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Racking Up Credit Rewards

How to Maximize Rewards

When you have a rewards card, it is important to take steps to ensure that you are maximizing your rewards and taking full advantage of what the card has to offer. Below are some basic tips from The Motley Fool.

  • Concentrate to accumulate: Don't limit your point potential by spreading your spending across multiple credit cards.
  • Sign up for all major airlines' frequent-flier programs: They’re free, and they come with member-only alerts.
  • Look for alliances: Redeem rewards with other airlines, hotels, rental car companies, and retailers. Official partners offer more value per reward point.
  • Keep track: Keep track of your bounty, expiration dates, and deals with free programs at Points.com and Mileport.com.
  • Don't let rewards expire: Most cash back rewards won’t expire as long as you keep your account active and in good standing, however, your points may expire based on inactivity. Watch the clock if you want to use those hard earned rewards. Each program has its own rules about rewards. Some may never expire, while others will expire due delinquent account status or closing the account.
  • Don't cash in too soon: Tiered programs often reward patience by offering a higher point value to customers who wait and redeem more points per transaction.
  • Top off to cash in: Buy the points needed for a freebie through the airline or rewards program, or check out Points.com to augment, swap, redeem, or donate rewards.
  • Use points to pay for pricy perks: Sometimes a free airline ticket isn't the best value for your rewards. For instance, redeeming your points to upgrade from coach to business class on an international flight may provide more value than using them to get the coach ticket in the first place.