You may view your credit card just as a means to get those items that you would have had to save up over a long period to get — or settling those bills when you’ve maxed out your paycheck. But more than bailing you out of a tight spot or helping you acquire assets that you otherwise couldn’t afford, your credit card can help you make an extra buck or two.
It will come as a relief to many credit cardholders to know that instead of just bleeding money on interest, there is a way they can actually make some returns on their credit cards. Your credit card can help you get some extra cash to settle pressing bills or spend significantly less on your next vacation.
Credit card bonuses can come in terms of cash back or points or miles if you spend above a given threshold. A number of issuers offer a sign-up bonus which will earn you a given number of points if you spend $4,000-$5,000 within a three-month window after signing up. Depending on your usage, these points can equate to hundreds of dollars and can even pass the thousand-dollar mark.
To ensure you qualify for those bonus goodies, make sure you use your credit card for as many of your routine expenses as you can. Use it to pay your rent, do your grocery shopping, buy those kitchen appliances and even pay your taxes where possible.
By lumping the most basic expenses onto your credit card, you will be surprised how quickly you will be able to trigger the rewards.
Cash Back Rewards
If you spend a certain amount using your credit card in the first few weeks after obtaining it, some providers will offer you some cash back. This could run into hundreds of dollars depending on the terms the issuer offers.
Some credit card issuers have partnered with investment companies to simplify the process of investing your rewards. They deposit your earnings into an investment account for you, so all you need to do is keep tabs on your growing account.
As you shop around for a credit card, be sure to look for one that offers this option or at least does not restrict your usage of cash back rewards.
Use Your Card Every Day
The more you use your credit card, you will generally make yourself eligible for more rewards. But besides the bonuses that accumulate over long-term expenditure, some reward cards offer ongoing goodies for your daily usage.
This is why you should not reserve your credit card for those large one-off expenses but use it whenever you eat out or when paying for your gas. When looking for a credit card product to sign up for, look out for those that offer rewards for individual spending categories such as restaurant spending or grocery shopping.
To maximize your rewards, you might consider signing up for more than one card – but beware of going over a limit you can’t pay off. If you find yourself in a sticky situation, consider browsing online payday loan options to catch up on credit card dues.
In addition to rewards for everyday spending, you will be eligible for more goodies if you use your card for online shopping. Some credit card issuers will reward you with points when you buy stuff from certain websites.
To ensure you’re getting the best rewards you can get from your card, find out what rewards a given web store offers for shopping there using your credit card. Use one third-party website that compares rewards from different online stores to ensure you’re getting the best possible cash back or reward points deal.
Credit cards offer great convenience and come in handy in helping meet emergency expenses. However, the interest they charge can be an unwanted burden on your earnings. You can lighten this load or at least give yourself some consolation by maximizing the rewards built into your card.