Credit card rewards can be a great way to earn cash back, travel points, and other benefits for the purchases you make every day. So how do you make the most of them? Using a rewards credit card for everyday spending, you can earn valuable rewards for travel, merchandise, and statement credits. Here are six ways to maximize your credit card rewards after applying.
Know your card’s rewards program
Every credit card has a different rewards program, so it’s important to understand the specifics of your card’s program. This includes how rewards are earned, how they can be redeemed, and any limitations or restrictions on rewards.
For example, some rewards programs may require you to activate rewards categories each quarter, while others may offer automatic rewards for certain purchases. Be sure to read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions of your card’s rewards program.
Focus on bonus categories
Many credit cards offer bonus rewards for specific categories of purchases, such as groceries, gas, or dining out. These categories can change each quarter, so keep track of which categories currently offer bonus rewards.
To maximize your rewards, focus on these bonus categories whenever possible. For example, if your card currently offers 5% cash back on groceries, use your card to purchase your weekly groceries instead of paying with cash or a debit card.
Pay off your balance in full each month
One of the biggest downsides to credit cards is the potential for high-interest rates and fees if you carry a balance from month to month. Paying off your credit card balance in full each month is important to avoid paying interest and fees. This will also ensure that you maximize your rewards, as some rewards programs may restrict or limit rewards earned if you carry a balance.
Consider multiple credit cards
Consider having multiple credit cards with different rewards programs to maximize your rewards. This can allow you to earn rewards in a broader range of purchases and take advantage of different bonus categories. It’s important to use multiple credit cards responsibly and avoid carrying balances. Keep track of spending and pay off your balances in full each month to avoid interest and fees.
Take advantage of sign-up bonuses
Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, which can be a great way to earn significant rewards quickly. However, these bonuses may require you to spend a certain amount within a specific time frame, so be sure to read the fine print and understand the requirements before applying for a card with a sign-up bonus.
Redeem rewards strategically
Once you’ve earned rewards, it’s important to redeem them strategically to maximize their value. Some rewards programs offer better value for certain redemption options, such as redeeming for travel or transferring rewards to other loyalty programs.
Be sure to do your research and understand the different redemption options available to you. It’s also important to keep your rewards from going unused or expiring, as this can save your hard-earned rewards.
SoFi experts explain, “You can use your credit card reward points to pay down an eligible SoFi personal or student loan.”
After applying, maximizing your credit card rewards requires understanding your card’s rewards program, focusing on bonus categories, paying off your balance in full each month, considering multiple credit cards, taking advantage of sign-up bonuses, and strategically redeeming rewards.