20 Best Ways to Earn Lots of Credit Card Rewards Points
Many assume you must travel to earn and rack up credit card rewards points. That is not the case; most points are acquired on the ground. You can collect thousands of credit card reward points without ever leaving home. Once you have received credit card reward points, you can use them to travel the world. If you get good at this, travel will become cheaper and often free!
*Note: These strategies are only advisable if you are not in debt and can pay off your balances at the end of the month. If you take on credit card debt to earn points, you are doing yourself more harm than good. Ensure you have the funds to immediately pay off your credit card if you plan to use any of these ideas.
1. Sign up for credit cards that are offering sign-up bonuses.
Almost all credit cards offer a sign-up bonus, and most waive any annual fees if applicable for the first year. There is usually a spending requirement to get the reward, and the amounts vary.
2. Add an authorized user.
Many credit cards give you bonus points, usually around 5,000, for adding an authorized user who makes purchases in the first few months.
3. Sign up for emails with the credit card to take advantage of specific offers.
Credit cards always send exclusive offers; some can be lucrative, like triple points for dining out or buying gas. Often, it requires you to “sign up” for the promotion, but it’s a click or two at most.
4. Close your credit card and then reapply.
Policies on reapplying to vary, so I don’t advise this for cards you want to retain. However, reapply later down the line if you only got the card for the bonus to cancel. Typically, you can reapply 24 months later, and for some cards, you can only get the bonus once in a lifetime.
5. Ask for a retention bonus.
Suppose it’s a credit card you love and want to keep. When it comes time to renew the credit card, ask for a retention bonus. If there is an annual fee, ask for it to be waived. It may not work, but it sometimes does, and it’s worth asking!
6. Pay all your utilities.
By “all,” I mean pay your phone bills, cable, electricity, water, and so on using your credit card. You can also include any subscriptions you have!
7. Pay for all services.
Do you get your lawn cut every month? Do you use a cleaning service? Put all of these on your credit card!
8. Use your credit card for all purchases.
Buying groceries? Add them to your card. Buying shoes? Add them to your card. All purchases can be added to your card! Well, there are some. For example, you can’t buy a yacht with a credit card!
9. Use your credit card to buy gas.
Let’s face it; we all must buy gas if we own a car. Earn points from the purchase of gasoline. Many cards offer double points on gas, so this is a must!
10. Use your credit card when you dine out.
Date night is here, and you are off to dinner – charge it. Lunch at Subway – charge it. Even food trucks accept credit cards!
11. Pay your property taxes on your credit card.
You can raise some significant points-paying your property taxes on a credit card. Some counties will charge a fee or a %, but it’s fractional compared to the number of points you can earn.
12. Pay your mortgage.
Not all mortgage companies will allow you to do this, but some will. If you can, this is a must! Paying your mortgage alone on a credit card will easily score you a flight a year.
13. Pay a down payment for a car.
Most dealers will let you put at least $5,000 on a card. Some will allow you to do more. If you use cash, you are missing a rewarding opportunity!
14. Pay your car payment.
If you have a car payment, see if you can set the payments up using your credit card.
15. Pay your auto insurance.
Rather than getting a monthly bill, pay it in total, and use your credit card.
16. Pay for tuition
Most colleges now allow you to pay tuition with a credit card. Some will charge a fee; some won’t investigate it if you have tuition fees or pay for your child’s. This is a considerable expense, and you will earn thousands of credit card reward points.
17. Pay for daycare or afterschool programs.
If you have children, think about how much you spend on daycare or afterschool programs. Think about how many credit card reward points you could be earning.
18. Pay for home improvements.
Planning renovations? Use your credit card for these expenses.
19. Pay your taxes with a credit card.
A lot of people already do this due to need. Even if you have the cash, see if what you would earn is worth the fee, which is approximately 2%.
20. File a complaint
Have you experienced a delay, cancellation, or shoddy service? Complain! Often this will result in a generous amount of points. I’ve earned as much as 5k credit card reward points for a billing mistake and 20K credit card reward points for canceled flights!
Here is another tip:
Assign the credit card you collect credit card reward points to eBay, Amazon, and any other retail sites you use. This way, you automatically receive points for purchases.
Again: These strategies are only advisable if you are not in debt and can pay off your balances at the end of the month. If you take on credit card debt to earn points, you are doing yourself more harm than good. Ensure you have the funds to immediately pay off your credit card if you plan to use any of these ideas.
Have any additional ideas? Leave your thoughts in the comments section.
Nikki Webster is a travel writer who covers how to travel while grinding a day job without breaking the bank. Nikki is always in search of off-the-beaten-track experiences and unique stays. She is particularly fond of Florida and writes extensively about the state. She flies around 60,000 miles per year and has visited 54 countries, 50 states, and six continents. You can read all about her travels at www.britonthemove.com or follow along on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.