How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

People use cash every day for their spending but since credit cards were first introduced in the market, consumers have a new option for paying bills.  Many issuers of credit cards offer various types of reward programs and with proper management, a card holder can benefit more from what a reward credit card has to offer. Consider the following tips on how you can maximize credit card rewards:

Read the fine print.  The advertisements can be enticing but never sign up for a credit card without scrutinizing the Terms and Conditions.  The interest rate, fees, and the rules vary from one credit card issuer to another.  Some reward cards may offer an attractive reward program but the APR can prove to be stiff.  If you will not take the time to read the fine print, you could be stuck with a reward credit card that carries excessive fees.

Typically, credit cards with rewards carry higher interest rates than credit cards without rewards.  This is why you want to make sure that the reward credit card you choose not only offers a great program but reasonable rates and fees as well.

Understand the rules of the reward program.  How can you earn points from your credit card purchases?  It is very important to be clear about the reward system and make sure that it is suited to your spending style.  Some reward credit cards which are sponsored by certain merchants or companies may offer big rewards but you must use your card to buy the merchant’s products or buy from selected shops in order to earn points.  If you will use your credit card on general purchases, you may not be able to earn points at all.

What about restrictions and limits?  Some reward credit cards impose a cap on the value of rewards you can earn per month or per year.  Once you have reached the limit, you will stop earning points even as you continue to use your reward credit card for payment.

You should also clearly understand the redemption options.  There are travel reward credit cards that impose blackout dates so you will not be able to claim your free flight during these dates.  Will your points expire if you fail to redeem them within the specified period?  Can you carry over unused points? Can you exchange your points for different types of rewards?

Choose reward credit cards with the right rewards.  Some reward credit cards are especially designed for frequent travelers while others offer gas rebates and cash back.  It’s important to choose a credit card that complements your lifestyle to make sure that you can get the most out of the reward program.

Some people take out two credit cards with different rewards such as travel and cash back. However, if this will be your first time to get one, it’s a good idea to stick with just one reward credit card.  This way, you can plan your strategy and focus on just one program.

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**See the online credit card applications for details about terms and conditions of credit card offers. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Here" button you can review the credit card terms and conditions on the credit card issuer's web site.