3 Tips to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

Written by , October 31, 2012

3 Tips to Maximize Your Credit Card RewardsCredit cards are often unfairly criticized as something harmful; something that allows people to overspend their income, or to buy things that they don’t need. Of course, the credit card itself is just a tool. It’s the behavior of the account holder that ultimately determines whether or not the credit card use will cause any negative financial impacts.

A responsible account holder will actually be able to generate some very positive consequences from responsible credit card use if their credit card company offers a rewards program.

Here is some credit card advice on maximizing what you can get from your credit card company’s rewards or loyalty program.

  • Use Your Card For More Routine Spending. One way to maximize your credit card rewards is simply to spend more on your cards each month. But this doesn’t mean you should spend unnecessarily. Rather, you can generate additional rewards for yourself by shifting more of your routine spending from cash or check or debit card onto your credit card. These expenses should be things that you’d buy regardless of the method of payment; think in terms of groceries, gasoline and perhaps even some of your monthly home utility payments. Simply changing your method of payment can greatly increase your rewards benefits, without costing you a single cent more – provided you pay off your credit card balance each month. It’s therefore absolutely essential that you simply change the way in which you spend, not how much you spend.
  • Pay Attention to Promotions and Special Offers. Chances are that your credit card rewards program offers special promotional offers from time to time. These offers can provide you with the opportunity to earn more points for spending the same amount of money each month. Again, it’s important not to use these promotions as an excuse to overspend with your credit card, or to buy things you ordinarily wouldn’t, just to build up more points in the program. If you have more than one credit card, and distribute your spending across those accounts, you’ll also want to pay attention to which account may be offering a better promotion during any particular month.
  • Get a Better Card. Knowing the ins and outs of your rewards program, and staying current on any changes or updates to your program, can help you be confident that your program is competitive with the other credit card rewards programs from other companies. If your program becomes much less productive than the rewards programs for other credit cards, then you might wish to consider taking your business to another card provider. Of course, you probably don’t want to pay a higher interest rate or annual fee just to be able to participate in a better rewards program.

With many credit card companies already offering no annual fee accounts, one of the few remaining areas in which they can compete with one another is on the basis of their rewards programs. Make sure you’re getting the most out of yours.

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