Shop smart: 7 incredible ways to maximize credit card reward points

Shop smart: 7 incredible ways to maximize credit card reward points

Credit card reward points are easy to earn these days, as you know the tricks to do so. Every credit card company will offer a reward program plan to make it stand out from its competitors and of course, to increase its overall customer base. Therefore, for every penny you spend, you will earn reward points that can be redeemed.

Fact: According to a 2011 study, nearly a third or more of the credit card reward points go unused every year.

So, how do you maximize credit card reward points? There is nothing wrong in getting something for nothing. Understand that every purchase made with a credit card has a reward value. To make sure you’re making the most of the rewards plan, here are some tips to note:

1. Choose a credit card that suits your lifestyle

The first and most important step is Choose a credit card for your daily purchases. While there are many options, look for a card that not only suits your lifestyle needs but also pays 1.5% (minimum) on every purchase.

As the competition has increased these days, most credit card companies offer higher sign-up bonuses. Hence, it is important to do a quick research on all the benefits offered by the card.

2. Sign up at the right time

Once you have chosen a card based on your needs, know when to take advantage of it and when not. Most of you might not be aware that there is a wrong and right time to sign up for a credit card that offers rewards.

Be aware that most credit card companies (offering reward plans) will issue a limited offer period where the points for registration are higher for specific months. They offer attractive incentives to new customers only to increase their customer base.

sign up for reward credit card At the wrong time of the year you can get missed prizes of around Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000. Hope you don’t want this to happen. obviously you apply for credit card Just to get those extra features. Therefore, it is important to wait and take advantage at the right time to reap maximum benefits. Basically, it happens during August, November or December. However, this varies depending on the issuer.

3. Redeem Reward Points Regularly

One mistake most people make with credit cards is to save reward points for a long period of time and then use up the entire pile in one go. This is often the case with flyer miles and hotel points. Understand that each year card issuers increase the points required to be redeemed against items of value. Therefore, over a period, the points will become less valuable, even if you accumulate a lot of them.

To overcome this, make it a habit to frequently check the reward points you get with the card and try to use them regularly. Also, pay attention to points expiration dates, because there’s nothing worse than seeing those hard-earned points go to waste.

4. Use Online Portals That Offer Cashback

Every time you shop online, your chances of earning extra points also increase, especially on cashback, miles etc. Most credit card banks will have their own shopping portals from which purchases can be made. Or, you can shop at online stores that offer the option of cashback.

Although credit card reward points will vary from one shopping website to another, it can be very helpful to research them beforehand.

5. Utilize Bonus Opportunities

credit card bonus Total reward is an amazing way to double or sometimes even triple the income. Most issuers will offer higher cashback return rates on a quarterly basis in selected categories, usually those that are seasonal. So, always pay attention to those opportunities and don’t miss your chance to earn bonus points.

Let’s say, for example, that a credit card company may unexpectedly increase gas purchases by 5% in the summer, perhaps because it’s a peak or seasonal driving period. On the other hand, some companies may reward their customers with additional travel purchases during the winter holidays.

To register for such quarterly cashback plans, it is important that you pay attention to the official mailings or other alerts that the issuer sends.

6. Focus More on Food and Grocery

While it’s tempting to sign up for a credit card that offers extra reward points for specific purchases, the most common mistake is to buy too many cards. A common misconception is that the more credit cards a person has, the higher the chances of scoring. Yes, this is true from one perspective, but the risks of retaining every card can be daunting.

Instead, you have a card that offers maximum valued reward points for the most purchases you make. A good example of this is “food”. Eating out at restaurants has become more common these days and if that sounds like overkill to you, look for cards with outstanding returns on the money you spend at restaurants, grocery stores, or both.

7. Avail Maximum Benefits During Interest Free Period

Typically, credit card companies offer interest-free periods on transactions between 15 and 50 days. This period usually comes from the date of the transaction and the due date for paying it back. No interest is charged on transactions within this period, provided you pay the entire outstanding bill before the mentioned due date.

Let us understand it with an example. Assume that the billing cycle starts on the 5th of each month and the due date ends on the 25th of each month. Now, if the cardholder makes a transaction on October 7, the billing date will be November 4, and the repayment will happen within November 24 without any interest.

In such cases, the cardholder can enjoy an interest free period of approximately 48 days. However, if the transaction is done on 30 October, the due date would be 24 November. In such cases, the interest free period works only for 24 days and not more.

Therefore, always make large card purchases early in the billing cycle, as this will give the cardholder a good time to clear the dues. Likewise, if there are two or three cards with different due dates, be sure to distribute the transactions in such a way that everything falls within the opening time of the billing cycle.

(This story is not produced by the editorial team.)

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