Make It A Point To Utilize Your Credit Card Rewards
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Make It A Point To Utilize Your Credit Card Rewards

Updated: December 26, 2012

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According to data collected recently by American market research firms, the average household in the U. S. is signed up for exactly twice as many credit card rewards programs as they use, leading to roughly 48 billion dollars-worth of earned rewards going unclaimed each year. One of the reasons why this is happening, experts claim, is because consumers are spreading themselves too thin in regards to rewards programs and therefore have a struggle to keep up with them. The problem when you have multiple rewards cards is that it is easy to forget all about your different rewards balances, particularly when they don’t seem very substantial. Set Goals Decide what types of rewards are most important to you – travel rewards such as free airline tickets and hotel stays? Cash back? Points you can redeem at your favorite stores online? Once you decide which rewards are most appealing to you and advantageous to your lifestyle, concentrate your spending on that particular card in order to maximize your reward earnings. Figure out how many points you need to redeem for the item you want and then keep an eye on your account so you can monitor how close you are to reaching your goal. This will help prevent the perks from slipping your mind and expiring before you have the opportunity to cash them in. Take Advantage Of Special Offers Often card issuers will extend special offers to their rewards card users in the form of opportunities to earn additional bonus perks in rotating categories at different times throughout the year. If you do a bit of research and planning, you can concentrate on making purchases in those specific areas as they arise. Stretch Your Rewards When you are ready to reap the benefits of the rewards you have earned, be sure to shop around in order to find the best deal. Don’t be too hasty about cashing in what you’ve earned. Keep this in mind: the average value of one rewards point is one cent, in other words – 1% cash back. Use that as your guide when evaluating redemption offers. There are a lot of rewards cards out there that have partnered with major retail chains to give you greater value for your rewards earnings. Combine Your Earnings With so many enticing rewards programs being unveiled on a regular basis these days, it’s tempting to sign up for as many different ones as you can to try and take advantage of them all. Instead experts advise that you focus your attentions on one or two different rewards programs and doing what you can to maximize the benefits they are offering. Choose cards with programs that match your spending habits and whose rewards points are easy to redeem. Ultimately a rewards program should not be a hassle or incite you to spend on things you wouldn’t normally buy. Enlist The Aid Of A Rewards Management Program If you are determined to hang on to multiple rewards accounts, it might be a wise idea for you to use an online rewards tracking and management program to keep things straight and make sure that you don’t miss out on redeeming any of your heard-earned perks. These sites usually cost something to use, however, so be sure to factor that in when making your decision.

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