Racking up on your credit card reward points is one of the best ways to become eligible for some of the best perks and benefits that are out there for credit card customers. No, this does not mean that you have to increase your spending. All we are trying to say is that if you own a rewards card, there is no point is not using your rewards and reaping the full benefits of it. Be it a free flight or a gift card, why miss out on exciting rewards.
Here are 6 ways to make the most out of your rewards credit card:
- Look for a sign-up bonus: Almost all credit card companies offer a sign-up bonus, which is typically worth quite a bit. In fact, one of the first things that you need to check before you even apply for a credit card is the sign up bonus that you will become eligible for. For example, if you apply for a SBI travel credit card that is affiliated with and airline, you will become eligible for a certain amount of SBI credit card reward points that can be used to book flight tickets.
Perks and benefits:
- Reward points for every purchase on airline
- Complimentary lounge access
The type of reward point you get is different depending on the category of the card that you are applying for. Some cards will offer you reward points that can be used towards health and wellness such as:
- Cashbacks on purchases
- Redeemable reward points on various purchases
- Mix and match cards: Not all cards offer the same type of rewards for the same types of purchases. For example, a fuel credit card will only offer reward points for fuel-related purchases. However, another type of card will offer you better rewards on grocery purchases. Depending on the nature of your expenditure, you can choose a card that fits the bill for you.
- Use that credit card, for practically everything: One of the other best strategies is this – Use your credit card for every single purchase you make. It does not matter how big or small your purchase is. The best thing to do is to use your rewards credit card for the buy. From Netflix to your daily coffee, spend on your credit card. This is because the more you use your credit card, the more rewards you will be able to reap. This does not mean that you will have to spend more, just spend whatever you already are spending, on your credit card, that’s all.
- Do not spend more than you would
- But, put all spending on your card
- Pay off your bill, in full, each month
- Offer to pay the bill: No! By this we do not mean that you have to pay for everyone else! What we mean is that when you are out for dinner with your friends, make an offer to pay the bill and ask your friends to pay you back. This way, you will not be overspending but will still be able to get the most out of your credit card in terms of the points that you earn.
- Raise an issue, if you had one: If you recently had a bad experience while using your credit card or at the hotel or flight that you had booked, do not hesitate to make a genuine complaint about the issue. You will usually be compensated with a generous amount of miles or reward points based on the type of credit card that you own.
- Choose a card wisely: Using a credit card is only half the battle one, the one thing that you have to keep in mind is that fact that if you do not choose the right credit card, you will not be able to get the right reward. This is the first and the most important step that you need to keep in mind when you apply for a credit card. See how many reward points you will get, do a thorough comparison and then make a final decision based on your personal spending needs and lifestyle.
What not to do
It is very important to remember that you can earn reward points only for certain number of transactions and only on specific transactions. Also, any defaults in the payment of your bill, will bring down the value of your reward points. Let us look at the things to be wary of:
- Redemption charges
- No rewards for e-transactions
- Insurance payment
A reward point redemption fee is usually charged when you decide to use your reward points. This may be a small percentage and sometimes, you may not even realize that you have been charged a fee. The fee can range anywhere from Rs.99 to Rs.150, depending on the bank and the type of credit card you hold. Be aware of the hidden charges that are applicable when you use your reward points.
What to do:
- Call your bank and ask for details about additional charges on redemption
- Compare the overall cost and what value you will get when you use reward points
- Ask for the terms and conditions
No rewards for e-transactions
Some credit cards do not exactly offer rewards for e-transactions or payments made on wallets. So, if you spend a lot on these types of payment interfaces, check to see if your credit card offers you the required rewards. Remember, there are certain transactions for which you could get reward points. So, find out the details before you make the transaction.
Generally, chances are, you will be able to earn a number of reward points when you make purchases of high value. This means that there could be scope to reap higher rewards when buying a new television or other electronic items. However, this may not always be the case. Many a times, when purchases are made through EMIs, credit card companies may not offer you reward points for the entire value of your purchase. So, the next time you plan to convert your purchase into an EMI, think twice and see what best can be done to make the most of the big-ticket purchase and secure reward points from that particular transaction.
Usually, when you are paying an insurance premium, it is a comparatively a huge sum of money, and you will expect to gain a lot of reward points from this type of payment. However, this may not always be the case. Credit card companies often categorize the type of payments for which rewards points are given out and insurance may not be one among that list.
Validity of reward points
All reward points come with a validity period and once the you reach the validity period, no matter how many reward points you have, you will not be able to reap the benefits of the reward points that you may have accumulated over the course of a certain period of time.
Here are some tips to follow if you want to get the best out of your credit card:
- Ensure you always pay bills on time and in full
- Avoid paying the minimum amount due
- Have a good credit history
- Pay all other dues on time
- Make sure you have a good credit score
The best thing to do is to make sure that you keep all the above factors in mind. First, know what credit card you have, what rewards it offers and how you can reap the maximum without spending a lot. Remember that earning reward points is not free.