The catch behind the cash-back credit card

Americans love their rewards, don't they? According to TNS Global's Financial Services Research, some 57% of rewards card holders have cash-back credit cards.

And there are lots to choose from. Some have complicated rules about when and how much you'll get back, depending on how much you spend and on what. Others are more straightforward, simply sending you a check based on a percentage of what you charged over the past year. Others let you accumulate points, which you can then turn in for services or travel. I've known more than a few people who used these cards to finance air fare abroad.

But as with everything in the credit card universe, there are hidden snags. Fortunately, it just got a lot easier to navigate the pros and cons of various cards.

Bankrate's first Cash-Back Reward Card Study offers an in-depth analysis of 30 reward cards that offer cash back from nine of the top credit card issuers. The good news? There are credit cards out there with annual rebates of up to $1,000! (Of course, you'd have to charge $100,000 to get that kind of reward with a USSA Federal Savings card, so don't run out and apply for one just yet.)