Credit Card Reward Programs: Getting The Most Out Of Your Credit Cards
Credit cards can earn you cash, airline miles, or rewards. To get the most out of your credit card company, you have to choose the right program and use your card often.
Pick The Right Program
Do you want a free trip to Hawaii or cash at the end of the year? Credit card companies offer a variety of reward programs, so choose the one that you like the best.
If you are planning to earn airline miles, pick a destination and make sure your rewards program covers that area. Some credit card companies partner with a specific airline while others offer generic travel miles.
Cash rewards usually work out to 1% to 5% back on all your purchases. At the end of the year you could end up with a sizable check. Cash rewards don?t apply to transfers or cash withdrawals.
Generic reward programs offer points for your purchases. Those points can then be redeemed either for products through the credit card company or gift cards for name brand stores like Starbucks, Home Depot, or Toys ?R Us.
Earn Your Rewards
To truly get the most out of your rewards program, you will need to use your credit card often. By using your card to pay for all your purchases, including groceries, prescriptions, and household bills, you can earn an airline trip or over a thousand dollars in a year.
Also look for special offers that are included in your monthly statement. Sometimes you can double your points by using your card with a certain merchant. You can also receive coupons for additional savings at these places.
Don?t Get Caught
Reward programs usually charge a higher interest rate than other credit cards. To make sure you don?t get stung on finance charges, pay off your balance every month.
Instead of whipping out your credit card every time you want to make a purchase, start with a monthly budget. Plan on how much you can afford to spend and stick with it. If you do carry a balance, know how much it will cost you.
Not only can you earn rewards for your purchases, you can also improve your credit score by making regular, on-time payments. The more responsible you are with your credit, the more likely you can qualify for more.
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Carrie Reeder is the owner of ABC Loan Guide, an informational website about various types of loans.