Return to The Money Mentor Blog

Rewarding yourself: How to get the most out of your rewards credit card

get the most out of your credit card with credit card rewards
September 25, 2017

By Alliant Credit Union

So you have a rewards credit card, but are you reaping all the benefits? You might be missing out on some lucrative opportunities to earn more rewards with your card. To help you maximize your rewards, we made a list of helpful tips you can follow so you can get the most out of every dollar you spend.  

  • Keep an eye out for special offers. Be aware of any chance to increase your earning power with offers like double miles, triple points and bonus rewards. Create an email filter that sends all emails from your card issuer to one folder, and review your offers regularly. Taking advantage of these opportunities will help you get the biggest bang for your reward card spending. 
  • Shop through your card issuer’s online portal. Avoid going to a retailer’s website first. Instead, check to see if that retailer is listed on the portal of the bank, hotel or airline affiliated with your card. If it is listed, you’re sure to find special opportunities for rewards that won’t be available anywhere else, such as two points per dollar spent.
  • Divide and conquer. Different cards give bonus points for purchases at gas stations, grocery stores or travel-related purchases—and some give bonuses for all three. To maximize your bonus potential, carry several cards and be selective about what card you use where: at restaurants, use the card that pays bonus points for meals; when buying an airline ticket, use the card that gives bonus miles for travel, and so on.
  • Use your rewards card to pay the people you hire. Do you use a babysitter or a house cleaning service? What about a dog walker, yard service or nanny? There are lots of folks in your life that would gladly accept prepaid debit cards, PayPal, Venmo or Amazon Payments instead of cash—just ask. Then, use your rewards card to fund those payments and rack up the points.
  • Don’t miss a payment. By missing one payment, you could forfeit any rewards that you’ve worked so hard to earn.
  • Avoid sustained periods of inactivity. Dormancy defeats the entire purpose of a rewards card. So use it—or lose it! If your card is inactive for too long, your issuer could shut it off.

When choosing a rewards card, think about the types of rewards you want to earn, how easy it is to earn rewards and any fees associated with the card that could offset the card’s benefits. 

Learn more about Alliant’s Visa Platinum Rewards Card