I used to be scared using a credit card for all purchases. I was afraid that I would not be disciplined enough and would just keep charging and not paying off the full balance, but since I have switched from using cash/debit and rely solely on using credit, it has been worth the change and continue to see the rewards dollars add up. I started using the Costco Citi card (used to be American Express), and they offer anywhere from 1-4% cashback on purchases, depending on the type of purchase, and after getting a reward check back of almost $700 for purchases made the previous year, there is no going back. It’s free money just by making the purchases I would have made anyways using debit/another card without rewards.
Find the Best Credit Card Deal
To maximize the adding up of your rewards points or dollars, it is good to limit spending to not only one card, but a credit with the best perks. If you have open credit cards, take a look at each and see what they offer as far as cashback, and if not good, then search for the best (only applying for one so it doesn’t hurt your credit score). With so much competition these days, as long as your credit is solid, you should have no trouble finding one that meets your needs.
Avoid a Shopping Spree
Now that you have decided which card to use, you can start making every purchase you would normally have made in the month with either your debit card or a combination of other cards. Although you cannot typically make your mortgage or car lease payment using a credit card, just about every other bill can be, plus spending money. Now that you are not having money come directly out of your checking account, it is important to watch spending habits so that it is not a shock when the statement bill comes in, so that you can pay the full balance by the due date to avoid interest.
Put the Rewards to Good Use
Whether you accumulate rewards points or receive a cashback check once a year, there are plenty of places to put your newfound money to good use. For points, you can redeem for retail, gas, and even home improvement store gift cards if you need to use towards a home improvement project. Restaurant gift cards are nice to use for a free meal, however you should try to limit and put towards better use, as it is easy to just go out to eat, but probably unnecessary to go out to eat more than needed.
Don’t Ignore Your Debit Card
I have been so focused on using my credit card for all purchases that I didn’t realize that my debit card had been adding up points from previous use, although it took purchases for a better part of a year just go add up to a $25 gift card, so your best option is probably opting with using a credit card, but it can’t hurt to double check debit card rewards. Every little bit helps!