Many credit cards offer a points system for their cardholders, in which you can acquire points for certain dollar amounts spent. These points can be used for a variety of services and products, depending on the company. Some companies offer cash back, airline miles, or other rewards. But how can you use those points to actually save money? Here are four clever ways to do so.
1. Gift Cards
There are many credit cards which allow you to trade in your points for gift cards to various retailers, which can be a great strategy for saving yourself money in the long run. You’ll be spending money with your card, and for every dollar amount you spend (depending on the card), you’ll acquire so many points; which you can then convert into what is essentially extra money.
Your card will probably require something like 25,000 points for a $25 gift card, so the spending threshold is rather high; but if you use your card regularly anyway, you’ll just be doing what you’d normally do while racking up those points towards a gift card.
You can redeem your gift card for things like gas, groceries, electronics, and more. All you need to do is actually spend money on your credit card, and you’ll eventually be rewarded with a gift card that you could use on your next shopping trip or gas fill up.
2. Airline Miles or Tickets
We all know airfare can add up quickly, especially if you’d rather not travel in coach. An airline ticket can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars into the thousands of dollars, depending on your destination, layovers, and the time of year.
Many credit card companies offer airline miles or tickets as a reward for accumulating so many points. This is a great way to save money on travel expenses. If you’re already using your card regularly anyway, you can start to acquire airline miles or tickets and thus save hundreds in ticket fees and booking.
If you have any big travel plans, you can start purchasing all of your travel needs and even booking the hotel early on with your credit card. That way, you’ll acquire those points you need to save some money on the flight, and therefore on the overall trip.
If you’re not redeeming your airline miles, you might want to consider doing so. This is one of the best benefits that a credit card can offer, and those miles are going to waste just sitting in your account. Don’t forget about them!
3. Member Only Vouchers and Discounts
If you’re a store credit card member, don’t delete those promotional emails for member-only sales and discounts. This is one of the many advantages of having a store card. You’ll get early access to specific sales and even better promotional prices than a non-member. The more points you acquire, the better the deals get and you’ll receive much better vouchers. Some retailer cards have a cap, however, so be aware of the terms of your card.
Stores like Nordstrom offer the cardholder special early access to their anniversary sale, as well as member-only invites to events and in-home tailoring. These are just a few of the many benefits, but the point is that store cards offer something extra for their members to help them save money. A full Nordstrom credit card review can be found here.
Many store cards let you trade in your loyalty points for store vouchers that you can use to save money on your next purchase. Not only are you getting promotional member-specific prices, but you’ll acquire points that you can redeem for store vouchers. That’s why store cards can be excellent assets to shoppers.
4. Use Your Card For Monthly Expenses To Maximize Your Points
Instead of using your credit card solely for shopping, you can use it for monthly expenses such as gas for your vehicle, utility or grocery bills, and other miscellaneous expenses. This can help you acquire a lot of points quickly, and if you keep your balance paid, those points will eventually become very valuable.
The idea is to get a card that’s tailored to your type of spending, so whether you’re a frequent shopper or just trying to build up your credit, the card you choose should match those needs. That way you’ll maximize your points so you can redeem them for great rewards.
If you own a business credit card, you can use the card for expenses like office supplies and materials and maximize those points very quickly. Many business cards have business-specific rewards, so you may even be able to redeem them for items like those same office supplies.
Be Careful With Your Spending
Just because your card can accumulate points doesn’t mean you should spend it just to acquire those points. It’s important to remember to spend only what you are able to pay back, as late fees and interest add up quickly and can put you underwater if you’re not careful.
Check Your Points Often
Chances are your credit card company has an online account manager of some sort where you can check the status of your account and the number of points you’ve accumulated. Try to check in on your points so you’ll know exactly what you’re working towards and how long it will be before you get there.