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I have never used a card strictly for the rewards. I do like the rewards though and use them when I get them.
We got an Alaska Airlines card once for the rewards when we were traveling alot. I didn't find it to be as great as I thought but then I might not be fully aware of how to get the best benefit from them.
We use a credit card and pay it off each month. We earn about $20-25/month by doing so. We can either get the amount credited to our balance or we can exchange them for gift cards to varous places. The gift cards can be an even better deal because they increase the amount.
I used to work in the lending/credit card department of a credit union and my advice to members was that if you were using a card and paying it off in full each month, go with the rewards card because even if you don't earn a ton back, its still more than nothing However, if a member needed to carry a balance month to month, the higher interest rate on the rewards card made it not worth it so they should instead go with the lower rate card with no rewards. Where I worked, it was easy to switch between the programs so if someone's circumstances changed, they could switch card types with just a phone call.
I have a card which I pay off every month and it gives cash reward. Its not great, but I have a good rate and love my bank. I dont cash in my points until I have enough for $200 back (takes me a long time to earn that).