Did you just get a shiny new credit card? Well, you must be thrilled about the rewards you can earn with it and look for a way to make the most of them. Though many credit cards have an annual fee, credit card rewards are a great way to optimize your expenses and even to help you with your debts.
Nowadays, there are a great number of credit cards which offer a variety of rewards and the amount of competition has made them even more generous, so this is your opportunity to earn those traveling miles, points, and extra cash you deserve.
Making the most of your credit card requires strategy; it’s not simply using it sometimes when you don’t want to spend your own cash—you must really put it to work in a smart way. Here, we have compiled some of the best tips to earn credit card reward points that you can follow to level up your rewards:
Take advantage of a Sign-Up Bonus
This is always the first thing to do whenever you get a credit card. You may find that one credit card company waives the annual fee or gives you a discounted rate when carrying out a balance transfer you’re your account while others offer a sign-up bonus or membership rewards that can give you a return of up 20% of your expenses when you reach the spending cap or similar ways to earn rewards.
For example, if the credit card gives you 20% bonus points or cash back for spending $2000 in two months, you have to get creative and start using your card to pay for everything you can to reach that cap. In this case, you would be getting $400 as a gift! However, for it to be a gift you must remember to spend your money wisely because if you start buying things you don’t need just to get the cash reward, the whole strategy would be pointless.
Pay with Credit Everywhere
Regarding the previous tip, besides securing your sign-up bonus, using your credit card for all the possible transactions you can definitely boost your points a number of levels. So, save your cash and start paying with credit everywhere you go.
Before you know it, taking your credit card out and paying for your groceries, subscriptions, at restaurants, for gas, etc. will become second nature and this habit will keep your balance moving and your points coming.
Note: make sure to pay off your balance every month, otherwise interests will eat away everything you earn with your points and this would make the strategy counterproductive. Also, Avoid All Transactions In Places That Charge A Fee for the use of a credit card since this will also represent a loss for you.
Do you owe money to a friend or a family member? Perhaps you want to buy something from them or just make a nice gift? Well, taking advantage of payment services like PayPal, you can use your credit card to transfer good amounts of money, helping you snatch some extra points.
Use the bonus mall
Most card issuers have bonus malls like Discover Deals or Citi Bonus Cash Center, which are online platforms that you can use to access retail stores and get rewards or discounts buying online. Check your card issuer’s website to find out more about this and look for the best deals for you. Additionally, shopping portals are also a great tool to get discounts, offers, and raise your points or miles.
Always look for a store in a shopping portal instead of going directly to their website so you can take advantage of this. This strategy doesn’t only get you extra points, but it also can get you excellent discounts that you can take advantage of right from the comfort of your couch. Online shopping with your credit cards has many perks that are yours to get.
Choose your cards and your purchases wisely
Some cards offer high cash back percentages depending on the use, for example, Discover it offers 5% back on restaurants, gas stations, and some other daily services in different quarters of the year. The Chase Freedom also offers 5% bonus in some categories and you can also make use of the Chase Ultimate Rewards website to redeem rewards and get more points.
Also, cards like the American Express SimplyCash Plus Business offer 5% cash back on the purchase of electronics, office supplies, furniture and gift cards; this way you can cover the area of professional needs while still earning points. Often, combining cards from the same issuer—depending on the bonuses they offer—is a smart idea to earn more rewards.
For example, combining the Chase Freedom with the Chase Saphire Preferred Card can give you access to two cards with 5% bonus categories. It’s only a matter of learning enough about each card to make the best choice.
Boost your credit score
Maintaining a superior credit score will make you qualify for better cards with greater offers of cash back, mileage, and other bonuses. A FICO score of at least 700 or a Vantage Score of 800 will give you the powerful standing you need to be considered. Make sure to pay all your credit cards in full and without delay, never miss a month and continue boosting your score towards this goal.
A credit card can be one of your major assets, financial institutions offer superior customer service to clients with great credit scores—this also opens the doors for loans and other perks.
The purpose of these strategies is to make the most of your credit cards while keeping a margin from unnecessary expenses. While a credit card is a magnificent tool and they offer many perks, they must be used consciously to avoid falling into debt.
Before you know it, you will have more than one credit card that you will be putting to work towards getting all the possible reward points they can offer. So it’s a good idea to forget about cash for a while and make way for credit cards. It’s time to learn the best strategies and start shopping wisely!