Maximize your rewards credit cards

You love rewards, right? Of course you do, you love Paceline! Beyond the incredible fitness rewards you can take advantage of on Paceline, credit cards are another rich source of financial benefit – if you utilize them properly. In order to best maximize your rewards credit cards you need to do a bit of homework (big surprise, right?) and be dedicated to the cause. The good news is that all of that work on the front end can have massive potential benefits at the end of each billing cycle. Whether you’re trying to get more points, cash back, or air miles, maximizing your rewards credit card is all about proper management. And if you’re already here at Paceline reading about rewards credit cards, allow us to remind you that our very own Health & Wellness credit card is just around the corner so go SIGN UP to hear all the latest news as it happens!

Find your perfect card

Just like finding your favorite workout class or hiking trail, you want to find a rewards credit card that works in tandem with your lifestyle. Are you a travel junky (or do you plan to be once the pandemic dies down)? Or do you want to see those cash back balances at the end of every billing cycle? Regardless of what floats your financial boat, you want to make sure you find a credit card that has rewards you’ll actually use. It’s worth doing your homework here on the front end so you don’t end up with a card you rarely use.

You also want to make sure you find a card that offers rewards for the things you want that aren’t going to be impossible to redeem. Some cards are notorious for offering travel points that are only valid during certain time periods. Figure out which card has the best rewards structure that works for you.

Get the most out of your rewards card

Having 20x cash back and 50x travel rewards won’t do you a lot of good if it’s only on qualified purchases made from space. A good rule of thumb is to find a rewards credit card that works with the widest range of qualifying purchases. Beyond that, you’ll want to find a card that offers higher rewards multipliers on the specialized purchases you make most often. Extra points or cash back on things like groceries, gas, coffee, online purchases, and food delivery are great because they’re often items you’re buying consistently. That means more consistent rewards. At the same time, if you’re a health & wellness fanatic, you’d want to find a credit card that rewards purchases like a gym membership or protein smoothies at your local health food store. The more strategic you’re able to be with your purchases, the more effectively you’ll be able to take advantage of the rewards.

Swipe more, pay often

Once you’ve found the right card and know which purchases get you the most rewards, start swiping! Rewards credit cards give you your rewards when you spend so, the more you can responsibly spend, the better. You’ll want to be strategic about how much you do spend because most cards won’t pay out your rewards until you’ve paid off your balance. Like any credit card, you’ll want to keep that balance as low as possible (ideally zero!) which means you don’t want to start spending outside your means. Utilizing your rewards credit card like a debit card on the purchases you make regularly is a great way to take advantage of points or cash back while still being able to pay off your balance every month. 

Know your cards

While elevated travel rewards or boatloads of cash back may have been what lured you into your card in the first place, you’ll want to dig deeper into the fine print. Often, rewards cards will have a host of other additional benefits that don’t get listed in all the splashy marketing materials you see. Things like free TSA Precheck or subsidized insurance on rental cars are common for lots of cards. Take some time to pour over the details and make sure you’re extracting everything you can from what’s on offer. The last thing you want is to be leaving perks and benefits on the table!

Ensure you qualify for signup bonuses

Signup bonuses are one way credit card companies lure qualified candidates into their card versus others. These can be anything from zero interest for a year to a bonus gift of points. However, you want to be very clear on what it takes to qualify for these signup gifts. 100,000 bonus points sound incredible but if you’re required to charge $10,000 on your card every month for the first 3 months, you should know if that’s even possible for your situation. Take a measured approach when assessing which signup bonus makes the most sense for you. If it’s charging a certain balance every month or paying off your initial purchases by a particular date, figure out if it’s realistic for your personal financial wellness. 

Plan large purchases accordingly

Speaking of signup bonuses, if you’re planning on making a large purchase at some point, use a rewards card to your advantage! Let’s say Card A offers a 50,000 points bonus when you charge over $2,000 to your card in the first month. If you’ve been eyeing a new Peloton to upgrade your health & wellness lifestyle, this could be a perfect way to kill two birds with one stone! If you know you have a large purchase coming up, that could even help influence the type of card you end up applying for altogether. Do a little digging and sync up your financial chakras to guarantee you get the most out of your rewards experience.

Regardless of which rewards card you have, or will have, in your wallet be sure you’re taking advantage of all it has to offer. Your financial wellness will thank you for it.

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