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How to manage my credit card rewards

Should you spend or save your rewards?

Managing your credit card rewards may seem complicated, especially if you have multiple credit cards. Still, it’s an exciting issue to tackle because it means you potentially have a lot of rewards to gain. Here are some ways to simplify your rewards management.

Should you save up rewards?

If you can earn enough points to redeem for a reward while keeping your credit card active, there’s no doubt you should save up your rewards.

But if you have a credit card you rarely use — say only for traveling abroad — saving up for rewards may be a poor choice. That’s because if unused, your card issuer may close your account for inactivity and you will lose all your points.

How to manage my rewards

If you find yourself hoarding credit card rewards, here’s how to manage them better:

  • Don’t miss out on deals. If you happen to find a deal you like, use your points. Waiting on better deals can result in hoarding even more rewards that may eventually expire.
  • Save up your rewards. As mentioned before, saving up your rewards for that one trip to Europe or Hawaii can be worth it if you can manage to earn enough before your rewards expire.
  • Invest your rewards. Cashback credit cards are ideal to get new investment cash. Instead of spending your cash rewards, consider investing it in a savings account.
  • Opt-in for automatic redemption. Some card providers allow you to automatically redeem your rewards as soon as you reach a certain threshold. This can keep your mind off your rewards.

Compare rewards credit cards

If you already own a rewards credit card, you may want to consider pairing it with another to get the most of your spending. For example, if you now earn flat rewards on all purchases, you can get a credit card with accelerated rewards on gas or dining. Another example of an optimal combination of cards is the Chase trifecta, which is pairing three Chase cards that each serve distinct purposes.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
Up to $100 in Bitcoin rewards by earning 3.5% back in Bitcoin on all purchases in the first 90 days
3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin, then 1.5% on all purchases
$0
Earn 3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin. After that you'll earn a solid 1.5% back on all purchases.
American Express® Gold Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on other eligible purchases
$250

Rose Gold is Back

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
$0
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months. This is a higher-than-average welcome offer for a card with no annual fee. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Bottom line

Managing your rewards may feel like a hassle, but there are some strategies, such as automatic redemption when you reach a certain amount, investing your rewards in a savings account or using your rewards as soon as you spot a deal. Other events like the coronavirus pandemic can also throw a wrench in your redemption plans, so plan out how you’ll use your rewards in an emergency as well.

If you already own a rewards credit card, you may want to consider applying for a second card to complement your first.

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