11 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards

There are a variety of ways that you can maximize your credit card rewards and reach bonus spending requirements to earn the most from the rewards program on your credit card.

Take advantage of these credit card rewards earning methods if you want to earn a new applicant bonus or maximize the rewards that you can earn from your credit card purchases.

You can use your Rewards Credit Cards to your benefit and increase your points, miles, or cash back earning levels.

1. Use Credit Cards for Everyday Spending

Maximize your rewards earnings by using your credit card for all of your everyday purchases.

If you’re in the habit of using cash for small purchases, start using your credit card instead.

Small purchases can add up over time, plus it will help you keep track of your spending.

2. Make Major Purchases on Your Credit Card

If you plan to make a major purchase, use your credit card wherever possible.

You may be able to use your credit card to pay for big items like home improvement projects and vehicle purchases.

Of course, you’ll need a large enough line of credit to cover your purchases.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to only make purchases that you can afford to pay off in full, as you don’t want to incur any interest charges on your purchases, because that will only negate the overall value of your rewards.

3. Pay Monthly Bills with Your Credit Card

Make sure that you use your rewards card for all of your monthly bill payments including the telephone bill, Internet, cable TV, etc.

Some services also allow you to pay down credit toward future bills, which could help you achieve a bonus reward faster.

4. Make Bill Payments with ChargeSmart

Not all companies allow you to pay your bills with a credit card.

You can use a service like ChargeSmart to pay many bills with your credit card including auto, mortgage, utilities, and student loans.

5. Purchase Gift Cards with Your Credit Card

Use your credit card to purchase gift cards from stores that you plan to spend money at in the future either way.

For instance, if you needed to reach $500 in purchases, you could purchase an equivalent gift card from your favorite store.

6. Make Donations Using Credit Cards

A lot of charities accept credit card payments for making donations.

If you plan on giving to charities, you could consider using your credit card.

7. Pay Taxes with Your Credit Card

Services like PayUSATax.com allow you to pay your federal taxes online with credit cards for a convenience fee.

Depending on the rewards earning level of your card, you may be able to make paying your taxes with a credit card an advantageous exchange.

8. Enroll in Special Credit Card Promotions

Some credit cards require you to enroll in any special earning opportunities that may become available.

Make sure that you understand your credit card rewards program and enroll in any special offers to earn the most rewards on your card.

9. Rotate Credit Card Usage to Maximize Special Promotions

One way to ensure that you’re earning the most rewards for your credit card spending is to rotate your card usage based on the purchases that you are making and any special promotional offers that are currently available on your credit cards.

For instance, if one of your Rotating Cash Rebate Cards is offering a special cash back rate on grocery store purchases this month, then make sure that you use that card when you shop for groceries.

10. Use Specialized Store Rewards Credit Cards

If you regularly shop at certain merchants or use services that offer their own rewards program credit cards, then consider applying for that card to use on your purchases.

Merchant credit cards often offer special discounts and extra rewards for your store purchases, so you can usually get the biggest bang for your buck by using their customer credit cards.

11. Take Advantage of Rewards Redemption Specials

You can also maximize your credit card rewards by taking advantage of any redemption specials that your rewards program may be offering.

For example, an airline rewards card may offer a reduction in the miles needed for an airline ticket redemption, or a cash rebate card may allow you to redeem your rewards for a retail gift card at a discounted rate.

Utilize these rewards redemption specials to increase your rewards earning ratio on the back-end.

How Do You Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards?

Please feel free to share any secrets that you may have or different methods to increase your credit card rewards.


  1. says

    It’s certainly difficult to add something,but I am looking for a new credit card promotions,like bonus points when I spend certain amount of money for purchases,and,if I find it a great deal,I close my old card,open a new card and taking advantage of the promotion.Thanks!

  2. Sam says

    I budget for what I believe will be my spending in the quarterly categories on my Discover More card. During each quarter, Discover usually has a 2% bonus on top of the 5% for the special categories. I assume these dates will be around holidays etc., so I plan to buy gift cards which will bring my total as close to the 1500 cap as possible. This nets me 7% cashback. Another favorite of mine is to double or triple dip with rewards. As an example, Exxon Mobil has a speedpass, which earns you a set amount back on each gallon of gas you purchase. There was a bonus period going on where you got more for registering the speedpass with a mastercard. Sallie Mae’s Upromise also gives a cent or so back into your account when purchasing at Exxon Mobil. With Chase Freedom having a Mastercard option, it was possible to sign up your Freedom Mastercard for Upromise, Speedpass, and still gain the 5% back on top of it all at the pump. Double dipping with Upromise or dining programs for major airlines during the restaurant quarter also adds to the rewards. I also find whoever I can, friends or family and ask to put their expenses on my card in exchange for cash. It saves them writing a check and paying postage while increasing my rewards!

