If you have a new credit card that offers rewards points, but you aren’t quite sure how the system works, the information presented here will help you. Let’s take a look at what credit cards with rewards points programs are, and how you use them.
Rewards points are an incentive to use your credit card. Each time you use your card, you receive points based on the amount of money you charged. These points accumulate and can be redeemed for many different rewards, depending upon the card you’re using. Rewards can include:
Free or discounted gas or groceries
Free or discounted hotel rooms or other travel accommodations
Free tickets to movies or events
Priority alerts and/or admission to events
Household and entertainment items
Your monthly credit card statement will give you an overview of how many points you’ve earned, based on how much you’ve charged. Credit card companies or your bank will provide you with a catalog of rewards, or have a catalog available for viewing online.
The catalog will outline how many points you need to earn for a given item. If you are redeeming points for airline miles you will have a running total of miles earned. Note that when you redeem airline miles, your reward is calculated differently based on the credit card and your airline.
There is a points to miles conversion that happens that can be a bit confusing. Your airline can help you understand how this works. It’s important to know that your credit card rewards points most likely have an expiration date, so you must pay close attention to that date or you stand to lose your points.
Most points are easily redeemable through the credit card or bank website, or by completing and order form. There are also customer service phone numbers available for all the major cards if you prefer to talk to someone when going through the process of redeeming rewards points.
Having a credit card that offers rewards points is a great thing! For each dollar you charge, you earn points for stuff – how great is that? If you are aiming at a high point, super reward, remember that you have to use your card to get those points (just be wise about it), and remember that if you don’t redeem those points before they expire, you will lose them.
Some people prefer to use their points towards smaller rewards for this reason. Make certain that you are using your credit card wisely and you will find that using your credit card to earn rewards is definitely a “value added” situation.