How to earn more points with your rewards card

Woman looking at her laptop screen, shopping online

Most credit unions offer a rewards card where you can earn points to redeem for rewards and perks. If you're planning a trip, looking to save on a big purchase or earning cash back, credit card rewards can help you reach your goal. There are many ways you can accumulate extra points, miles, and cash back with your rewards card.

Find the right rewards card for you

Look for a card that will fit your lifestyle and spending habits. For example, some people prefer to earn points with everyday purchases such as groceries and fuel, whereas frequent travelers may find it convenient to use their rewards card to book hotel rooms and flights. Look at your credit card statements and see where you spent most of your money. You may be surprised to find how you can get the most out of a card that fits your spending habits.

5 tips to earning extra points

Earn points quickly using the strategies below with your rewards credit card without spending more. There are many ways to accumulate points and rewards, but here are five tips to make your rewards card work smarter for you.

  1. Regular expenses – Use your rewards card for your daily and monthly spending. Utility bills, groceries, online subscriptions and orders, and gas are a few examples. Pay off your credit card balance every month to avoid cancelling out your rewards with interest rates.
  2. Creative spending – Get creative with your spending. For instance, you can pick up the tab at a dinner with friends and they can pay you back while you earn the rewards. Make charitable donations with your card to rack up points. You could also pay for rent, tuition and other large expenses with your card. Some cards charge fees for some expenses, such as tuition, so make sure the benefits outweigh the costs.
  3. Gift Cards – Buying gift cards for places where you shop is a way to hit minimum spend requirements. For instance, you can buy a $40 gift card with your rewards points for $35. Use the gift cards you buy to purchase items that give cash back or rebates and you've used your rewards for more savings.
  4. Shopping portals – Check the shopping portal associated with your rewards card for items you want to buy. If it’s listed, you’ll earn rewards and perhaps additional perks for your spending. Every rewards program and shopping portal is different so check to see if it will be worth making your extra points.
  5. Add an authorized user – Adding a trusted authorized user to your card adds further expenses to your card and accumulates more points to your account.

Things to consider

Every rewards card program is different so review terms and details for every card carefully. Some cards charge an annual fee, so do the math to see if it will be worth it. If you spend enough on the card, you'll earn enough rewards to offset the fee. Also consider interest rates, as any rewards you've earned could be wiped out from interest so pay off the balance every month to maximize your earnings. You may prefer a card with points and rewards or a better interest rate — either way, your credit union’s credit card is usually your best bet. As a TwinStar member, you already have access to fantastic rates and optimal security. To learn if a TwinStar Visa Platinum Rewards credit card fits your lifestyle, check out our offerings.