cards allow you to get various perks for the money spent on your card. These perks may include bonus miles, travel rewards, gift cards, cash back, and other valuable rewards that make your money go further. And, because it’s everyday spending you get rewarded for, these points add up faster than you think!
Many credit card companies have great rewards programs – so the key is to find one that works for your spending habits.
Whether you prefer a flat-rate card to give you cash back on any purchase, or a card that gives you bonus points for spending in certain categories, this post will cover the best rewards credit cards to help you find the one.
Best Rewards Credit Cards for June 2023
Here are the best rewards credit cards for June:
- Citi Premier® Card: 60,000 bonus points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 60,000 bonus points
- Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card: 100,000 bonus points
- Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: $750 bonus
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: 80,000 bonus points
- American Express® Gold Card: 60,000 bonus points
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: $200 bonus
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: 75,000 bonus miles
- U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card: 50,000 bonus points
- U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card: 20,000 bonus points
1. Citi Premier® Card
The Citi Premier® Card offers new cardholders a welcome bonus of 60,000 bonus ThankYou Points, which you can get after making purchases worth $4,000 in the first three months. Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou(R) Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.
You can exchange these bonus points for $600 worth of gift cards from a large variety of retailers.
The Citi Premier® Card can serve as a travel card and everyday cashback card, letting you redeem rewards with a host of travel transfer partners, gift cards, and shopping points. With competitive bonus categories and exclusive entertainment perks, it could be a nice versatile addition to your wallet.
Citi Premier® Card - 60,000 bonus points
The Citi Premier® Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 60,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new Citi Premier® Card using the link below.
- Within 3 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited in the form of 60,000 points, which can be redeemed for $600 in gift cards.
Learn more about the Citi Premier® Card 60,000 bonus points offer
2. Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase is offering 60,000 bonus points to new Chase Sapphire Preferred® cardholders.
Those points can be redeemed for $600 cash, or they can be stretched to $750 if put towards travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
This is in addition to the revamped points structure that now offers higher rewards in several categories and the $50 annual hotel statement credit.
In the world of travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is hard to beat. Its low annual fee, perks, and travel rewards make it a perfect fit for travelers looking to rack up rewards for their next trip or for seasoned pros looking to combine forces with multiple Chase cards.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card - 60,000 bonus points
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 60,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new Chase Sapphire Preferred® credit card using the link below.
- Within 3 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 60,000 points, which can be redeemed for $600 cash or $750 in travel rewards.
Learn more about the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card 60,000 bonus points offer
3. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Chase is offering 100,000 bonus points to new Ink Business Preferred® cardholders. Those points can be redeemed for $1,000 cash, or they can be stretched to $1,250 if put them toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
To get the points, you will need to make $15,000 worth of purchases in the first three months.
Offering high rewards on bonus categories that can be redeemed via the Ultimate Rewards Program, a sweet welcome bonus, and a handful of premier perks, the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card is an excellent choice for the average business owner who doesn’t mind a small annual fee.
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card - 100,000 bonus points
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 100,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new Ink Business Preferred® credit card using the link below.
- Within 3 months, spend $15,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 100,000 points, which can be redeemed for $1,000 cash or $1,250 in travel rewards.
Learn more about the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card 100,000 bonus points offer
4. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
In addition to the other card perks like cash back and no annual fee, Chase is offering a $750 bonus to new Ink Business Cash® cardholders.
The Chase Ink Business Cash Card is a great rewards card for small business owners, especially if you rack up a lot of telecom and office supply purchases. Since the card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards, you can redeem them a number of ways, making the fee-free card even more appealing.
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card - $750 bonus
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $750 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new Ink Business Cash® credit card using the link below.
- Within 3 months, spend $6,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited within 6 to 8 weeks in the form of 75,000 points, which can be redeemed for $750 cash.
Learn more about the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card $750 bonus offer
5. The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express comes with a new cardmember offer that can see you earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after spending $6,000 within the first six months.
You also get a whole host of other annual perks including a $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, (requires a minimum two-night stay), a $240 digital entertainment credit, a $200 Uber Eats credit, a $200 airline fee credit and more! Enrollment required.
