Wednesday, 19 Sep 2012
In order to get more and more people to apply for credit cards, many credit card companies offer a variety of perks that can be earned simply by using their credit cards to make purchases. From cash back bonuses and gift cards to frequent flier miles and hotel points, the rewards you can earn from using your card are plenty–and they can really add up fast. Here’s how you can start earning credit card perks today.
Choose the Right Card
If you don’t already have a credit card that comes with some perks, start shopping around for one. Many major credit cards offer rewards programs–all you need to do is ask if you don’t see any featured details. If you travel frequently, you may want to look for a card that allows you to accumulate frequent flier miles, travel vouchers, or hotel discounts. If you have a long commute to and from work every day, a gas card that earns cash back might be a good choice. Shoppers, go for cash back and gift card rewards. There are lots of rewards programs out there–so do your research before signing up for a new credit card.
Be Aware of Restrictions
Almost every credit card rewards program will come with some restrictions, so read the fine print carefully before assuming there aren’t any. A card that allows you to earn cash back points, for example, may only offer points for online purchases. Likewise, a preferred card of travelers might only earn frequent flier miles when used with a particular airline. Familiarize yourself with restrictions right off the bat so that you’ll know exactly what you need to do to maximize your benefits.
Know When Points Expire
In addition to having some restrictions, most credit card perks have an expiration date, as well. Know how long you have to redeem your points–and make sure you do so before they disappear. In order to help you remember important expiration dates, mark them on your calendar so that they don’t pass you by. There’s no sense in signing up for a credit card based on their rewards if you’re never going to use them.
Shop Online to Earn More Points
Many perks and rewards add up quicker when you do your shopping online. Ask your credit company if there are any specific online retailers they partner up with and try to get the things you need from them. Avoid buying things you don’t want or need in order to earn perks, though–spending money on things you don’t need will cancel out your perks and then some when your monthly bill arrives.
Take Advantage of Hidden Rewards
Your credit card may offer rewards that you aren’t even aware of–ones you wouldn’t even think to ask about. It’s not uncommon for credit cards to reimburse you for airline baggage fees, cover car rental insurance, or even to replace a damaged smartphone. Reread your credit card rewards information and keep an eye out for hidden rewards. If you don’t find any, call your credit card company and ask if there are any you should know about. Credit card companies often bank on the fact that consumers won’t read the fine print–and many perks end up going unused.
One of the best ways to earn credit card perks is to be a responsible card holder. Pay your credit card bill on time each month, and try to pay off the balance if you can. Using your card often will help you earn rewards, but they aren’t worth it if you end up paying high interest or late fees just because you can’t pay off your purchases.
Credit card perks are a great reason to use your credit card to pay for your monthly purchases and expenses. If you’re able to handle your card wisely–you can stand to earn some great rewards and benefits that you’d never get by paying with cash.
Guest post from Alex Storm. Alex writes for BestCreditCards.net.