Here’s how to get the most rewards, and reap the most money and savings.
Credit cards can be a useful tool that helps you build credit and manage your spending effectively. They can also reward you for purchases you make through cash back or points that you redeem for gift cards or merchandise. If your goal is to get the most out of your credit cards, here are some essential steps worth taking.
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1. Pay attention to revolving award categories
Some credit cards give you the same rewards all year round. For example, you might have a card that gives you 2% cash back on groceries, regardless of what time of year you use it.
But some credit cards offer revolving reward categories that give you the option to earn bonus points or redeem your purchases. It is important to keep track of what it is.
You can have a credit card that offers 1% cash back on all purchases normally, but offers 3% cash back on certain categories of purchases on a quarterly basis. This card can, for example, offer 3% cash back on department store purchases in the first quarter of the year, 3% on refueling in the second quarter, and so on. . Taking note of these categories on your different cards could help you determine which ones are worth using at different times of the year.
2. Apply for signup bonuses strategically
Your expenses may increase at different times of the year. For example, if you are attending a wedding in May that month, you could spend money on a flight, hotel, and attire. And if you’re planning a family vacation in August, it could be a month where you charge a lot on a credit card.
It’s a great idea to match your planned spending with credit card signup bonuses. Many cards offer cash back or additional reward points for opening a new card and for making a number of purchases soon after.
Now let’s say you have that wedding in May that you think will cost $ 1,000 on top of what you would normally spend that month. In that case, you might want to apply for a credit card with a signup bonus at the end of April. If this bonus requires you to spend $ 3,000 within three months of opening your card for $ 250 cash back, and you normally spend $ 750 per month on your credit cards, the additional $ 1,000 for this marriage should help you reach that threshold and get your money back. .
3. Use the right credit cards when traveling
If you tend to take a lot of trips, it pays to book them using a travel rewards credit card. Not only will one of these cards earn you extra points or miles, but you will also be able to enjoy benefits that will save you money.
Many travel cards, for example, give you the option of taking checked baggage on a flight without having to pay for it. If you were to normally pay $ 30 for this privilege, that’s a lot of savings over multiple flights.
The right actions on your part could help you reap additional rewards from your credit cards throughout the year. It’s a great way to make your shopping and plans more affordable.