This is in addition to the lounge access and 5x Membership Rewards® Points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year) and hotel purchases through amextravel.com. (*terms apply).
The Platinum Card from American Express is the original luxury card. While its annual fee is high at $695, so are its luxurious rewards, including Amex Membership Rewards, extensive travel points, and annual statement credits. Terms Apply.
The Platinum Card® from American Express - 80,000 bonus points
The The Platinum Card® from American Express offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 80,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for The Platinum Card® from American Express using the link below.
- Within 6 months, spend $6,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Membership Rewards points.
Learn more about the The Platinum Card® from American Express 80,000 bonus points offer
6. American Express® Gold Card
The American Express® Gold Card comes with a new cardmember offer that can see you earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after spending $4,000 within the first six months on eligible purchases.
Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year. Also, receive up to $120 in annual statement credits at participating restaurants, enrollment required. (*terms apply)
The American Express Gold Card is a solid choice for foodies and travelers, offering competitive rewards on restaurant and supermarket buys. The annual fee is well worth it for diners who spend a lot on takeout, restaurants, and groceries; just note the rewards can get a bit complicated. Terms Apply.
American Express® Gold Card - 60,000 bonus points
The American Express® Gold Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 60,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new American Express® Gold Card using the link below.
- Within 6 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements in the form of Membership Rewards® Points.
Learn more about the American Express® Gold Card 60,000 bonus points offer
7. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card is another personal credit card from American Express, offering new members the ability to earn a $200 welcome offer.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a rewards credit card that offers 3% back on groceries at U.S. supermarkets (on first $6,000 per year, then 1%), 3% at U.S. gas stations (on first $6,000 per year, then 1%), 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases (on first $6,000 per year, then 1%), and 1% on every other eligible purchase. Terms Apply.
Your cash back is credited as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
If you don’t want to deal with a steep annual fee, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card is an excellent starter card for rewards on groceries, gas, and retail purchases. Terms Apply.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express - $200 bonus
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the $200 bonus. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new Blue Cash Everyday® Card using the link below.
- Within the first 6 months, spend $2,000 using your new card to earn $200 as a statement credit.
- Bonuses will be credited within 8-12 weeks of meeting the requirements.
Learn more about the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express $200 bonus offer
8. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with a 75,000 mile welcome bonus. All you need to do to qualify is make $4,000 worth of purchases within three months of opening the account.
The card has small annual fee; however, on par compared to other similar premium cards. Cardholders also enjoy many perks such as up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®, no foreign transaction fees and travel accident insurance.
The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is an advantageous travel rewards card if you’re looking for straightforward flat-rate miles on all purchases, rather than just travel or other bonus categories. It also offers the option to earn higher rewards when you book trips through Capital One Travel and provides some rewarding travel benefits.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card - 75,000 bonus miles
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 75,000 bonus miles. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card using the link below.
- Within 3 months, spend $4,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited to your rewards balance within 2 billing cycles.
Learn more about the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 75,000 bonus miles offer
9. U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card
U.S. Bank's Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card offers new cardholders a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after spending $2,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of opening the account.
The Altitude® Connect Visa Signature Card comes with many ways to earn bonus points on purchases in popular categories, including hotels, travel, gas, grocery and more.
Whether you’re new to travel rewards or you simply want to add a streamlined rewards card to the mix, the U.S. Bank Altitude Connect Visa Signature is a solid pick. It comes with a low annual fee and competitive bonus rewards on gas, travel, dining, and groceries perfect for newbies.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card - 50,000 bonus points
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 50,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card using the link below.
- Within 120 days, spend $2,000 on eligible purchases.
- Bonus will post to your account within 6-8 weeks of completing the requirements.
Learn more about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card 50,000 bonus points offer
10. U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card offers new members 20,000 bonus points when spending $1,000 in the first 90 days of membership.
Your bonus points can then be redeemed for cash in the form of statement credits or a withdrawal to your U.S. Bank savings or checking account.
The U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature might be worth adding to your wallet if you love eating out and want a card that doesn’t require an annual fee. The foodie’s delight offers robust rewards on dining, takeout, and groceries, with a handful of other bonus categories at a lower rate.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card - 20,000 bonus points
The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offer requires you to make purchases using the account's card in order to earn the 20,000 bonus points. Full requirements to receive this bonus are:
- Apply for a new U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card using the link below.
