The holiday season is in full swing. Money worries can be the biggest causes of stress this time of the year, but as you start to spend more on gifts, travel and food, you have the chance to maximize your rewards every time you use your credit card.
You can earn points, miles or get cash back whenever you use your card to make a purchase. However, it’s important that you stick to a strategy to make it work. Here are five ways to help boost your credit card rewards.
1. Get the Right Credit Card
Before you start earning rewards, you need a credit card with a rewards program. The type of rewards you get depends on the card you have. There are three types of reward structures: cash back, points or miles. Credit cards may also come with rules, like when you can redeem rewards.
Each program is different, so you’ll want to familiarize yourself with various ones so that you can pick the best credit card to suit your needs.
2. Earn the Sign-Up Bonus
Simply signing up for the card could earn you an extra bonus. This can be in the form of cash back, points or miles once you’ve reached a spending amount within a certain number of days such as $1,000 within the first 60 days. However, if you don’t meet this threshold within that time, you won’t be eligible for the bonus.
According to Next Avenue, sign-up bonuses of over 100,000 miles or points can even help pay for your next trip, and cash-back cards offer bonuses of up to $200 on the first $500 you charge and 5% cash back on additional purchases.
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3. Use Online Shopping Portals
Shopping portals can be an easy way to earn bonus points as you do your holiday shopping. A shopping portal is a website that gives an incentive (cash back, points or miles) if you click its links to shop on a retailer’s site.
Many credit card issuers, airlines and hotels have shopping portals. Once the purchase is verified, the rewards will be deposited into your account.
4. Check Out Apps for Bonus Rewards
Apps like Rakuten, Dosh, Swagbucks and Fetch Rewards give shoppers cash back rewards for using a credit card at stores. Download the app, create an account and enter your credit card details. The app will track purchases you make on your credit card and rewards will be deposited into your account. It could take a few weeks depending on the app, and you may also be required to meet a minimum amount before you can cash out.
5. Pay Your Balance in Full Every Month
If you don’t pay off your credit card balance every month, you could end up paying interest on all of your holiday purchases. This interest can add up quickly, which could put you in a debt cycle. However, some cards offer a 0% introductory APR, which Fortune stated can last six months or longer.
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