Society & Lifestyle

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Credit Card?

When used wisely, purchasing on credit is an ideal way of earning points, miles, or receiving cash back for products and services. Rewards credit cards, in particular, offer a fantastic opportunity to earn loyalty benefits on things you would have likely purchased without using a card. But how exactly do you find a credit card that is most suited for your spending habits and financial needs?

Are You Getting The Most Out Of Your Credit Card?

Taking the time to make a credit card comparison can help you find a credit card that suits your needs and rewards your everyday spending habits. Whether you are a sports fan, a travel buff, or a foodie, there is certainly bound to be a credit card that offers rewards and discounts that you’ll enjoy taking advantage of. So long as you take measures not to overspend when using your card, you can use this handy financial tool to reap a bounty of rewards, including but not limited to special sales offers, competitive interest rates, and minimal card fees.

To maximise your credit card rewards, it’s important to understand the features and limitations of your rewards credit card. If you’re unsure where to begin, it’s crucial that you take the time to do some research, just to ensure you have the right information and are thus well-positioned to implement a few strategies when it comes to redeeming rewards and managing your spending. By taking advantage of these perks, you can make sure that you’re getting the most out of your credit card and earning rewards on every dollar you spend.

Let’s take a look at some nifty tips that you can use to get the most out of your credit card moving forward.

Match Your Lifestyle

Be sure to evaluate your lifestyle and spending habits in order to determine which rewards and benefits are most likely to be valuable or usable for you. For example, if you frequently travel for business, and your company doesn’t offer an in-house booking system, then you could select a credit card that offers generous miles, a partnership with your favourite carrier, and access to their premium airport lounges. Likewise, if most of your business travel is by car over small to medium distances, try to choose a card that offers fuel-related reward paybacks.

While travelling for work, you will likely be dining out a lot. If the card you chose for air travel doesn’t offer dining rewards, don’t worry as there’s probably another option out there offering generous rewards from your favourite restaurants. Be sure to use each card specifically for the use case you identified during your comparison shopping.

It’s vital to carefully read the fine print of each program, and compare every benefit offered, such as lost card procedures, credit shield, extended warranties on products purchased with the card, and benefits like rental car deals, trip cancellation insurance, and other perks. Knowing what rewards and other services you’re eligible to receive with each card option can help you ascertain which card or cards are most suitable for you.

Be Aware Of Offers

Credit card companies are likely to introduce a variety of promotions for their customers to enjoy over the course of every financial year. Many credit card providers use appealing offers such as sign-up bonus points or cashback for specific spending categories, both to help onboard new credit users as well as to ensure that existing users are fully utilising their card.

To make sure that you don’t miss out on any deals or rewards opportunities that are available to you, we recommend staying on top of email correspondence with your credit card providers and looking for any deals or offers that you may be able to take advantage of. Be sure to check emails or other messages from your credit card providers periodically throughout the year.

You may request that your preferred offer be applied to your account by contacting your card issuer or bank. Sometimes you might be told that you don’t qualify just yet, and that’s OK. Just be sure to check back at a later time as this is a competitive marketplace and credit card companies want your business.

Stay Secure

As incidents of credit card fraud are still commonplace, it is wise to choose secure cards from reputable providers wherever possible. One major green flag to look out for are credit cards that use only the latest generation chip and PIN cards, over metallic strip cards.

Chip and PIN cards provide similar security benefits to the two-factor authentication process required by many financial bodies online. Cards that require you input a PIN offer greater security and are less vulnerable to fraudulent use, since a numeric identification code is required for each transaction alongside the physical swiping, tapping, or inserting of the card.

For the most part, banks now issue upgraded chip cards automatically. However, if your bank has not yet issued an upgraded card, we recommend calling their customer service department to inquire about receiving an updated credit card. This same practice should apply for your debit cards, just to ensure that all your payment options are as secured as possible.

Control Your Spending

Consolidating your purchases onto a credit card can optimise your potential to receive rewards or offers. However, if you maintain a revolving balance on your credit card, it typically counteracts any benefits. This is because interest accrues on balances that roll over, in addition to the payment required for your current purchases.

By consistently spending up to your limit using a specific account, you risk accumulating an overwhelming amount of debt that is challenging to repay. Even though it’s easy to rely on credit cards during tough times, it’s better to clear your entire balance every month, if possible. By avoiding a revolving balance, you will enjoy the benefits of the card’s perks without incurring unwanted interest that may negate any value you receive from participating in rewards programs.

Those using a work-issued card obviously aren’t as susceptible to overuse since they can file an expense report and get that balance taken care of monthly while still enjoying rewards program perks. Individual cardholders, however, need to remain aware of their limits and track each purchase to avoid potential issues down the line.

Get More From Your Credit Card Moving Forward

When used wisely and within your means, credit cards are an excellent way of earning different freebies or discounts matching your lifestyle. Apart from earning points or cash back at your favourite stores, or miles from airlines and auto rentals, premium rewards credit cards typically offer numerous extra perks and benefits you may not have considered. Although the selection process may appear daunting, understanding how to make their rewards programs work for you will help you to get the most bang for your buck on credit card expenditures.

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