The promise behind every rewards credit card is that the person having the card receives something for nothing. By spending money on the card, the cardholder is awarded various perks such as points, air miles, cashback, etc. The rewards can be redeemed for merchandise and gift cards. If you do not use the card correctly, there is a good chance that it will cost you money. You can make the most of your rewards credit cards in the following ways:
You must analyze your spending
The first step to maximizing your rewards is to choose a card that best fits your spending habits. When you set a budget, you will know which card will suit your lifestyle. When you are choosing a card, look for a card that offers you extra points and perks for your largest budget category.
Always avoid high annual fees
Most of the rewards credit cards charge an annual fee. If your annual fee is low, then it will pay for itself. But, if your annual fee is high, then it is not beneficial and you must not choose that card. If you ask yourself, ‘Is it worth it?’ do not take the card.
Make sure there is a sign-up bonus
Sign-up bonuses are the quickest way to rack up your points or miles. Look for a card that is offering you the highest sign-up bonus. Most of the times, the catch is that there is a minimum spend requirement. If the minimum spend requirement is high, you might want to consider looking out for cashback cards that offer bonuses.
Don’t take a card that has too many restrictions
When you are selecting a card, make sure that the rewards redemption is easy. Most cards also have blackout dates for travel, dining, meet minimum spend requirement, etc. You need not take these cards, you can get rewards credit cards that do not put in so many restrictions.
Have different credit cards
There is a good chance when you look at your budget you find two major categories. Not all the rewards credit card will cater to different categories. If that is the case, you may want to have two different cards. This way you are earning rewards specific to the category.
Make use of the bill pay option
Everyone has utility bills to take care of each month. You may want to consider paying your utility bills through your credit card. Most of the credit cards have an auto-pay facility. This makes sure that your bills are paid on time and it will maximize your rewards as well.
Keep track of your spending
Not all credit card companies are out there to benefit you. You may want to keep a check on your expenses. Do not spend more just to earn more rewards. Stick to your budget and avoid getting into a huge credit card debt.
Make sure the rewards redemption have a good value for your points
If you are opting for cashback rewards, then they are immediately credited to your account. There is no expiration date or blackout dates. But, if you are choosing merchandise rewards, you will get a poor value for your points. You are spending a certain amount on your card to earn the rewards, make sure the redemption is worth the effort.
Cancel less rewarding cards
If you have a less rewarding card, you might want to cancel it. When your credit card annual fees and interest rates are high, you must evaluate the card carefully and see if the rewards you are earning is worth the amount spent on maintaining the card.
Best rewards credit cards in Malaysia
Following are the best rewards credit cards you can get in Malaysia:
- Standard Chartered WorldMiles World MasterCard
- Maybankard 2 Gold cards
- HSBC Visa Signature
- Citi Prestige
- Public Bank Platinum MasterCard
Never spend more than you intend to just to earn more rewards. You must at all times know when your rewards points expire. Read through the terms and conditions carefully. The best way to check if the card is worth keeping is the divide the rewards you earn by how much you spent. If the amount you are spending is way more than the rewards you are earning, it is time to switch to a different credit card.