Before diving into the world of credit card rewards programs it is advisable to know what exactly is regarded as a rewards card. If a card offers you the chance to earn cashback, miles or points for each purchase, then it is probably a rewards credit card. These cards either give you the same amount of rewards per purchase (known as fixed-rate rewards), or bonus rewards on specific categories (like increased earning rates on groceries or dining out). Some rewards credit cards also offer frequent flier miles that can be used for airline miles. You should read all the fine print of any credit card you are interested in applying for before deciding which one to take out.
Cashback or point programs are great for cardholders who use charge cards to help pay off their debts. However, some people like to combine rewards programs for an even greater cashback or point earning potential. You may also find that combining these rewards programs is more beneficial because it gives you more opportunities to save money and get discounts. You could for example, save on airline tickets by earning extra points for your airline booking.
Another way to combine rewards is to find a credit card with no annual fee. For most companies this will be a department store card with no grace period for switching to a different company and no minimum credit card balance before the expiration date. Once the expiration date has come and gone, you will have to transfer your balance to another bank account. The best way to do this is to open a checking or savings account at your favorite bank and transfer your balance there. The number of banks offering no-fee, zero percent APR checking accounts is virtually limitless. This means that you should look around for the best reward point offer that has the longest zero percent APR term.
A new trend among credit card issuers is to offer no fee special offers that have points earning potential. These offers usually have a long zero percent APR term that can be transferred to gasoline purchases, department store items and other major expenses. The best way to learn about these no fee specials is to do your research online. Look for online sources that offer up-to-date information about what rewards are being offered with different credit card companies. Remember that these offers are usually good until the expiration date, so make sure that you take advantage of them.
Before you begin using your credit card bill to pay off your debts, make sure that you take stock of how much you owe in total and the interest rate that you are paying. Once you have determined this then you can easily see which rewards programs are more advantageous to you. For instance, if you owe a lot of money in credit card bills, gas prices are rising and the best way to offset this debt is to earn points that can be redeemed for free merchandise, gift certificates, cash back and even air miles. If you choose the no fee specials that offer points as an incentive to use your credit card, you will be able to redeem your rewards for virtually anything.
You can earn extra points by completing your shopping with your credit card. When you go to the grocery store, you should always complete all of your shopping with your card in your purse or wallet. This way, you can earn extra points for every dollar you spend. This can save you a lot of money in the end. Plus, these rewards can be applied to any type of major purchase you make.
Many people prefer not to use their credit cards when they go on vacation, but you can earn rewards points by just about doing everything with your credit card. Even when you travel by air, hotel or for any other type of extended stay, you can apply your rewards points toward your next trip. Just make sure that you pay off your balance before your trip. The last thing you want to do is rack up unnecessary charges and interest on your trip. After all, if you are using reward points for something, you don’t want to end up in a bind when you get home!
You should also pay off your credit card bill every month. You can use your rewards to pay off your balance and keep earning more rewards points. However, if you have a large balance on your card, you may want to pay it off as soon as possible so that you won’t have any interest costs. After all, having a large balance on your card could lead to higher payments and more rewards.