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Make the Most out of Your Credit Card Rewards

07/06/2020 - Financial Planners, Responsibly Borrowing & Managing Credit, WesBanco Wellness Series

Woman at a restaurant using her credit card to tap pay on a mobile credit card reader.
WesBanco Wellness: A Series for Your Financial Health

You’re shopping for the best rewards credit card for your lifestyle and the possibilities seem endless. Should you go for a cash back option? What about airline miles or points? With every swipe of that card, you can potentially stretch your budget for the things you want and need, so it’s important to choose the right rewards credit card. It’s time to think about your credit goals, how you want to use those rewards and the best way to use them for your benefit.

What Are You Looking for in a Rewards Credit Card?

Choosing the right credit card for your financial goals is important but picking one with the right bonuses is critical. Cash back, travel miles and points can be used to pay down your balance or fund the vacation you’re dreaming about. Low interest rates, building your credit or balance transfers are great considerations for opening a credit card. But what other credit card rewards are you looking for and how should you use them? Let’s break down your options.

Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are exactly what they say they are—a way to get cash back for your purchases. Cash back rewards are simple and easy to understand, which is a plus if you don’t like juggling the complexities of a points or miles system. Depending on the credit card you choose, every time you make a purchase, a percentage of that purchase will build up into a cash reward.

You can also shop around for a card that offers a sign-on cash back bonus or a first purchase cash back bonus. This will help your cash back stash accumulate faster. You’ll also want to choose a card that gives you cash back for purchases you make every day. Think groceries, gas and restaurants. The more frequently you use your card the faster you’ll earn cash back. Once you build up these rewards, they’re also easy to redeem.

Redeeming cash back card rewards is simple. Once you reach your goal amount or the threshold set by your credit card company, just transfer the balance over to your card or redeem as a cash deposit. This is an easy way to pay off a large purchase or fund a vacation. The only downside to cash back credit cards is the rate at which you accumulate cash. Sometimes it takes quite a long time. However, if you choose the right card that offers a higher percentage on say, grocery purchases, they might build up faster depending on how often you use the card.

It’s also important to pay off your balance every month. If you’re using your card to rack up a cash back balance on regular purchases, that money should already be allotted in your budget to pay off the credit card balance right away.

Making the Most of Credit Card Points

Credit card point systems are similar to cash back rewards, but they also have other benefits that you may not be aware of. Like cash back rewards you can use accumulated credit card points by adding their cash value to pay down your balance or use them to make qualified purchases for travel or a big-ticket item. In some cases, the points you rack up can be worth more than cash back rewards.

One way to maximize your credit card point balance is to shop through your card issuer’s shopping portal. Many card issuers also offer a shopping portal with popular retailers. By using this portal rather than ordering from that retailer’s website, you can redeem reward points for purchases and gain additional points or bonuses for purchases made in the shopping portal.

As with cash back credit cards, the best way to accumulate rewards points is to use your card for everyday purchases while taking the time to budget and pay down your balance every month.

Travel Credit Cards

There’s no shortage of options for wanderlust seekers who wish to fund their adventures with travel credit cards. The first thing to consider when searching for a travel credit card is if you’re loyal to a specific airline. If you are, it’s easy to choose an airline’s card that will make travel more affordable with that specific airline. If not, we’ve got more ways to rack up points for travel.

You’ll want to consider a travel credit card with a sign-up bonus. Some cards offer bonus miles when you spend a certain amount of money after opening the card. It’s also a good idea to check and see what airlines partner with your card. This will make it easy to transfer or use your points when booking with certain airlines.

Another way to maximize your travel points is to look at the additional perks. Free checked bags? Points for rental cars and hotels? Check off everything on your list when it comes to traveling. Again, use your travel credit card regularly to accumulate points and always check your card issuer’s shopping portal to book travel, lodging, rental cars and excursions.

Deciding on the Best Rewards Credit Card for Your Lifestyle

No matter what kind of rewards you’re looking to rack up with everyday purchases, WesBanco’s personal credit card rewards options can help you earn bonuses. Credit card rewards don’t stop there. When you apply for a WesBanco rewards credit card, you may also receive sign-on cash back or point bonuses. Interested in how WesBanco’s personal credit card rewards can maximize your budget and grow your credit? Explore our credit card options today.

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Content is for informational purposes only and is not intended to provide legal or financial advice. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of WesBanco.

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