You have to admit that the best thing about your new credit card is having the awesome rewards that you’ll be going to earn. And maximizing your rewards is what you want to do. The Nerds are here for you to help you earn points or cash back and make more miles on your new credit card.
To get your sign-up bonus, you have to hit the required spending
After spending a certain amount of money on your credit card within a specific period, you can earn a sign-up bonus or additional points, cash back or miles. Not all credit card has a sign-up bonus, but several reward cards can have a sign-up bonus. Even though your sign-up is significant, if you don’t meet the specific spending required amount, it is still not going to give you rewards.
Applying for a credit card with a sign-up bonus is a good idea, and with a required minimum spending you will want to hit without going into debt. For example, if you need to spend $3000 in three months, but you don’t have enough money to charge and pay off $500 per month, there will still be a sign-up bonus that will be partially negated by finance charges. It is always best to avoid carrying credit card debt unless it is an emergency, and you should only get a credit card that is suited for your budget.
If your card offers an additional bonus, add an authorized user
There are credit cards that offer a signup bonus if you add an authorized user within a specified period and it is required that he or she makes a purchase. A great way of having an extra point is by adding someone that you genuinely know, and you are comfortable adding she os him as an authorized user like a supplementary partner or a college-aged child. Unless if your credit card doesn’t offer this.
But you need to understand first what is an authorized user. The person will be able to use the credit card account but is not obligated to make payments and cannot make changes. You can remove an authorized user anytime but ask first how it can affect your bonus.
When you are shopping online, it is a great way to use your bonus
There is a bonus mall or a shopping portal that is allowing you to get rewards or discounts on your online purchases, examples of this sites are Citi Bonus Cash Center or the Chase Ultimate Rewards. Before you make a purchase, go to your issuer’s bonus mall website and click on the retailer of your choice. You have to pay with your credit card for you to have the extra rewards.
If it is applicable, opt into bonus rewards
If you have a credit card that has a bonus rewards categories like Chase Freedom’s bonuses and Discover it Balance Transfers, it can help you earn 5% back up to the quarterly maximum (all other purchases make 1%), but if you want to take advantage of them, activating each quarter is a must. Or else, you’ll only receive the standard rewards, which are typically 1%.
It is good to use your credit card for everything that doesn’t charge a fee
To earn rewards, paying your credit card before the due date can also help. Everything you need to like groceries, travel expenses, entertainment spending, gas, utilities, and subscriptions, when you use your credit card, more rewards will be given. Just make sure you will pay off your bill monthly.
However, there are other expenses when you use your credit card like your quarterly tax payments and your rent that may trigger a fee. You have to pay these with your bank or a check to avoid incurring fees which will cost you more than your rewards.
Couple up cards
If you want to maximize your rewards, some credit cards work well together, for example, you can use the combination of the 5% bonus categories and the Chase Ultimate Rewards site if you have the Chase Freedom® and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cards, for redeeming rewards to help to maximize your points. On purchases with 5% rewards, use your Chase Freedom® on purchases and transfer those points to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to redeem at a rate of 1.25 cents for the points for travel on the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Or if you frequently travel and you are skilled in travel hacking, you can transfer those points to different programs to get better deals.
The takeaway: There are things to do that will help you earn significant rewards. Meeting the required minimum spend to get your credit card sign-up bonus and adding an authorized user that will purchase if there is an additional bonus can help. Using the issuer’s bonus mall when you are shopping online, choose the bonus categories and using your credit card whenever you can without a fee is helpful. And lastly, users with an advance credit card may want to get complementing cards to maximize redemption and rewards earnings.
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