Credit cards can be versatile tools that help you build credit and raise your buying power while offering a range of benefits. Many cardholders only use them for bills or unexpected expenses, but doing so prevents them from taking full advantage of their card.
If you already have a credit card (or a few!) or you’re thinking about getting one, these tips from CreditMantri.com will tell you how you can make the most of the benefits it has to offer.
Choose The Right Card
Using your credit card to its fullest means finding one that matches your spending habits and financial needs. There are tons of options to choose from, so knowing which card is the right one for you can be challenging. But generally, you want to consider these tips:
- As you compare cards, read the fine print to ensure you understand the benefits, features, and fees. Current cardholders should visit the card provider’s website to review any rewards, points, and additional perks.
- Sign up for the card provider’s newsletter, so you never miss a promotion, discount, etc.
- Consider your lifestyle and select a credit card that provides rewards you can actually use. For example, if a rewards card for frequent fliers won’t benefit those who rarely travel. Similarly, a card for gas points wouldn’t offer many benefits for someone without a vehicle.
You can easily shop around online and compare offers from various lenders and issuers. Also, check out reviews from other cardholders to help you with your decision.
Once you know the particulars of your card, including its rewards program, fees, etc., you can figure out how to use it to maximize those benefits.
Rather than using your credit card only for bill pay or surprise expenses, use it any time you would swipe your debit card or pay with cash. This ensures you accumulate the most cash back or bonus points.
For example, if you have a branded wholesale credit card, use it whenever you grocery shop at participating retailers. Or, if you get cash back for shopping on Amazon, make sure you check out with your credit card.
Basically, if the credit card offers some type of reward in a specific brand or category that you already shop from, make sure you use it so that you don’t miss those perks. You will quickly see just how much you can get out of your card.
If you currently have a credit card with a lower credit limit, consider asking the creditor to raise it. Or, you can start making more frequently monthly payments. Keeping your outstanding balance paid off frees up your available credit and lets you use your card throughout the billing cycle.
Find A Credit Card That Matches Your Spending Habits
Taking a little time to assess your spending habits is a great way to make sure you maximize your credit card rewards. For instance, if you frequently shop at a specific retailer, choose a card with high cash back or bonus points for those purchases. Alternatively, if you usually use your credit card at the supermarket or to pay your bills, find one that rewards spending in these categories.
Maximize Temporary Discounts And Seasonal Promotions
Credit card companies typically extend temporary promotions during holidays and other seasonal events to encourage shopping during these times, such as double cash back or bonus points. If you have a big-ticket item in mind, consider holding off until one of these promotional periods so that you get as many rewards as possible.
Redeem Your Rewards Before They Expire
If you followed the tips above, you should have no problem racking up a mountain of cash back rewards and bonus points. Once you have them, you want to redeem them before they expire.
It’s not uncommon for cardholders to lose track of their rewards and let them expire, which is essentially throwing money down the drain. Make sure you check your credit card account routinely and exchange your points before you lose them.
Use Your Credit Card Often
Perhaps you have several cards that offer everything you could ever want or need from a credit card. While that’s great, you don’t get the maximum benefit if you only use them a few times a month. To make sure you get the full advantage of your card, use it whenever you spend, including in-person and online. As long as you use it responsibly, you don’t need to be afraid of using your credit card frequently.
- Creditmantri. “6 Smart Tips To Maximise The Benefits Earned On Your Credit Card.” CreditMantri, CreditMnatriCreditmantri, 29 Oct. 2020, www.creditmantri.com/article-6-smart-tips-to-maximise-the-benefits-earned-on-your-credit-card/.