Maximizing Credit Card Rewards

Print viewPrint view
Maximizing Credit Card Rewards

The perks that come with some credit cards can be very rewarding if you use them correctly. Applying for cards that have a good reward system in place can get you things like free hotel stays, free flights, cash back bonuses, and more.

Types of Reward Cards

The most popular types of credit rewards cards involve earning points, receiving cash back, redeeming for gift cards and merchandise, and receiving discounts.


This type of credit card assigns you with a certain number of points for every dollar you spend. Typically, it falls under a 1:1 ratio with certain categories offering you extra points. You can redeem these points for different types of rewards including dining, cash, and travel.

Cash Back

Cash back reward cards are fairly common and popular. According to a recent survey, 63 percent of the people surveyed chose the cash back option.

While each program will have its specifications and restrictions, the main concept of this reward system is to offer you a percentage (usually between 1 to 6 percent) of cash back on the purchases you make throughout the year within a certain category.

Some of the more popular cash back categories include spending for:

  • Groceries
  • Gas
  • Restaurants
  • Retail

Redeeming Points for Gift Cards/Merchandise

Certain credit cards allow you to cash in your points in exchange for merchandise or even gift cards. Gift cards are a highly functional and convenient option.


This is your basic discount reward program where you can cash in your rewards to obtain discounts on different services and products. Credit card companies partner up with retailers to offer you other types of discounts in addition to gift cards. This can provide you with even more savings.

Best Tips

If you are looking to get the most out of your reward programs, there are some tips you should follow which include:

  • Keep your spending to one card instead of multiple, to maximize your rewards.
  • Stay aware of expiration dates of points so you can take advantage of them.
  • Consider paying for larger priced item perks using points.
  • Make your payments on time to avoid late fees and possible interest rate increases.

You should stay up-to-date on all the latest deals to maximize your reward perks. Credit card companies often launch new cards, change their bonuses, and remove old programs on a continual basis. Be sure to understand the qualifications and limits that govern your rewards program so that you can maximize the benefits.

Being Responsible and Wise with Credit

You can get much value from credit card reward programs when you use them wisely and responsibly. Choose rewards that suit your lifestyle preferences. For instance, receiving airline miles would not do you much good if you do not travel much or like flying in airplanes. Make sure you research all reward programs and align a program with your goals, lifestyle, and brand/vendor preferences. Also, stay in budget and do some comparison shopping when selecting reward cards.

When you get right down to it, applying for good reward cards and using them wisely will help you roll in the perks.

Member FDIC