How to Go from a Normal Card User to Points Hacker in Simple Steps!
You probably heard stories about backpackers and entrepreneurs who were able to travel the world even though they do not have a fortune. You might have even heard of credit card reward hacking that these modern-day travelers do to earn mileage and points – and you’re left wondering to yourself how they do it. Don’t worry, if you’re interested to know more about these things, then you came to the right place.
In this blog, we’ll be talking about credit card points hacking. Basically, we’ll discuss the hacks that you can do to earn bigger rewards and show you exclusive tips on how to maximize the use of your card.
Before we can give you hacks on how to maximize the use of your card, of course, you need to pick a good one first. To help you with that, we’ve listed some of the best tips to help you in choosing the right credit card.
Tips in Choosing a Credit Card
Check your Credit Score
Your choice of credit cards will highly depend on your credit score. Typically, the higher your credit score is the better your chances of getting approved for credit cards with great perks. So, if you really want to score a credit card with great perks, it would be best to know your credit score status and to make sure that you have a good credit standing. If you need help in tracking and improving your credit score, check out these tools that will help manage your credit score. These tools will also help you if ever you discover that there are some discrepancies with your credit score.
Choose Your Type of Credit Card
In choosing the right credit card, you need to look for a card that fits your lifestyle and purchasing behavior. The unspoken rule is, you need to pick a credit card that will give you the best value for every purchase that you make. So, if you’re a frequent traveler, then having a credit card that offers mileage perks is a must-have. There are also cards that are specifically designed depending on your purchasing needs like Business Credit Cards if you run a business, and in you often shop on Amazon.com and other Amazon brands, you can get an Amazon Credit Cards. The main benefit of specializing in the card that you use for every purchase category is that these cards typically offer higher rewards and points. Hence, you get bigger bonuses.
Prepare a Checklist
Once you’re faced with multiple options, it can be difficult to gauge which one is best for you especially when you’re faced with a lot of good choices. The key here is to have a checklist that you will use to easily compare each credit card one by one. These are the perks, rewards, as well as fees that you can expect for every card. For instance, if. you travel to other countries quite frequently, then it would be best to have a card with no foreign transaction fees. Also, always check for the signup bonus, annual fee, cash back, and reward system so you can better gauge which one will work for you.
If you’re having a hard time checking out the best credit cards available, check out our list for the best credit cards for business and travel.
Hacks to Maximize the Value of your Credit Card
1. Choose your Credit Card for Personal use
In employing hacks to maximize the use of your credit cards, it’s important to understand that your ability to earn rewards highly depends on your purchasing behavior. This is because many credit cards have higher cashback for a distinct category while there are others that offer better reward points only for selected brands. Thus, it’s important that in choosing a credit card, you pick one that fits your lifestyle, habits, and preference. It’s also important to remember that credit card fees can be avoided, you just need to make sure that you carefully examine what each card can offer.
2. Get a Card from your Regular Shops
If you have a specific store where you always go shopping, then it would be wise to get a card from them if they’re affiliated with any bank. If you get a credit card from certain retail brands, you can enjoy exclusive discounts, deals, and rewards that normal customers don’t get. One example would be the Amazon Prime card in which card-holders enjoy 5% cash-back purchases on their sites and affiliate brands.
3. Utilize Multiple Cards
Many people think that having different cards will only boost your spending. However, that should not be the way to look at it. As I’ve mentioned earlier, some cards are designed to reward specific purchases like dining, grocery, and flights. When you only have a single credit card – say, one that’s designed for travel, you might be losing points that you could’ve earned for all grocery, shopping, and dining purchases. Thus, it’s always wise to have more cards that you can use for different purposes.
If you need a guide on which is which, here are my top recommendations:
- Amex Hilton Card – Best for Hilton-loyalist or if you regularly stay at Hilton Hotels
- The Business Platinum Card by American Express – The best choice for businesses and entrepreneurs who frequently travel. Offers 85,000 rewards points as a signup bonus.
- Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Card – Best if you’re an Amazon and Whole Foods user since it offers a 5% cash back.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card – Best for personal purchases with its flat 1.5% cash back.
4. Go Cashless
This should not be new for you. In fact, going cashless has been the trend for the last decade with the rise of online wallets and various digital currencies. Besides, how can you earn points if you’re using cash? Using cash for purchases offers no perks so there’s no way I’d recommend it, unless perhaps you’re on a remote island where there are no ATMs or credit card terminals. But other than that, credit cards should be the way to go.
5. Get New Cards Regularly
Many people think that constantly applying for credit cards will put their credit score in shambles. However, it’s not entirely true. Like any other thing, when you do it carelessly, of course, you will suffer from the consequences. However, if you do it properly, rest assured that you’ll reap what you sow – which is why I recommend that you get new cards every year.
Applying for new cards every year may do you more good than harm. However, you need to be extra careful in doing this as you can’t afford to commit any mistakes, which may negatively affect your credit score. The good news is that so long as you pay your credit in full and on time, you should be fine. You also need to remember that you shouldn’t apply for too many cards at once, this is because credit inquiries of different financial institutions will just lower your credit score.
6. Capitalize on Sign Up Bonuses
As mentioned in the previous number, I recommend that you apply for new credit cards regularly – one reason is that your credit limit may even increase, which will in turn boost your credit score. Another reason is that you can rack up on sign-up bonuses. Most credit cards offer lucrative signup bonuses to lure new customers to get their credit cards. So, when you get approved for new cards, you will certainly rack up on massive rewards. In fact, some cards even allow you to earn as much as 60,000 points within a few months from getting approved, which realistically speaking, is way more points than you can get on average spending.
7. Plan Your Purchases
While I highly recommend that you get multiple cards, you also need to ensure that you are not spending way more than your financial capability, or else, you’ll drown in debt. To be a credit card points hacker, you need to know your limits and financial capability, of course, you don’t want to spend lavishly only to earn points, only to incur a large amount of debt later on.
You need to plan your purchases. For instance, if you just got a new card and you need to spend a minimum amount to claim the signup bonus, then it would be best to purchase through that card only and not use your existing cards. The key here is to get cards that have no annual fee, so you don’t have to worry about not using it for some time.
Credit card rewards hacking is one of the best skills that one can learn for better financial planning. While there’s no question that applying for credit cards can be very tedious, the rewards that you can get when you practice these steps will all be worth the effort.
It’s also important to note the common misconception about credit card rewards hacking. When people talk about credit card reward hacking, it doesn’t mean that you get a free pass to anything – it doesn’t mean free flights, free accommodation, nor a shopping spree. It simply means that you are getting better reward points than an average credit card user. If you’re not happy about the rewards that you’re getting from your credit card purchases, then this is something that you should check for.
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