Whether you’re shopping for a new credit card, or you’re simply trying to maximize your current one, understanding how your rewards work is key to getting the most out of it. We’ve taken some of the most popular cards on the market and created an easy to use calculator. Pick your card issuer, add your monthly spend, and find out how your points stack up.
How Much You Earn with Each Card
Points for cash back:
Points for travel:
Keep making the most of your points. The top travel card issuers have travel booking portals, where you can book directly through them.
Find out how much those points are worth by using our Travel Points Calculator.
Making the Most of Your Credit Card Rewards
Credit card rewards are a little like finding an unexpected twenty-dollar bill in your pocket. They feel good, right? But if you don’t use them wisely, they might as well stay hidden. Let’s learn how to make the most of these rewards.
Understanding Different Reward Types
First, we should understand the types of rewards. Cash back is the most straightforward. You spend money, and a portion comes back to you. There are also points, which accumulate based on your purchases. Later, you can redeem them for gifts or other offers. Miles, often offered by airline credit cards, can be redeemed for flight discounts or even free flights.
1. Know Your Card’s Reward System
Every card has a unique reward system. Some offer more points for dining out, while others reward grocery or gas purchases. It’s essential to know your card’s specifics. This way, you can adjust your spending habits to maximize your rewards.
2. Pay Your Balances on Time
Remember, credit card companies reward responsible users. If you’re late on your payments, you might face penalties. Worse, some companies may even withhold rewards. To avoid this, always pay on time. It’ll help you maintain a good credit score too.
3. Avoid Unnecessary Purchases
It’s tempting to spend more just to get more points. But, spending money on things you don’t need defeats the purpose. Instead, use your card for everyday purchases and bills. This way, you’re earning rewards on money you’d spend anyway.
4. Redeem Wisely
Accumulating points is just one half of the equation. How you redeem them is crucial. Sometimes, using points for a flight provides more value than redeeming them for a gift card. Always compare the cash value of the rewards before making a choice.
5. Take Advantage of Bonus Offers
Many cards offer sign-up bonuses or special promotions. These are great opportunities to boost your rewards. For example, a card might offer 10,000 bonus points if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. If you were planning on making a big purchase anyway, it’s a good time to avail of such offers.
6. Combine Multiple Cards
Using more than one rewards card can be a strategy for those comfortable managing them. If one card offers great rewards on dining and another on travel, use them accordingly. This way, you’re always getting the best deal on your purchases.
7. Stay Updated
Credit card companies occasionally update their reward structures. What was a great deal last year might not be as good today. Regularly check your card’s terms and conditions and stay updated on any changes.
8. Don’t Forget Expiry Dates
Yes, rewards can expire! If you’re hoarding points for a big redemption, keep an eye on their validity. Some companies give you ample time, but others might have shorter expiration dates.
Credit card rewards are a fantastic way to get more value from your everyday expenses. But like any financial tool, it’s essential to use them wisely. With the right strategy, you can maximize your rewards, leading to more savings or exciting freebies. Remember, it’s all about being informed, responsible, and strategic. So, the next time you swipe that card, you’ll know you’re making the most of every point!