How to take advantage of credit card rewards?

Having one or more credit cards means that at some point you will have to take advantage of the benefits they bring with them. Of course, you won't be able to take advantage of everything they offer, but you will be able to take advantage of the ones that interest you the most.

If you want to know how to maximize your credit card rewards, we have several tips you can't miss.

Tips on how to maximize credit card rewards

Credit cards rewardsGetting the most out of a credit card isn't as easy as banks make it sound. Still, you can save a little extra, earn a well-deserved vacation or pay for your kids' college.

The main trick is to use your plastic more frequently and find the financial products that reward your lifestyle. In this sense, our recommendations are intended to guide you along the path of making the most of it, which starts with:

Identify how you spend your money

If you want to make more use of the credit cards you have, you should know very well what you buy the most. Whether you like to travel, eat out, go to the grocery store or get cash back, you should adjust your credit card usage to your priorities.

That way you're not trying to spend more than usual to get rewards, but start using your plastic more often on regular things.

Focus on food

It is not wise to make too many requests to  get more rewards. It's preferable to focus on your main expenses, such as food. There are cards that give you up to 6% cash back for spending $6,000 on groceries each year or 2x points at markets and restaurants.

There are also others that give you up to 5% cash back for 3 months a year (maximum spend $1,500 and you must activate it).

Take advantage of the welcome bonuses

Since banks are constantly fighting for new customers, you can take advantage of this situation. This can mean a sign-up bonus of many points or miles if you spend a certain amount in the first 3 months.

We don't recommend investing more money than you already have budgeted, so look for a credit card that doesn't break your spending habits.

Avoid accumulating balance

No strategy mentioned here will work if you do not pay the balance in full on the due date. This is because interest rates on credit cards tend to be high, especially for those that offer rewards.

Leaving a balance, no matter how small, can be a costly mistake, since you are not only accumulating debt, you are also financing the rewards you receive with the interest you pay to the issuer.

Take advantage of any benefits

Most credit cards offer much more than just points, miles or cash back. It could be insurance, extended warranties, online discounts, VIP access and more.

The trick is to get to know those benefits that few people know about so you can make the most of them for your needs.

Add a card for special categories

Along with your credit card for everyday expenses, you should have a plastic for what are known as special categories. These rotate every 3 months and offer a higher percentage when you spend on restaurants, entertainment, gas, groceries and more.

Ideally, you should have a plastic that does not charge annuity and offers you a percentage of 1.5 to 2 in cash back for these categories. But remember to activate them so you don't miss out on these opportunities.

Review the rewards in detail

The terminology financial institutions use about their rewards is often unspecific or vague. The promotion may be 2x points every time you travel, but it doesn't reveal to you that it can be on cabs, buses, limousines, trains, ferries and more.

The same goes for other categories with generic titles that you should dig into to find out exactly what they reward. This way you can maximize your credit card rewards.

Include business or charitable expenses

If you have a business, you can charge a large portion of those expenses to the card that offers the best rewards. You can also do this if you work for a company and must travel frequently.

May interest you: What to do if your bank card is lost or stolen?

On the other hand, if you're someone who likes to give back to the community, you can take advantage of good causes to keep earning points, miles and other rewards.

Maximizing credit card rewards doesn't mean applying for these products left and right. First you need to get organized, see which categories fit your recurring spending and choose 2 or 3 cards that offer you the best terms based on your spending habits.

If you are looking for credit cards with the best rewards, you can rely on Busconomico's comparator. We are sure that this useful tool will help you with your financial goals.

Español: Cómo aprovechar las recompensas de las tarjetas de crédito