- Within 90 days, spend $1,000 using your new card.
- Bonus will be credited to your rewards account within 6 to 8 weeks of meeting the requirement.
Learn more about the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card 20,000 bonus points offer
What are Rewards Credit Cards?
As the name suggests, rewards credit cards earn you rewards for choosing a particular credit card provider and using their card to shop. These rewards may include points, miles, bonuses, or cash back for purchases.
Some cards offer a flat rate – like 1 or 2% cash back on all purchases you make using that card. Other cards offer bonus spending categories, like earning points for every dollar you spend on gas or groceries.
Some credit cards (particularly cashback credit cards) will give you cash back rewards for shopping at grocery stores or drugstores. In contrast, others earn rewards for travel, dining, or subscribing to popular streaming services.
When looking for a rewards credit card, it’s important to think about what you mostly spend on and whether the rewards program you choose earns you perks for your current spending habits.
Before you sign up, you should also understand how the provider allows you to redeem your rewards, as there are so many different options available. For example, some providers offer statement credits or travel you can book with points, while others let you transfer points to travel partners or get gift cards. You should also look at whether the card charges annual or foreign transaction fees. Many cards don’t, meaning your rewards are completely free.
The good news is that there are many types of reward credit cards to choose from, so finding one that works for your needs shouldn’t be hard work. Let’s look at all the different types of rewards credit cards now.
Different Types of Rewards Credit Cards
When it comes to rewards credit cards, cardholders are spoilt for choice. While this is generally good, navigating through all the card options can sometimes be overwhelming.
That’s why we’ll cover the main types of reward credit cards, along with some in-depth information and recommendations on what type of rewards credit card is most suitable for you.
Cash Back Cards
A cashback credit card is one of the most popular types of rewards cards and probably the one you’ve heard of the most. Cash back credit cards pay you back a percentage of the cost of purchases you make using the card.
How does a cashback credit card work?
The percentage of cashback offered is typically applied as a statement credit towards your account or deposited directly into your checking or savings account.
Types of Cashback Credit Cards
While there are many types of cashback credit cards, here are the most common ones:
- Flat-Rate Cash Back Cards: With flat-rate cash back credit cards, you get a fixed percentage back on all purchases (usually between 1 and 2 percent). It’s an easy option for those wanting to get rewarded for shopping anytime, anywhere. You can set and forget this type of card and see money come in for any purchase you make. For example, the Citi Double Cash card is of these flat-rate options, as it earns you 2% cash back on everything.
- Tiered-Rate Cash Back Cards: Tiered-rate cards offer bigger rewards on certain purchases, for example, groceries, gas, or select streaming services. You can earn great rewards on certain spending categories and a lower base rate on all other purchases. One good example of such a card is the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. You earn 6% back on groceries, 6% on streaming, 3% on transit, 3% on gas, and a 1% base rate on all other purchases. Some cards may have multiple bonus categories, allowing you to earn bonus points in the 1-2 categories you spend the most on.
- Rotating Bonus Category Credit Cards: Like tiered-rate cards, these credit cards offer a higher rewards rate for certain purchases. The main difference is that these higher rewards vary based on a set of categories that usually rotate every quarter. For example, a card provider may assign new bonus categories quarterly to align with trends or seasons or allow you to change the category. The categories you get rewarded for include entertainment, car rentals, or shopping on Amazon. One good example of a rotating bonus category card is the Chase Freedom Flex. It earns you 5% on quarterly categories – as well as 5% on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. The Chase Freedom Flex also offers new cardholders a 0% intro APR (Annual Percentage Rate) for 15 months.
Travel Rewards Cards
Travel cards earn points and miles you can spend on travel (like booking flights and hotels). There are two main travel rewards credit cards – general-purpose and co-branded.
As with each credit card, terms apply, so how you earn points and redeem them will depend on your card type.
