How to Make the Most of Your Rewards Credit Card

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Rewards credit cards have become increasingly popular in recent years, in both the quantity of cards available and the array of benefits they offer – and with good reason. If you’re spending money, there’s no reason not to get the best perks possible. Whether it be cash back, points, or specific hotel and airline loyalty cards, a credit card should and can reward you.

To help make it easy, here are a few tips to help any service member choose the right rewards credit cards.

1) Align Rewards with Your Interests

Rewards programs come in many shapes and sizes. Most allow you to accumulate cash back or points that can be redeemed for rewards. Depending on the card, some rewards can include merchandise, gift cards, airline miles, experiences and more.

2) Keep Track of Rewards Points Expiration

To make the most of your credit card’s rewards program, keep track of when the points and perks expire. Typical rewards expire between 12 and 18 months after they’ve been earned, with some lasting as long as 24 months. Although some issuers allow you to buy your points back after they expire, it's always best to use them beforehand. You can also look for a credit card where rewards never expire.

3) Before You Shop, Check Your Rewards

Know the rewards your credit card offers and earn maximum points on everyday items. Most credit cards offer double points in particular categories.

Don’t change your spending habits to fit your credit card reward structure. Make sure you’re using your rewards card on purchases that will get you the best return, especially if you have multiple cards. Some cards require you to opt into rotating rewards categories, so keep track of these to take advantage of opportunities that help boost points earned! Let your credit card reward you by maximizing expenditures on purchases that earn you the most points!

These days, rewards credit cards can cater to any specific lifestyle, but how you spend and how you want to be rewarded should be top of mind. By following these steps you’ll know what to look for, what to avoid and how to spot the good cards from the not-so-good cards.

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