5 Ways To Use Your Credit Cards To Make Money

With the holiday season approaching, you might be looking for ways to pad your income in preparation for all the decorating, traveling, and gift-giving to come. Landing a side gig is one way, but if you have a credit card (or several), you could consider using them to make money.

You already know that credit cards are a great way to earn rewards on the things you buy every day (if you used them responsibly). But you can take that a step further.

Making money with credit cards takes a high degree of self-control and smart financial management. But if you have both, it could be an excellent way to earn some extra cash this season. 

If you want to know more about how to make money with credit cards, check out these tips from CompoundingPennies.com.

1. Use Reward Credit Cards

These ideas apply to credit reward and cash back cards, which are two types of unsecured credit cards. Rewards cards give you points when you make a purchase. Typically, you get one point for every dollar, with one point equating to about 0.01 cent. It may not seem like much, but these points can really add up if you play your cards right.

Cash back credit cards, on the other hand, give you cash back for every dollar. Most cards offer 1% for the transaction, but many offer more than that. When you’re ready to get your cash back, you can swap it for statement credit toward your next bill or cold hard cash deposited straight into your account. 

While both credit cards offer opportunities to make money with them, cash back cards are usually the more lucrative option. You’ll want to find ones with the best cash back deals. However, it comes down to the best card for your spending habits, financial needs, and goals.

2. Earn Rewards At The Grocery Store

Some credit cards offer great bonus points or cash back on up to a certain amount of grocery store purchases. Even if you reach that quarterly or annual limit, most still offer 1% back on everything after that amount. These rewards also apply to gas when you fill up at participating gas stations.

For example, if you make so many transactions within a certain period, you can trim 0.10 cents (or more) off a gallon of gas. Some credit cards have special promotions where you can buy discounted gift cards to places you shop at regularly. Additionally, you could get a bonus discount of $10 or more off next time you visit the grocery store. 

3. Make The Most Of New Cardholder Rewards

This strategy is better suited for rewards credit cards, but cash back cards occasionally offer these types of generous rewards, too. 

Many times, credit card issuers promote huge rewards for new cardholders to attract new customers. If you meet the criteria to earn the bonus, you can get serious points when opening a new card. For example, if you spend a minimum of $4,000 within three months of opening a Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card account, you can earn 80,000 bonus points, or about $1,000.

4. Invest Your Rewards

One way to make money with credit cards is by investing your cash back rewards. Most credit cards offer cash back as statement credit. So if you have a monthly balance of $1,000 and a $100 statement credit, you only have to pay $900 that month. 

While you saved $100 upfront, you can get even more by moving those savings from your bank account and putting them in an investment account. For example, say you collect $500 in cash back every year and put it in an investment account that yields 8% interest annually. If you did this every year for 20 years, you would end up with almost $25,000. 

So while the benefit of this strategy may not be immediate, your future self will thank you for the long-term payoff. 

5. Invest With Acorns

Manually transferring the money you save with statement credits means you have to exercise restraint and actually remember to transfer the money into an investment fund. But with an investment app like Acorns, you can automate the process, so you never have to think about it. 

The app connects to your credit card and bank account and tracks your purchases. When you swipe your plastic, Acorns rounds the transaction to the closest dollar. Once you accumulate at least $5 from roundups, it invests the funds in your Acorns account.

While there are many practical ways to use your credit cards to make money, these last two strategies are some of the most effective methods and will set you up for long-term success.


  • Dulin, Jon. “11 Secret Ways To Make Money With Credit Cards.” Compounding Pennies, 15 Aug. 2019, www.compoundingpennies.com/how-to-make-money-with-credit-cards/.
Ian Schindler