Before you read this article, I have to be blunt. If you have credit card debt or you aren’t somebody who pays your credit card off in full at the end of the month, this article is something that you want to remember for later on when you are credit card debt free. This tip is worthless if you’re paying interest on your cards.
How many credit cards do you have? What do you pay for with your credit cards? If you have everyday run of the mill credit cards that don’t pay you rewards points for every dollar you charge or you use one of those worthless debt cards, you are missing out on a potential revenue stream.
There are numerous cards out there that will pay you rewards points for every dollar you spend. In order to cash in, you must do the following:
- Pay your cards IN FULL on time each month. No exceptions!
- Charge EVERYTHING to your rewards cards
- Set a schedule for cashing out your points.
First, as I said earlier, you must pay your credit card on time in full each month. There are no exceptions to this rule. If you pay any interest, it wipes out the benefits of rewards points.
Next, charge EVERYTHING. If you buy a 59 cent cup of coffee, charge it. Do a little research and find out how to pay your monthly bills with your credit card. Of course if your utility company charges a fee to pay by credit card, don’t do it. Mortgages generally can’t be paid by credit card. You already know how to put normal expenses like groceries, restaurant, and other retail sales on your card but you may need to do a little work to figure our how to get almost all outgoing money on the card. In the long run, the work you do here will be worth it to you. Make it a goal to get as close as possible to all money going through your card. I have figured out ways to pay everything through my card except for my mortgage. Also, remember that if you do anything that requires you to be reimbursed for payments, that’s free rewards for you!
Last, set a schedule for cashing our your points. I always cash my points out for gift cards. I know how many points I need to buy a $50 gift card and as soon as I hit it, I cash out my points. Why is this important? Credit card companies are looking for ways to take your points. Some companies state that if you’re late on a payment, you will lose all or some of your rewards points. With the our country currently in a recession, banks are looking for ways to control costs. I’m always worried that banks will discontinue their rewards programs and my points will be gone so I cash out frequently.
If you like the idea of saving up for that dream cruise, I have the answer for you. Use your points for a gift card to a place you would normally spend money at. Take the money you would have normally used there and deposit it in to your savings accounts. So take the $50 you saved with your gift card and put it in your savings account and earmark it for your cruise. You’re not out any money.
In a year, I earn hundreds of dollars in gift cards. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s essentially free money and I’ll take free money. Don’t use a card that doesn’t have rewards points and most important, don’t be late on your payments.