The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Research: Ways to get more out of credit card reward programs -

People using credit cards know that some credit card companies offer rewards on purchases made by the consumer using their card. What they do not know is how to get the maximum out of these reward programs.

Most people are not aware of the universal rewards program that some companies are offering to credit card holders. Under this programs a card holder stands to earn more benefits, points and bonuses. A Universal Card holder can earn points from different transactions and convert them to get an assortment of rewards and bonuses ranging from travel and hotel discount, air travel tickets, sports tickets, discounts on clothes, retails and many more.  The card holder earns cash points on every dollar he/she spends. The universal card holds several options of rewards for its owners. Each money transaction brings points and based on the number of points collected the rewards vary.

The idea behind the reward program is to persuade the consumer to make as many transactions as possible. Many customers count on the points earned by credit card purchases to get them a free vacation or household appliances.

A universal card holder can use these bonuses to great advantage by effecting heavy purchases that earn them more number of points. Charging an air ticket or buying large furniture for home would bring a large number of points to a holder with a single purchase. For an example, a card that offers 3 points on each dollar spent, would get the customer who bought a sofa for $400 a staggering 1200 points.

A credit card holder should be wary of reward programs that may consume a prolonged period of time to build points before they can be converted into rewards. There is always a risk that the program will change while you are accumulating these points and devalue what you have earned or the program may cease in existence. You can also opt for a cash back credit card where you will clearly know the percentage you are likely to earn and changes in the program if any.

Another way is to seek out credit cards that reward bonuses for regular or temporary basis on particular items. Choose a card that offers maximum bonuses or points on categories you usually make your purchases on. Linking to your favorite retail stories for online purchase you shall be able to bring in more rebates with the card issuer’s reward program. The cash back programs have a nominal rate of administrative charges. Since the reward program does not involve a retail partner or airlines, the issuer will not affect any major changes.

Avoid choosing a credit card that has no limit on the annual earning of rewards. Many credit cards force you to build up certain amount of purchases before you earn a point. Steer clear of such offers, because you will spend more than what you actually planned for. There are cards that have expiration policy on their reward programs. Check this before you select a particular rewards credit card.