- General Travel Rewards: These cards are tied to card issuers, e.g., Chase, American Express, Citi, etc., rather than an airline or hotel company. They offer credit card points on every purchase cardholders can redeem for flights, hotel stays, and other travel-related expenses. You’ll typically have to do that through the card issuer’s travel portal. Some travel cards will also let you transfer your points to a hotel loyalty program or your favorite airline, which can lead to getting even more value from your points. General cards often have added benefits like travel insurance, reimbursing TSA Pre/Global Entry, and lounge access.
- Co-Branded Travel Rewards: These cards are often tied to an airline or a hotel brand. Airline credit cards typically offer you a chance to earn airline miles as rewards, while hotel credit cards give you points you can redeem for hotel stays. However, it’s worth noting that co-branded credit card rewards aren’t always as flexible for redeeming as general travel cards, as often you can only redeem through the airline or hotel tied to your card. Co-branded travel rewards credit cards usually have perks tied to the brand – like free checked bags on the airline or complimentary elite status with the hotel chain.
When choosing your travel rewards card, the most important thing for any cardholder should be the value of the rewards you earn.
Most General Travel Rewards cards allow you to transfer your points to different airline and hotel loyalty programs and book flights and hotels directly. That flexibility means you have lots of different options for how you can redeem your points, whereas the points/miles you earn on an airline or hotel card can usually only be redeemed with the airline or hotel the card is associated with. That typically means 1,000 points in a program like Chase Ultimate Rewards or American Express Membership Rewards would be more valuable than 1,000 points with a specific airline or hotel group.
Furthermore, while many co-branded hotel credit cards often offer higher reward rates, bonus points, or sign-up bonuses, it’s important to know that hotel points aren’t usually as valuable (in terms of dollars saved per point) as airline miles, so keep that in mind when comparing offers.
Co-branded hotel credit cards often offer higher reward rates, bonus points, or sign-up bonuses than general-purpose cards. However, these points are sometimes considered not as valuable as general card points because you don’t have the flexibility to use them on multiple partners.
This point valuation is super important when considering which type of rewards credit card to choose. While getting cash back rewards on your everyday spending, earning rewards points and miles means you can get more value out of them depending on how you redeem them.
Let’s take the American Express Membership Rewards Points as an example. These points are only worth 1 cent through American Express Travel but could be worth 2-3 cents per point (or more) if transferred to an Amex travel partner like Delta. Planning is key before redeeming your points, which may cost you extra effort and time. If you’re not into putting in work to get the most out of your redemption options, then you can usually redeem points with a general rewards card through their shopping portal for 1-1.5 cents per point.
Business Rewards Cards
Business rewards credit cards can be a great way to earn rewards on your business expenses. Many small-business credit cards also offer some rewards for business owners. However, with business rewards cards, you’ll need to prove that you have a business, are self-employed, or have a side hustle to get approved. It’s worth noting that you should only use the card for business expenses.
While you need a business to get a business credit card, these cards will have many of the same features and types as personal cards. You can usually combine the points and miles earned on a business card with the ones you earn on a personal card.
How to Choose the Right Rewards Credit Card for Your Financial Needs
Finding the right rewards program for your needs depends on your financial situation, spending habits, and outlook.
Generally, it helps to review how much you usually spend and ask yourself several questions to help you make the right decision.
What do you spend most on?
Determining your highest spending categories is a good place to start when looking for the right rewards credit card. If you spend the most on travel, then getting rewards for everyday purchases like groceries or dining out might not generate the most value for you.
A travel rewards card, a tiered-rate cash back card, or a card that offers savings in rotating categories may be a better choice.
On the other hand, if most of your purchases are spread across many categories without any standing out, or if most of your spending is on categories that don’t earn bonuses on many cards (e.g., home improvement stores), then get a flat rate credit card.
What kinds of rewards would you like to get?
People prefer different things. A reward is only valuable if you use it, so think about how you would like your card to reward you.
If you’d prefer to use your rewards to travel and get perks that enhance the travel experience (like lounge access), then a travel rewards card that offers points and miles could be a good option.
However, if you think simple cash back on your purchases would make the most difference in your personal finances, a cashback credit card — whether it’s flat-rate or offering bonus cash back on certain categories – could be better.
How much work are you willing to put in?
Not all reward programs are created equal. Some are simpler, while others require time, patience, and careful planning to make the most of your rewards.
