These 3 Moves Could Make It Easier to Snag More Credit Card Rewards

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Get ready to start racking those rewards up.

Key points

  • Credit cards commonly reward you for the purchases you’re already making.
  • A few strategic moves could have you earning more rewards this year.

One of the best aspects of using credit cards is getting to rack up rewards on your purchases. Sometimes, those rewards come in the form of cash back. Other times, they come in the form of air miles or hotel points that can be redeemed for a free stay. Or, your rewards might translate into gift cards at your favorite retailers.

But either way, credit card rewards have plenty of value, so your goal may be to accumulate as many of them as possible. And if you make these three moves, you could end up doing that this year.

1. Applying for new cards with sign-up bonuses before making large purchases

Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses for spending a certain amount of money within a few months of opening a new account. The problem with sign-up bonuses, though, is that some come with high spending requirements that can make those bonuses more difficult to snag. But if you time your applications just right, that may not be an issue.

Imagine you’re traveling to a wedding this summer and intend to book your flight in May. If you get a new credit card with a sign-up bonus right before making those travel arrangements, you might have an easier time meeting the spending requirement to get that bonus. Similarly, if you plan to do a home improvement project in June that will likely result in a $1,500 bill at the hardware store, it pays to apply for a sign-up bonus credit card a few weeks before your work is set to begin.

2. Paying attention to revolving bonus categories

Some credit cards offer revolving bonus categories that can reward you quite generously. You may, for example, be eligible for 5% cash back on gas during the second quarter of the year and 5% back at department stores during the year’s fourth quarter.

Make sure to pay attention to the times your cards are offering extra rewards. Better yet, make a rewards calendar so those bonus categories are easier for you to track.

3. Looking out for new offers even if you’re happy with your existing cards

You may have a bunch of credit cards with generous rewards programs. But that doesn’t mean there’s not a better offer out there.

Credit card companies are constantly coming up with new ways to entice consumers, so it pays to research offers every few months and see what’s available. At the same time, it pays to work on boosting your credit score or keeping an already strong score in good shape. The higher that number, the more likely you’ll be to qualify for the best credit card offers that come out.

Credit card rewards are a great thing to rack up. Cash back can help offset the cost of your purchases, and air miles and hotel points can make it possible to travel more and enjoy different experiences. These three tips could be your ticket to more rewards, so be sure to incorporate them into your financial routine.

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