Reward Credit Card – Guide to Earning Reward Points Fast
When it comes to a reward credit card, you have to realize there are dozens of reward cards available. The best reward credit cards have the potential to earn fast reward points as you shop. You can take your reward credit card and make it work for you. You want to get the most out of your rewards card, and we’ll show you how. We’re going to discuss how to choose the best reward credit card for your lifestyle. We’ll talk about what to look for like reward points and different types of reward credit cards. You’ll be able to choose the perfect reward credit card with confidence by the end of this post.
Step One: Choose a Type of Reward Credit Card
Although there are dozens of reward cards out there, they all fall into three general categories. Deciding what type of credit card rewards you want is the first step to tailoring a rewards card to you.
1. Company-Branded Reward Credit Cards
If you travel a lot with a specific airline, a company-branded card may be the way to go. Almost every major hotel and airline has a reward credit card for their members. You’ll get perks for staying or flying with the company when you use your card. Things like sign-up bonuses, bonus miles, free stays, and points are common. Additionally, if you shop at a certain store on a frequent basis, they typically offer retail store credit cards as well. The Home Depot, Lowe’s, Costco, and Walmart all have company-branded reward cards.
2. Flat Rate Cashback Rewards Card
A flat rate cash back card is one of the easiest rewards cards you can get. You won’t have to keep track of multiple reward offers. So every purchase will give you a flat cashback option. This cashback offer is typically 1% to 2% on every purchase. Over time, this can really add up if you use your reward card for paying bills. The Chase Freedom® and Blue Cash Preferred® are two excellent examples of cashback cards.
3. General Travel Cards
If you don’t stay at one hotel or fly with one airline, a general travel card may work. Many people have a general travel rewards card as their first travel credit card. Generic travel cards offer flexible rewards points each time you use them to travel. Whether you stay in a hotel or fly, you can potentially earn a lot of reward points fast. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Travel Rewards is an excellent example of a general travel card. You get bonuses, and multiple redemption offers which will earn free travel fast.
Step Two: Consider Additional Fees
When you think you’ve narrowed your reward credit card down to two or three, look at the additional fees. These fees can help you narrow your search down even more. Low credit card fees help you choose the best reward credit card.
Typically, most reward credit cards come with a higher annual fee. You have to look at your options and choose when to pay annual fees. It’s not odd to pay an annual fee of over $100, and this can add up. So your goal is to make your reward points outweigh the annual fee cost. If you use your card a lot and the rewards are good, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Foreign Transaction Fee
If you plan to travel, you want a card with a low or no foreign transaction fee. Lenders charge this fee each time you use your card. This credit card bank fee goes through a bank not in the United States. So if your foreign transaction fee is $10 each time you use it, it adds up quickly. This has the potential to add hundreds of dollars on to your balance, simply for using your card. If you want a card with no foreign transaction fee, look into the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Card. This card also has no annual fee, which is a huge bonus.
Step Three: Maximize Your Reward Points Fast
Once you’ve narrowed down and chosen a rewards card, make it work for you. You should start by carefully reading your reward card terms. This will tell you how about any expiry periods or restrictions. Additionally, you can check for bonus opportunities. Many card lenders offer short periods where you can double or triple your rewards, but they’re not obvious. It’s up to you as a cardholder to pay attention and find them. For example, many travel cards offer more travel-related bonuses during the holiday season. Nordstrom cards offers cardholders exclusive events and sales at different points during the year as well.
If you do a lot of your shopping online, look into company branded reward cards. So many times, companies will reward you just for shopping online at their stores. The Kohl’s card gives online shoppers Yes2You rewards and additional points you exchange for coupons. Target also offers online shoppers a 5% discount when they use their Target REDcard to shop online.
The same goes for company-specific travel cards and generic travel cards. Cardholders may get bonuses like access to airport lounges, seat upgrades, or discounted hotel stays. This is how they get and keep their cardholders. However, if you don’t want a travel-specific card, Chase Sapphire ReserveSM also allows for nice cardholder perks.
Step Four: Maintain Your Rewards Card
Your reward credit card won’t do you much good if you don’t maintain it. Even the best reward credit cards require routine maintenance so you can maximize your benefits.
Pay the Balance Each Month
Along with their higher annual fees, a reward credit card typically has a higher APR. You want to avoid this charge at all costs. This means balancing how much of your credit lines to use, and paying the balance off each month. You should never spend more than you can afford to pay off because this is a warning sign for debt. To manage finances using credit cards responsibly find debt help early. These monthly fees can quickly add up, so pay off your balance each month.
Keep an Eye on Your Rewards Card
Some reward credit cards have expiration dates on their rewards. If you don’t redeem your reward points fast, you run the risk of losing them. You want to keep careful track of how many you have so you can use them before you lose them. You can usually find any rewards expiration date in your terms of service. Some cards expire once a year, and some don’t expire.
Know Your Card’s Terms and Conditions of Every Reward Credit Card in Your Wallet
Even the best reward credit card can come with regulations and terms for your rewards. You want to check for blackout dates or restrictions on redeeming your points or credits. Additionally, some credit card rewards have caps you have to hit before you get bonus points. So a reward points restriction can prevent you from earning fast credit rewards. All of these things are important to know before you use your card.
When it comes to choosing a reward credit card, research is the key. Only you know what lifestyle you have and how a rewards card would fit. If you don’t research, you could choose the wrong credit card. It is also a good idea to pay attention to any restrictions. You want to get the most out of your card so you can earn reward points fast. So make your reward credit card work for you, and maximize your rewards card potential!
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