Many cash back cards are generally no-fuss and low-effort if you want to earn base rate rewards on everyday purchases. You don’t need to think much about these types of credit cards or plan anything – rewards will accumulate as you use them for day-to-day purchases.
However, if you’re willing to put some strategic work in, you could make your rewards much more lucrative. For example, you could choose a travel reward card that allows redeeming rewards through the issuer’s travel portal – or transferring points to a travel partner for even more value. There may also be limited-time, lucrative transfer promotions and bonuses. You will need to be strategic and plan your spending – which may not be for everyone.
Are there any fees to pay?
When looking for the right rewards card, ensure that the rewards you get outweigh the fees you may need to pay. Many cards come with no annual fee, which is great – but not all. If the card you’re interested in has an annual fee, make sure the rewards you’re getting outweigh the cost. Even a bigger fee could be worth paying if you’re getting enough benefits from the card.
Keep in mind that if you’re paying an annual fee because it helps you earn more points in a specific category, you want to make sure your spending actually qualifies.
You should also be mindful of foreign transaction fees if you travel a lot. If there are no fees, then great – but if they’re 3%, you could end up paying a hefty price to earn rewards.
What’s the required credit score?
One key thing to consider before applying for a rewards credit card is your credit score. Rewards credit cards are premium cards that reward customers for responsible spending. To get a card, you’ll most likely need good to excellent credit (typically a FICO score of over 670).
So, if you’ve got your eye on a particular credit card, make sure you know what credit score it requires and whether you qualify. There are several ways to check your credit score for free without affecting it.
Pros and Cons of Rewards Credit Cards
Rewards cards are a fantastic way to earn points, miles, or cash back on money you’re already spending. But there are some cons to be mindful of before getting a rewards credit card.
- Earning Rewards. You get rewarded simply for spending money on everyday purchases using the provider’s card. You can earn points, miles, cash back, and other lucrative rewards.
- Welcome Bonuses. Many credit card issuers offer sign-up bonuses in addition to generous rewards. These credit card offers are worth checking out when looking for your new card, as they could add so much value.
- Extra Benefits. Card providers are trying to attract customers by offering various other benefits, like hotel stays and upgrades, airport lounge access, travel and car rental insurance, etc.
- Annual Fees. The more rewards the card offers, the higher the fees. Be mindful of these fees when choosing your rewards card – ensuring your card rewards outweigh the cost is key.
- Reward Restrictions. Many reward cards have earning caps on the bonus categories, limiting your earning potential. Your rewards may also expire or be forfeited if your account becomes inactive or if your payments are late. Some reward programs also have minimum redemption amounts.
- High APR. Rewards cards often have higher variable APR, meaning you’ll see higher interest rates on your card. If you’re not careful, interest charges can add up and negate the value of the rewards.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which bank gives the highest reward points on a credit card?
While many banks offer excellent rewards, if we had to pick one, it would be Chase with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. While the number of reward points you earn will depend on how much you spend, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a good starter reward card with 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases.
You can earn many points on dining and online grocery purchases and get various other perks like travel protection. The card does come with a $95 annual fee, which may sound like a lot but is fairly modest for rewards cards.
Are credit card points worth the higher APR?
No, they’re not. To make a rewards credit card work for you, you should pay off your balance in full each month. Otherwise, the rewards will cost you more than they’re worth in the long run.
Do credit card rewards expire?
Every credit card is different, though typically your credit card rewards do not expire. I would recommend reading the terms and conditions carefully. Your credit card rewards may expire or be forfeited if your account becomes inactive or if your payments are late.
Is a Rewards Credit Card Best For You?
So, after everything we’ve covered, is a rewards credit card the right choice for you? Almost everyone could benefit from a rewards credit card – as long as they know how to use it to their advantage, and aren’t carrying a balance.
The world of credit cards can be confusing, especially if you’re new to this. But if you spend a bit of time understanding your spending habits, you can find a rewards credit card that will enhance your personal finance and help you achieve your goals faster.
You’ve probably heard stories of people who only travel on points and miles or stay at the best hotels for a fraction of the price. All of this is possible with the right rewards credit card. But you do have to invest a bit of time at the start to understand what you’re getting into so that you’re only reaping the rewards of it – and not getting yourself into financial trouble.