The allure of a rewards credit card is hard to deny. And for that reason, many people enjoy carrying at least one of these in their wallet or purse at all times.
In an overall sense, a rewards credit card works much the same as any other credit card. You can use it to make purchases, if you don’t pay your balance in full you’re hit with a finance charge, and you have access to a variety of online tools.
However, as the name implies, there’s one big difference between rewards credit cards and the rest: the ability to earn reward points for every dollar you spend.
There are many different types of credit cards, ranging from travel rewards to cash back. While each one is unique, they all have a variety of benefits for you—and other consumers—to take advantage of.
Here are some things you can do to make the most of a rewards credit card:
1. Choose the Right One
Don’t choose just any rewards credit card. Choose the one that most closely aligns with your spending habits and lifestyle.
For example, if you enjoy traveling, a travel rewards credit card is best for you. This way, you can use the points you earn for things such as hotel stays, airfare, rental cars, and more.
Conversely, if you drive a lot, a gas rewards credit card may be the better option.
2. Use it Often
A rewards credit card doesn’t do you any good if it sits in a drawer collecting dust. You need to use it in order to take advantage of everything it offers.
This starts with knowing how you collect points. Do you earn one point for every dollar you spend? How about 1.5 or two points?
Knowing this gives you a clear idea of what you’ll get in return for using your credit card. And when you know that, there’s a greater chance that you’ll use it as often as you can.
Tip: using your rewards credit card is a good idea, but only if you have the money to pay your balance when it comes due. Never use a credit card just to earn points or cash back.
3. Know the Terms and Conditions
More so than traditional credit cards, rewards credit cards have terms and conditions that you need to understand.
How many points are you allowed to earn? How many points can you spend at once? Are there blackout dates on travel? Do your points expire?
The terms and conditions of the credit card should answer these questions, among others. If you have a question or concern, contact the credit card issuer before applying.
As you can see, it’s simple to take full advantage of a rewards credit card. You simply need to choose the right card, use it as often as you can, and know how you’ll benefit in the long run.
When you take the right approach from the start, you’ll end up with a rewards credit card that you can rely on for many years to come.