Using Credit Card Points in 11 Different Ways
You do all of the work to earn rewards when you use your credit card, but you might be lost what to do after this. So how do credit card points work? How to use credit card points? If this is you, you’re not alone. We’re going to go over several easy ways of using credit card points. No matter how you end up redeeming them, we’ll help you get the most out of them.
1. Gift Cards
One of the most popular ways of using credit card points comes in the form of gift cards. You can typically redeem them for Amazon cards, retail cards, and more. This is a great option because you usually get more back for the gift card than you’d get for cash back. So make sure you check to see which retailers your card partners with to get the best deal.
2. Statement Credit
Using credit card points to help pay your credit card bill can save you in a pinch if money is tight. Also, this can help to improve your credit score because it’ll lower your credit utilization amount. If you can stack your rewards, you could potentially pay off a good chunk of your bill to save even more money. Do check the number of points you need for a decent statement credit before you redeem though.
3. Spend on One Card
You might also want to do your spending on different cards to try and get more rewards. However, it’s a good idea to concentrate on the card that gives you the most bang for your buck. This is the card you want to use the most because it’ll give you the most back in rewards to redeem. It’s also easier to keep track of payments with one card instead of two or three. So this strategy works well with people who have low usage credit cards.
4. Travel Discounts
One popular way of using credit card points is to get discounts on your hotels or airfare. Some credit cards partner with certain hotel chains or airlines and offer their customers deals to use their rewards points with them. You could also get discounted hotel stays, miles, access to lounges, free baggage checks, travel insurance, and more. Try looking into the IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card and the Marriott Rewards® Premier Plus Credit Card.
5. Student Loans
Are you struggling to pay off your student loans? If so, the Citi Premier card can help you pay down a significant portion of them. All you do is get the card, spend enough to earn the bonus, and redeem it for cash. You can send this check to your student loan company. The Citi Thank You program has a specialized option just for student loans.
6. Shop Online
Shopping online is very convenient and fast. It’s also an excellent avenue for using credit card points. Some issuers will let you use your points to pay for a portion of your online purchases, shipping, or even the entire order. Your issuer will have the acceptable retailers listed on their site. This is another way on how to use credit card points.
7. Exclusive and VIP Event Access
If you get certain credit cards, you’ll get automatic access to exclusive or VIP events just for having the card. If you earn enough reward points, you can use them to take some or all of the money off of any purchases you make at these events. Again, check your card to see what your specific issuer offers. Visa and American Express are well known for offering VIP events.
8. Bonus Offers
When it comes to getting and using credit card points, you want to make every point count to maximize your return. To do this, look for bonus offers. Some cards come with rotating reward tiers that offer up to four-percent rewards points on purchases. Other issuers have special times during the month or year where everything is eligible for bonus points. Two great credit cards that offer special bonus rewards categories is the Discover it® Card and the Chase Freedom® Visa.
9. Pay Off Your Balance
You don’t want to dig yourself into a hole that you can’t get out of by trying to get the most points possible. It’s important that you make a conscious effort to pay off your balance. Make your payments on time and keep your utilization low. So this will enable you to use your points without fear of sliding into debt. This is one of the best ways on how to use credit card points most effectively.
10. Charity Donation
Everyone wants to pay it forward or give to their favorite charities. The Discover It card has a program that allows cardholders to donate their points to over 1.5 million charities all over the world. It’s fast, easy, convenient, and you can feel good about using credit card points to make a small difference.
11. Cash Back
Another simple way to redeem your points is by getting cash back. Most lenders set a specific amount of points you have to have before you redeem them. However, they offer fast cash back in the form of checks or direct deposit. Each lender is different, so it’s important that you double check your specific card’s terms and conditions.
Bottom Line on How to Use Credit Card Points
Finally, using credit card points varies by lender to lender. However, it’s easy for cardholders to maximize their points and redeem them in a variety of ways. Double check your terms and conditions, find out how to maximize your earnings, and use your credit card points in a way that impacts your life the best. This will show you how to use credit card points in the best possible way.