Want More Travel Rewards? Use Your Credit Card

By Janet Hutchins on Oct 25, 2011 | Filed in Credit Card Tips

Many people use credit cards for the rewards. And this makes sense. You can get a number of perks when you use a credit card that offers a reward program. While you don’t want to run up your credit card just to get the rewards, there are some things you can do to improve your chances of truly benefiting — especially if you want more travel rewards.

Travel Rewards

Some of the most popular credit card rewards programs include airline and travel rewards credit cards. Cash back cards are, of course, favorites, but travel rewards are also quite popular. When you have enough points, you can redeem them for airfare, hotel stays and car rentals. Some rewards programs also come with special discounts at specific hotel chains. You can also get special rewards with certain airline cards, such as the Alaska Airlines MasterCard, which has a rather generous travel rewards program.

While you do have to be careful about some programs, many of them now come with no limits to the points you can earn, and no blackout dates on your travel. With the right strategy, you can rack up the points — and travel for free.

Becoming a Travel Credit Card Super User

One of your best options is to become a travel credit card super user. Look at your budget and consider your expenses. Switch automatic debits, if you can, to your credit card. So, utilities and other recurring expenses should be placed on your credit card. Next, take your credit card to the store with you. Use it for groceries, clothing and other purchases. When you use your credit card for all your regular expenses, your points will add up. You’ll be earning free flights and hotel stays in no time.

Avoiding Credit Card Pitfalls

Of course, there are dangers associated with your credit card use. Your credit card use should never be more than your budget can handle. Make sure that you stick to your budget, and pay off the balance each month. Don’t use your credit card to buy unaffordable things, using the rewards points as an excuse. That is the road to debt. Instead, use your credit card as part of your regular spending plan. When your monthly state comes, you can use the money that has been accumulating in your checking account to pay off the entire balance. As a result, you will not pay interest on your purchases, but you will continue to earn reward points.

This post was included in Canadian Finance Carnival #61 at canadianfinanceblog.com

One thought on “Want More Travel Rewards? Use Your Credit Card

  1. Ileane

    I just got notified from American Express that I could switch some of my points over to Hilton rewards. I thought that was a pretty cool offer. I’m hoping they do the same thing with Marriott as well since I already have some points built up with them. Thanks for the pointers.

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