Friday, November 9, 2007

Maximizing Credit Card Rewards

The term maximizing means getting the most out of something, when it comes to credit cards many people have worked on maximizing their credit card rewards. The term “rewards” here does not mean reward points, rewards mean making the best of the credit card you are using. If you are using a credit card and are wondering what to do to get the most out of your credit card, then this article is designed to help make the task of maximizing credit card rewards simpler.

Read the fine print

Fine print is a misnomer, how can something that is spelt out in black and white in legible letters be termed as fine print? However the terms and conditions of credit cards are almost always referred to as the fine print. To make sure that you are getting the best of your credit card, know the pros and cons of your credit card inside out, usually not all credit cards are good for all types of purchases. For example a credit card might be offering great discounts or cash backs on gas bills, but when it comes to the APR it might be lacking. It is therefore important that you as a consumer are fully aware of what pros and cons of your credit card.

If you don’t have a credit card and are looking to apply for one, then you are even better off, do your research beforehand and clearly understand what you stand to gain from the credit card you are applying for.

Understanding the plus points of your credit card

As mentioned above not all credit cards are good for all kinds of purchases, it is therefore essential to understand which products or services should be bought with the credit, also in the case of gas cards make sure you understand the difference between a cash back scheme and a reward points scheme, both are different, and depending on your preference make sure you have the right card for your needs. Since credit cards today are so specialized make sure you have a credit card that can help you save money on the regular purchases that you make.


The annual percentage rate is applicable to all purchases that have been split up or spread across a period of time, for example if you make a $1000 purchase and then decide to pay back the credit card company over a period of time instead of a single payment, then the interest levied is called the APR, most credit cards today offer APR free time periods. This means that for certain duration of time (usually the first few months after the credit card is issued) no APR is charged, so any purchases made during the APR free period will not incur any additional interest.

However make sure you understand clearly the terms and conditions of the APR, almost all credit cards offer 0% APR only for a limited period of time. Make sure you clearly recognize the time span and duration of the 0% APR period. Many new credit card users make the mistake of assuming that 0% APR is available for an unlimited period of time, make sure that this does not happen to you. If you are in any doubt, do not hesitate to call customer care before you make the purchase. This way you are making the most of your credit card, without paying additional APR.

Remember, at the end of the day you don’t need a degree in finance to maximize the rewards your credit card has to offer, you just need to use some common sense, and when in doubt don’t hesitate to call customer services, they are there to help you.

In a nutshell all it takes to make the most of your credit card is to identify its plus and minus points and to make sure that you are aware of all the various features that your credit card has to offer. In addition make sure that you pay all your bills on time, as this not only improves your credit rating, but also enhances the credit limit of your card, the higher credit limit you have, the easier it becomes for you to purchase larger or more expensive items without having to go to the bank for loans.

For your convenience, you can try out a free online rewards calculation tool - credit card rewards wizard before appying for any Reward Credit Cards.

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