  3. Diana B says

    I use my Discover card for nearly everything I can and then rather than cash in my rewards, I buy the discounted gift cards for places I’d shop anyway. So if I have $45 in accumulated rewards, I buy a $50 CVS gift card to stretch my rewards further. I also use Discover card’s shopping portal for rebate rewards–for ex, when I buy a restaurant.com gift certificate, I shop through their portal and get at least 20% back.

  4. Katie Rose says

    I am only just getting my first credit card (at 28 years old!!) and it’s because we are planning on an upcoming Disney Vacation and want the rewards points towards it. We will be using if for basically ALL of our purchases to accumulate as many rewards points as possible (as well as use the cardholder discount privileges when we get there!!)

  5. Sammi says

    I make sure to buy everything on the same card – the points add up quick when everything you buy gets added!

  6. Yelonda says

    I use my credit card for all of my purchases. I pay off the entire balance each month to avoid interest charges. Interest will offset the reward value.

  7. Robert Rampton says

    My wife and I have about 8 different credit cards combined. We made a document with all the best rewards for gas, groceries, etc. we update it every quarter and it’s saved us probably 100 every quarter. This way we can always get at least 3% cash back at grocery and gas locations

  8. Naresh says

    Make sure to call credit card customer service once in a while for any special promotions/reward programs and ask them to lower your APR.It worked for me(pay off the balance 2 days before you call them).

  9. Ray says

    Keep every card open, even the ones no longer used. Occasionally a card issuer will offer incentives to get you using their card again. Once I discovered a $20 credit on a Citi card I hadn’t used in years.

  10. syd says

    always have several credit cards in your wallet: one for gas, one for grocery, one for travel expenses, and one for restaurant, and keep an eye on AMEX promotions. it’s not really difficult to get full 5% cash back for monthly spending.

  11. Bill says

    I recently got a US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card which is a great rewards card to complement the ones I already had like Chase Freedom and Discover. This is a brand new card that seemingly hasn’t been widely touted.

    $50 new cardmember bonus when you spend $500 in your first 90 days

    5% cash back on two categories that you choose
    2% cash back on gas, groceries or drug stores – choose one
    1% cash back on everything else
    $25 bonus each time you redeem $100 or more cash back in a single redemption.

    You must use the link below to get the $50 bonus after spending $500 in 90 days.

    This is a credit card that is giving me 5% back on 2 categories of my choosing each quarter. My 2 are bill payment (such as cable, phone, Internet, satellite, & insurance) which is normally a huge expense for most people; and home improvement, such as Home Depot, Menards, Lowes, hardware stores.


    More info: http://www.usbank.com/cashplus

    A friend of mine has a US Bank mortgage and then got this card in addition to his US Bank checking account. This qualified him for their platinum checking package. A surprise bonus came on his first credit card statement: platinum checking customers get a 50% bonus each month on their credit card rewards (e.g., if you earn $10/month in rewards, you actually get $15). This can amount to a lot of extra money, since the rewards are not capped, and since you get an additional $25 bonus if you wait to redeem the rewards once you’ve accumulated $100.

  12. Kun says

    Use tools like Discover Money Messenger or Amazon Payments to pay people using credit cards. But use these services with extremely care. Do not choose the cash advance payment method.

  13. David says

    I think the simplest way is to keep using your credit card! Even for very small purchases (less than $5) it really adds up. Love the article!

  14. Robby Rob says

    I have the amazon.com sponsored credit card and use it on amazon…..often. I love the 3 points per $1 on their site and their prices are normally better than the other retailers anyway. It just makes sense!

  15. Sharad says

    Pay your present credit card bills on time. That way you will build a strong and clean credit history. This will help you in getting new credit cards with great offers such as Chase sapphire, delta gold card etc. After all what they care the most is your credit history. So be punctual on that part and you are qualified for even better deals.

  16. Sadhana says

    Keep eye on maximizemoney.com. You should be the great fan of this website to maximize your credit card rewards. All the credit card reward offers are posted on this website.

  17. Bhagat says

    Best thing is to see the details on how much cash back is offered by a particular credit card and make maximum number of purchases using that card.

  18. Nana says

    Obviously one need to see which credit card is suitable for his/her personal use depending on what kind of purchases they do a lot. Because different credit cards have different cash back options on specific types of purchases. Select the right card and use it the maximum number times as you can. Good luck.

  19. Sadhu says

    The only thing I want to say is that the American Express premier rewards cards because it gives you maximum cash back. Hope it helps.

  20. Lynn says

    In addition to using many of the ways already listed in the article, I will make most of my online purchases through a cashback site.

  21. Mary says

    I use my Delta Amex card to pay everything daily. Then I use the miles to take a free family v acation every year. I also liked them on Facebook so when they have a promotion for more ways to earn miles I can be notified.

  22. says

    Thank you to everybody who entered our $50 giveaway contest for ideas on maximizing your credit card rewards.

    The contest has now ended, and comment #12 was chosen randomly as our winner.

    We sincerely appreciate your participation.

    Please feel free to continue to share ideas about increasing your card rewards.

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