Customer reward-card programs are becoming more of a factor in credit-card choice. While getting something back for your purchases may sound...

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NEW YORK — Customer reward-card programs are becoming more of a factor in credit-card choice.

While getting something back for your purchases may sound like a good idea, be sure to do your research before signing up for a card.

• Check the APR: Reward cards typically have an APR about 4 percentage points higher than other credit cards — around 14 to 16 percent. With such high interest, a rewards card makes sense if you plan to pay off the balance each month.

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• Look for good rewards: Choose a program that will give you back something useful. If you spend a lot of time on the road, consider a card that gives free gas or racks up extra points when you fill up your tank. If you just want cold, hard cash, look for a program that will give you the most for the least amount of points.

• Keep yourself in check: You can’t combine reward points from different cards, so try to limit yourself to one or two reward-card programs. Using multiple cards prevents you from racking up points toward any one reward.