Tips on how to Maximize Rewards on On a regular basis Spending

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While many reward enthusiasts focus on signing up for new credit cards in order to earn sign-up bonuses, not everyone has the time or desire to play the sign-up game. There is a hassle involved in keeping track of multiple cards, annual fees, and rewards programs, after all, and some people don’t want to waste their time or mental energy in this way.

If you are someone who falls into this category, it might be better to maximize a card or two rather than chasing rewards. Fortunately, you can earn plenty of rewards over time if you know your card’s benefits and bonus categories.

The key to getting the most out of your Reward Cards is understanding how they work and looking for ways to earn more points for your daily expenses. Here are some tips that can help.

Brainstorm every bill you can pay with a credit card

Since reward cards offer points based on every dollar spent, maximizing the amount you can spend on credit is the best way to increase your reward loot. The smartest strategy here is to find out how many of your monthly bills you can pay with a credit card.

You may not be notified or know, but it is possible that bills that you have been paying with a check or debit card for years can be paid with a credit card free of charge. Although your bills can vary, try paying with a credit card:

  • Rent
  • Electricity bills such as electricity or gas
  • Health insurance
  • Cable television and internet
  • mobile
  • steer
  • day care center
  • Car and home insurance
  • Subscription services
  • Tuition fees or student loans
  • Medical bills
  • Lawn care

Remember, these are just a few of the bills you can pay with credit. Depending on your situation, you may have additional, unusual expenses that you can easily pay off with credit.

Also, remember that these extra bills should be paid for with a loan in addition to your daily expenses such as groceries, dining out, gasoline or bus bills, and other expenses. Whenever you make a purchase in person or online, try to pay with your Reward Card whenever possible.

Use the bonus categories of your reward cards

It is also important to take advantage of your favorite card bonus categories, whatever they may be. This is especially important if you have multiple cards with different bonus categories as you want to make sure you are using the correct card for bills that you can use to collect bonus points.

Let’s say you have a travel credit card that pays 3x points for food and travel and another card that pays 6x points for the grocery store. In that case, it would be wise to use your ticket for food and travel purchases and your other card when you stock up on groceries. While the amount of rewards you earn from individual purchases may seem small, with the right card for the right purchase you can earn many more rewards over time.

Set up automatic payment of bills to be paid with credit

Most of us have bills set up to be paid automatically, whether it’s our Netflix and Hulu subscriptions, gym membership, or utility bills. Make sure that any invoice you’ve set up for automatic payment is set up to pay with your rewards card rather than a debit card. This way you can collect reward points for these expenses every month.

Use shopping portals and gastronomy clubs

Many flexible rewards programs, frequent flyer programs, and hotel loyalty programs have shopping portals that you can access to earn additional points. Big airlines like American, Delta and United also have shopping portals that work similarly. (See also: How to Maximize Rewards Through Credit Card Shopping Portals)

Some programs like Southwest and Delta also offer dining clubs. These programs allow you to earn additional points or miles by only dining at participating restaurants in your area. Participation is easy and free. So you can earn extra miles for your expenses if you still eat out. (See Also: Everything You Need To Know About Airline Rewards Programs)

How Much Can the Average Family Make?

If you’re skeptical about how the average family can collect meaningful rewards without having to keep signing up for new cards, check out how this could work in real life. For example, imagine a family of four with two adults holding award cards. With both of them you have:

  • A cash back card that earns 2% back
  • A travel credit card that pays 3% on food and travel
  • A reward card that yields 6% grocery store cashback every year with up to $ 6,000 in expenses

To figure out how much this family could make, we used the Bureau of Labor Statistics average spending in 2017. Here is a summary of that data for the year and how much a family could earn in rewards over 12 months based on average spend:

  • Eating at Home ($ 4,363): $ 261.78 in rewards at 6%
  • Eating Out ($ 3,365): $ 100.95 at 3%
  • Utilities, Fuels, and Public Services ($ 3,836): $ 76.72 @ 2%
  • Household Operations ($ 1,412): $ 28.24 @ 2%
  • Household Items ($ 755): $ 45.30 @ 6%
  • Home furnishings and equipment ($ 1,987): $ 39.74 @ 2%
  • Apparel & Services ($ 1,833): $ 36.66 @ 2%
  • Gasoline & Motor Oil ($ 1,968): $ 39.36 @ 2%
  • Other Vehicle Costs ($ 2,842): $ 56.84 at 2%
  • Healthcare ($ 4,928): $ 98.56 @ 2%
  • Entertainment ($ 3,203): $ 64.06 @ 2%
  • Personal Care Products ($ 762): $ 45.72 @ 6%
  • Education ($ 1,491): $ 29.82 @ 2%

Total Rewards: $ 923.75

While $ 900 + is a ton of rewards to be made in a year, you have the potential to make a lot more. After all, these are just some of the issues the average family faces, and not all. If you could use credit to pay some extra large bills every month, such as:

What to look out for

While maximizing reward cards is a smart idea if you are already using it, there are always pitfalls to be aware of when using a credit card. Here’s what to look for in your quest for more cashback and travel rewards.

Fees for using credits

While there are many bills that you can use credit to pay for free, some vendors, merchants, and service providers charge a fee to use a credit card as a method of payment. Fees are primarily incurred on bills such as utilities, cable or internet, rent, and insurance. Make sure you are not being charged for using the credit before proceeding.

Annual fees

Don’t forget that some reward cards have annual fees. These fees can be worthwhile depending on your expenses and rewards, but you should always include them in the equation to make sure each fee is worth paying. If you are against paying annual fees, look for no-fee award cards.

Budgeting mishaps

Using a credit card for all of your expenses can make your financial life easier, but it can also throw your budget out of whack. Make sure you are only spending on purchases that you have planned anyway, and that you are tracking your spending and paying off your credit cards regularly.

debts

Never use credit cards to make purchases that you cannot afford to pay back in pursuit of rewards. The interest you pay will always be much higher than the rewards you deserve. If you are concerned that using credit will result in you running into debt that you cannot afford to pay back, it would be better to stick with cash or direct debit.

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Do you want to maximize your credit card rewards? The key to getting the most out of your Reward Cards is understanding how they work and looking for ways to earn more points for your daily expenses. We have the ultimate tips and tricks to help you save money and earn more rewards! | #creditcards #rewardsprogramm #creditcardrewards

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