What Is the Best Way to Use Credit Card Rewards?

by | Jun 21, 2022 | Billsaver, Saving More, Understanding Credit Cards

There are a number of options when you begin earning a large number of rewards points on your credit card, and you may be unsure as to which option is the best for you. Should you spend them right away? Save them for later? Should you use them to buy something online or redeem them for cash?

This guide will help you determine the best way to use your credit card rewards.

Understanding Your Rewards Program

Before you use your rewards, you will want to know how your credit card rewards program operates. For some programs, the rewards points will expire, but others will not. The most important factor to consider is whether your points will expire, as that will obviously affect your ability to use them. This detail can be found in the terms and conditions of your credit card contract, or you can contact your credit card issuer and ask.

You will also want to know how points are earned, as some transactions will garner more points. For example, if you usually pay cash for groceries and gas, you may be missing out on rewards points.

Lastly, explore what options you have when redeeming rewards. Do you have to use the points towards products your card company offers, or can you get cash for rewards? Can they only be used in stores, or can you use them online? Again, this information should be written in your credit card terms and conditions, or you can call your credit card company.

Expiring Rewards

If your credit card rewards points expire, you obviously need to use them before the deadline. You also need to understand that each point will have its own expiration date. You will want to use as many points as possible before they expire and use them for something you are excited about.

How you spend your points depends on the rules of your program. If you can use the points for cash, you can withdraw them at any time. If you want to use them for travel expenses, though, you may want to save for a large purchase.

Non-Expiring Rewards

If your points do not expire, you can save up as many as you like and can use them however you prefer. Some people will find an item they want and then set a goal to save enough points. After your goal is set, you can adjust your spending to earn the most points.

You can use your points toward payments, which is a way to save money. While not all credit card issuers allow it, some will let you pay off the balance with your points if you have enough accumulated.

Other Tips

To make sure you get the most out of your credit card rewards program, make sure you:

  • Take advantage of bonus points. Many companies offer these throughout the year, and they are a great way to earn fast points.
  • Monitor your account for changes in your points total. If your points balance decreases significantly, you may need to call your card issuer.
  • Determine whether you can combine rewards on your credit cards. Some companies offer this feature, and it will allow you to do even more with the points you have earned.
  • Treat yourself! You have worked hard to earn these points, so spend them on something you want.

If you follow these tips, you will soon learn why many people are enamored by their credit card rewards.