Getting the most out of credit card rewards

This quarter, I redeemed $35 in credit card rewards, as well as using $22 to pay for the six monthly Visa and True Rewards fees. ($57 in three months is a pretty good haul, right?)

Right now, I’m left with about $8 in rewards dollars.

But the thing is, I don’t know how long it took me to earn all that. I make $1 for every $150 spent, and given that I try to put everything on CC that I can, it adds up at a respectable pace. I know I’m coming out ahead, but I don’t know if it’s by $2 or $20 or $50. I guess I should have saved those quarterly statements…

Every so often I contemplate opening a credit card elsewhere instead. But the convenience of having it linked to my main accounts and making real-time transactions is too hard to give up. After all, the ASB Visa still has one of the lowest annual fees. I can use my reward dollars at the cinema, supermarket or a range of other stores or just apply them to the Visa as free cashback, essentially. It looks like this is about as good as it gets for a personal card.

Do you have your credit card/s with your main bank?

13 thoughts on “Getting the most out of credit card rewards

  • Reply gem October 14, 2010 at 08:34

    Yeah, mine’s with my main bank. It’s mostly for the sake of simplicity. I like that I can just transfer payments online. I like that I can deposit my rewards into my checking. I like that it’s all connected and accessible. I don’t really see the benefits to getting another one since I doubt the interest rate would be that much lower. If I was really motivated, I’d call my bank and try to get them to lower it though. (I’ve heard sometimes they go for it, if you’ve been with them long enough and have good credit.)

  • Reply FB @ FabulouslyBroke.com October 14, 2010 at 09:49

    Yes. I have one with my main bank that is free and gives me 10 points per dollar, with 10,000 points = $10 redeemable

    I’ve been racking in the points and racking up the credits!!!!

    I also don’t care about the interest rate, because I clear it each month so it’s no big deal

  • Reply Emily Jane October 15, 2010 at 03:34

    I do use the same bank for my Visa as my regular chequing account – I just find it makes things easier for online banking! I also took out a line of credit because the interest is lower than on Visa, and that way I can just transfer my Visa balance to my LoC when I need to to not get hit quite so hard… 🙂

  • Reply aloysa October 15, 2010 at 04:08

    It is nice to be able to redeem c/c rewards… Unfortunately for me, I cannot exercise enough self-discipline with any c/c. Rewards or not. So, I prefer to stay away from them. I might reconsider it in the future…

  • Reply Lindy Mint October 15, 2010 at 04:56

    I haven’t played the reward game because it sounds like too much of a hassel, and I have fears of not reading the fine print and having to fight customer service people to redeem my points (these might be irrational fears, by the way). But the card I have with my bank gives me points towards gift cards, and all I have to do is order them online. I’ll take the free money for no extra effort 🙂

  • Reply Newlyweds on a Budget October 15, 2010 at 13:04

    We have several credit cards but only carry balances on 2. The first one is a special rate 0% interest that we only used to transfer a balance and plan to pay off by April. The second is our bank credit card–and yeah, we use it because the rewards are decent and it’s convenient. plus we have a lot interest rate on it as well.

  • Reply retireby40 October 15, 2010 at 17:50

    We went to a weekly cash allowance and only use credit card for fixed cost items like internet, pet supplies, and medical bills. This helped cut down our spending a bit. Try using cash allowance for a few months and see if it will help you cut spending. When I want to buy a new camera, I save up the allowance. Of course I couldn’t follow it 100%, but at least I try. Google cash vs credit.

  • Reply Stephany October 17, 2010 at 06:09

    I have 3 credit cards, but want to get rid of 2 of them once I pay them off. The only one that gives rewards is the one with the highest balance. I want to keep the one at my bank because it’s a low balance and keeps me in check that way. 🙂 But, no rewards with that one. Sad.

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  • Reply Khaleef @ KNS Financial October 19, 2010 at 14:00

    May bank has purchased 4 credit cards that my wife and I owned through other companies. Nothing has changed much, and we only use 1 of them (a rewards card) for expenses.

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