How to utilize credit card rewards wisely?

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Credit Card Applications » Research » Guides » Travel with Credit Cards » How to utilize credit card rewards wisely?

How to utilize credit card rewards wisely?


Updated: December 26, 2012

The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.
Credit cards are being offered by many credit card companies as an incentive to attract customers of other competitors. There are several types of credit card rewards that are offered to the customers. However, customers need to be careful instead of getting carried away. This is because a lot of credit card rewards are nothing but marketing strategies by card issuers. Here are some important aspects where one should be careful in the way they use their rewards. Understanding the fine print Whatever be the credit card rewards on offer, there would be a catch. One has to realize this basic principle and try to understand the reward schemes by reading the fine print. That is where one would find the true information and how beneficial the reward really is. A lot of customers often ignore the fine print of the credit card reward schemes and end up in a soup. A lot of times one ends up spending more in the quest to avail rewards. Discounts might not really be as easy to get as they seem as per the reward schemes. Expiration dates and rules There are many types of credit cards which offer loyalty points and various other types of rewards to the customers based on how they have used their card. However, there are always expiration dates and limits to be careful of. For example, even if you have several loyalty points, there are short time frames within which you will have to redeem these points. Therefore you wouldn’t be able to make proper utilization of the credit card rewards. Moreover, there are limits over how many points you can redeem every month or every year. Due to these limits, you might not really be able to benefit as much as you might seem to, based on the promotion of the reward. Milestone discounts A lot of times, customers are excited about discounts they get on their credit cards. However, they need to be careful and double check if the discounts are indeed on all purchases or only purchases made at select brands. The problem with purchasing at select brands is that you wouldn’t get what you really want and you are compromising on your choices. Moreover, these discounts are invariably for milestone discounts. That means you can get these discounts only if you make purchases over and above a stipulated amount. The problem with these milestone discounts is that customers end up spending a lot more in order to qualify for the milestone discounts, which isn’t something they would have budgeted for. Frequent flyer rewards One has to be careful about frequent flyer cards as well. It isn’t always easy to use your loyalty points to get discounts on your airline tickets or bills at hotels. There are a lot of conditions that apply and inherent clauses too. For example, one should be aware that there are blackout dates in some cases, days on which you cannot use your loyalty points to get a discount on your ticket.

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
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