NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - Feb 21, 2014) - From cash back to loyalty points to airline miles and even gas rebates, there are lots of different rewards that consumers can earn by using a credit card. And although these rewards can help consumers get the biggest bang for their buck, many people don't entirely understand how their credit card's rewards program works. As a result, some consumers forget or let their rewards go to waste. Still others use their rewards, but not to their greatest advantage.
According to Creditnet.com, a leading website on credit cards, it is important to do your research before getting a rewards credit card. Choose the right one for you, and make sure you pay it off each month. Then, you can maximize your rewards and ensure that you make the most out of your money. For consumers looking to redeem credit card rewards, Creditnet.com announced the best ways to maximize credit card rewards today:
Register for revolving categories.
Many cards offer cash back on revolving categories. Although this seems simple enough, many people do not receive the benefits, because they are not signed up for it. And this is an especially easy way to get rewards. For example, the Discover it card offers 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter (currently restaurant and movie purchases). Other cards bump up cash back rates at certain times of the year, such as rewarding travel purchases during the winter holidays or 5% back on summer gas purchases since it's driving season. All cardholders have to do is sign up, and they can start earning these rewards.
Shop through your issuer's online shopping portals.
Before going to the mall to shop, check your issuer's online shopping portal. Many times, by shopping through a rewards portal, users can earn up to 10x more cash back. For example, Discover cardholders who shop through the ShopDiscover portal, which features many major retailers like Target and the Apple Store, can earn up to 20% cash back on their purchases. If they shopped at the store, however, they would only earn 1% cash back. Many other issuers offer similar bonuses with gift cards. American Express has offered deals of 10-20% off select gift cards purchased through rewards sites, and Discover increases your cash back on gift cards from select partners. You can even book travel through these sites. It will get you a lot more points on flights, hotel stays, car rentals, and cruises.
Be smart about how you redeem your rewards.
There are many ways to redeem your rewards: cash, travel, gift cards, or merchandise. Research the various options before you redeem your rewards, but in general, it is best to redeem rewards on travel credit cards for travel and cash back cards for cash. Typically, redeeming your points for merchandise is less valuable than receiving actual cash. Gift cards can be useful in some circumstances, such as getting discounted gift cards. For travel rewards, be sure that you are using a card with the most benefits. For instance, Barclaycard Arrival World MasterCard offers no blackout dates, seat restrictions, mileage caps, or foreign transaction fees. Then, use those points towards travel.
Make sure you redeem your rewards on time.
Use all your points from all your cards. Many people use one credit card more than others, and they may forget about the points from the cards they do not use often. However, some rewards have expiration dates, so it is important to use them before those points go to waste. In addition, some credit card points and miles are devalued over time. Your rewards may be worth much less when you try to redeem them than what they were when you received them. Understand how your points and miles work, so you do not get much less than you spent.
By following these tips, you will make the most out of your rewards. For more information regarding rewards credit cards, access Creditnet: http://www.creditnet.com/
Creditnet is an authority credit card comparison site that offers innovative comparison tools to help users find the best credit card for their needs. In addition, the Creditnet Credit Talk Forum is a community of over 100,000 members that discuss credit cards, credit, debt, and credit repair daily.