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5 Ways To Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

[Saturday, April 28th, 2018]

Most people have at least one rewards credit card in their wallet. But many people don’t know how to use those credit cards to their best advantage by getting the most points possible and redeeming them for rewards they’ll actually use.

If you’d like to earn more points on your credit cards—and get more rewards—here are five ways to maximize your points-earning potential.

1. Get the right card for your life. There are many types of credit cards out there. Which one is right for you? If you travel frequently with one particular airline, you’ll want a credit card that’s co-branded with that carrier. If you put a lot of miles on your car, you’ll want a card that gives you double or triple points on gas. When you apply for a new credit card, make sure it’s one that you’ll actually use.
2. Use your card whenever you can. Get out of the habit of paying with cash and start using your rewards credit card anywhere that accepts cards as a form of payment. The more you spend on your card, the more rewards you’ll earn. Just make sure you’re not spending more than you can afford to pay off at the end of each billing cycle.
3. Keep up with promotions. Sometimes credit cards will have special promos that you have to sign up for in order to benefit from them. Make sure to read emails, account updates, and flyers your credit card issuers send in the mail to make sure you’re not missing out.
4. Don’t carry a balance from month to month. If you’re paying interest on your credit card balance, chances are you’re cancelling out any rewards you might be earning. Depending on the interest rate, you could even be paying more in interest than you are getting in cash back, frequent flyer miles, or hotel rewards points. Pay your balance in full each month to make sure you’re really getting the most from your rewards credit card.
5. Carry more than one card. Don’t limit yourself to just one type of rewards credit card. Having a card you use for travel and a card you use for everyday expenses can be smart, as can having a card you use for online purchases and one you use to pay for things you want to pay off over time—for example, one with a low APR or a no-interest introductory period.

When you know the tricks to earning the most points and using them wisely, you’ll realize that having a rewards credit card is only the first step: you’ve also got to know how to use it.

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