If you haven’t been paying attention, every time you use your credit card, you get rewards points. These points are almost as good as cash. You can use it to redeem airline miles, gift certificates from your favorite brands, discounts on shops and restaurants. You can maximize your points by striking the balance between spending and redeeming. Using your credit card often but not redeeming your points? You’re doing it wrong. Not using your credit card at all and paying the annual fee? That’s even worse.
Here are some tips and tricks to do get the most out of your rewards points.
- Get a credit card that complements your lifestyle
Are you a shopaholic? Do you travel a lot? No matter what hobbies or special interests you’re into, there’s always a credit card for your kind of lifestyle. Do your research before applying for a credit card to find out which one is best suited for you. The point is, not every credit card is eligible to earn rewards points. Be sure to check if your credit card is a rewards card. A rebate or cashback card typically don’t have a rewards points program.
- Use your credit card for big purchases.
And it doesn’t even have to be your own transaction. Booking a barkada trip? Volunteer to use your credit card to pay for the flight tickets, and then just have your friends pay you in cash. This way, you help your friends pay for their tickets and you get a ton of points. Win, win! It’s a good idea to use your card when paying for appliances, car accessories, and other big-ticket purchases. The rule of thumb: more expensive equals more points.
- Use your card on group bills
If you really want to min-max your points hunt, then volunteer to pay for lunch outs or any group activity that you can pay for with a credit card. On your next work lunch, a date, your online shopping haul, don’t hesitate. It’s not like your causing an inconvenience. Just don’t forget to have your friends pay you back.
- Wait for the right rewards
Patience can be your best friend when it comes to redeeming rewards. That’s because all rewards are not created equal. Some are more of a steal than others. Don’t use your points on small purchases unless you really need to (or if you’re strapped for cash). I’d use them for miles, a practical gadget or gift certificates for a special occasion.
- But don’t wait too long
If you spot a reward you really like and you have enough points to redeem it, do it! Rewards points are basically wasted if you sit on them too long. The worst case is if you wait for the day before they expire before you redeem. At that point, you’ll just be settling for whatever’s available. Getting the reward you like means that you’ll have to check the reward catalog every now and then. Just do it after making big purchases or whenever you think you’ve earned a substantial amount of points. Remember, points can give you a lot of added value if used properly. They can even offset your card’s annual fee and help you out in sticky situations if used properly.