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4 Ways to Get the Most From a Rewards Credit Card

Chris Gottschalk

Chris Gottschalk About The Author

Jun 30, 2022 4:45:00 AM

If you’ve ever considered getting a credit card, you’re probably familiar with rewards credit cards that promise everything from airline miles to cash back if you use the credit card enough. While these rewards might seem great, it’s understandable if you’re skeptical about whether or not you’ll ever accumulate enough points or miles to notice.

The truth is that rewards credit cards will usually give you the rewards they promise. To get the most out of your rewards credit card, though, you have to know how to use it effectively.

Here's how to maximize credit card rewardsman holding credit card with text overlay 4 ways to get the most from a rewards credit card


Pick the Right Type of Reward Program

If you want to get the most from a rewards credit card, the first thing you need to do is get a card with a rewards program that matches your lifestyle. For instance, if your rewards credit card only pays you rewards when you shop at a certain store, you need to consider if you’ll be shopping at that store enough to get any appreciable rewards.

The best way to select a rewards program that works for you is just to look at the offer and figure out if you’ll regularly be in a position to earn rewards, and whether you’ll be able to use the rewards in question. If you have a rewards credit card that gives you points for every purchase you make at Target, for instance, think about if you’re willing to do most of your shopping at Target instead of some other store.

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Read the Fine Print

Once you’ve got an offer that sounds pretty good, read through the terms and conditions of the rewards program. This is important—a lot of rewards programs have terms and conditions they don’t mention up front, like how long you have to use the rewards you earn, when you can cash in your rewards and even how you can use your rewards. The more you read the rules, the more you’ll understand how to use your rewards card effectively.

However, reading the fine print can also alert you to some perks about your rewards credit card that you might not have known. For instance, the website for First Alliance uChoose rewards card members not only lets them redeem their points, it also lets them increase the points they get when they buy from companies like Home Depot, Jimmy Johns or Walgreens.

Charge Everything to the Card

Once you’ve settled on a rewards card, start using it. If your rewards credit card doesn’t limit where you need to shop in order to earn rewards, you should consider making it the credit card you use for most purchases to maximize its effectiveness.

One strategy you might want to consider is to treat your rewards credit card like a debit card. Use it for all your expenses, then use online banking to pay off your credit card that evening. It’s worth pointing out this will be a lot easier if you have a monthly budget.How to get the most from a rewards credit card

Review Your Rewards

Finally, make sure you review the rewards you’ve earned on a regular basis. This is important, because the points that most rewards programs give you  will eventually expire. Knowing how many points you have and how long you have left to use them will make sure you actually get to reap the benefit of the rewards points you've accumulated.

 Reviewing the rewards you've earned will also give you a chance to look over what you can get with your points. Credit card companies have been known to add new rewards to their programs, not to mention change the points required to get existing rewards, so having the most current information about what your rewards points can get will help you figure out how to effectively use them. 

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Get a Rewards Credit Card at First Alliance Credit Union

Rewards credit cards can be helpful, but you need to know how to use them. Make sure you select a rewards program with rewards you’re actually going to use and lets you earn those rewards without a hassle. Then charge most of your expenses to your rewards card and regularly keep track of the rewards you’ve earned.

If you’re looking for a rewards credit card, check out the uChoose rewards card First Alliance Credit Union offers. In addition to having a straightforward rewards program and an easy to navigate website that shows you how many points you’ve earned and how you can redeem them, it also has a low interest rate and no annual fee. You can even use our online banking platform or mobile app to make payments from your checking account or savings account. 

We do our best to provide helpful information but we cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information presented in the article, under no circumstance does the information provided constitute legal advice. You are responsible for independently verifying the information if you intend to use it in any way. Additionally, the content is not intended to be reflective of First Alliance Credit Union’s products or services, for accurate and complete details about our product and service information you must speak to an advisor at First Alliance Credit Union.