Throughout the year credit card issuers have sweetened reward card offers to attract more consumers. Since most consumers spend so much additional money during the holidays, this is a great time to take advantage of these offers and quickly earn some extra cash or miles.
Here are five tips for using reward credit cards to maximise your holiday shopping:
1. Use your rewards points.
These can be used to buy gift cards with many retailers. An example: you can use American Express Membership Reward points to shop at Amazon.com to pay in full or for part of your purchase.
2. Pay attention to partner programs.
Most credit card issuers have a partner program that offers discounts or bonuses for online purchases with certain companies. The program varies by issuer, but the partners could be stores where you already shop. Discover turns $20 rewards into $25 gift cards. Citi gives an additional 1% to 5% cash back when you shop at their online partners. Capital One is adding bonus rewards for purchases made from Nov. 25-28 with some retail partners in its online shopping portal, Perk Central. Some retailers include: Landsend.com (100% rewards increase), Macys.com (40% rewards increase), Lego.com (100% rewards increase) and Gamestop.com(40% rewards increase).
3. Look for 5% rotating cash back offers.
Chase Freedom, Discover More and Citi Platinum Select offer an attractive 5% back on the spending on designated categories for a specific amount of time. The October-December bonus categories for these issuers focus on shopping and entertainment. If you have these credit cards, remember to sign up for these attractive rebate offers each quarter; enrollment is not automatic.
4. Check for spending bonus opportunities.
Chase Freedom offers $200 spending bonuses for new applicants who reach a set spending limit — $500 within three months. Holiday shopping is the best time to reach these limits quickly and use the bonus to pay off your balance.
5. Pay attention to reward limits.
Some cards, such as Discover More (5% cashback on up to $300 in purchases each quarter), place a limit on the bonus. After you reach the limit, switch to another bonus card.