5 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards on Holiday Shopping

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Don’t do your holiday shopping without reading this!

Key points

  • Many people spend a lot of money while on vacation.
  • You can earn credit card rewards for your spending.
  • Using the right credit card is just one of many techniques for maximizing your rewards.

The holiday season is an expensive time of year. Chances are you’re spending a lot more than usual when buying gifts, throwing parties, or both. The good news is that when you spend more money, you have the opportunity to earn more credit card reward points for those expenses.

Credit card rewards such as miles, points, and cash back can effectively reduce your out-of-pocket spending on vacation items because you’ll get back cash (or valuables) for every dollar spent. And, if you’re smart about how you shop, you can really maximize those rewards to get the most bang for your buck. Here are five tips to help you do just that.

1. Sign up for the right credit card

If you want to maximize the rewards available to you, you obviously need a card with a generous rewards program. If you don’t already have one that offers bonus rewards for the kinds of things you’re most likely to buy, you should consider signing up for a new one.

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Signing up for a new card could also open the door to earning new cardholder bonuses. These are additional points, cash back, or miles once you reach a spending goal such as $500 in the first 90 days. If you can qualify for the bonus with your vacation spending, it can be a great way to end up with a lot more credit card rewards this holiday season.

2. Keep track of which card to use

If you have multiple credit cards with different rewards programs, you should keep track of which one will give you the most bonuses for different types of spending. For example, you might want to use a card that offers 5% off groceries when you buy food for your holiday table and another that offers extra discount at big box stores if you shop for gifts. parties at Sam’s Club or Costco.

3. Be strategic about where you buy your freebies

If you don’t know what to buy for certain people on your list, why not buy gifts that allow you to get the maximum reward points. For example, if you have a card that offers bonus rewards for dining out, local restaurant gift cards would be an ideal purchase for people who find it difficult to shop.

4. Charge all you can

The more you use your credit cards, the more rewards you can earn, although you don’t necessarily earn additional rewards for every purchase. So try to charge all the expenses you can while you prepare for the holidays.

When you charge for things you should buy anyway, it’s an easy way to get plenty of rewards without spending anything extra. As a bonus, many cards also offer other perks such as extended warranties or help with returns if something goes wrong.

5. Make sure you pay your balance in full

Finally, you need to make sure that you pay off your credit card balances in full. If you don’t and end up paying interest on your vacation purchases, the finance charge will likely cost more than the value of all the rewards you earn.

By following these five tips, you can make the most of your credit card rewards this holiday season.

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