As we are constantly trying to reduce spending to maximize remaining money left at the end of the month to use to improve our savings for retirement, we look at all sorts of ways to generate extra cash. That can be tough to find when you barely seem to make ends meet every single month by paying your monthly bills such as your mortgage, utilities, while having money for food, gas, and even spending money, while still contributing for retirement. What if you could make money and not have to do anything else but put all the purchases on a single credit card? While you are not able to charge your mortgage payment, you’ll find most of your bills can be used with a credit card, so if you find a card with the best rewards program, you could start to earn money back just on where your money normally goes in a month. Some credit cards offer points per dollars spent, while others offer an actual check that comes to you with your cashback rewards. Look to the best deal that you can find to maximize earnings starting now.
Credit Cards No Longer Have a Negative Connotation
It used to be that when you used a credit card it meant that you did not have the money to make the purchase and you put it on a card so that you could pay for it later. While that may be true in a sense as far as not having to make the payment until the billing statement is over and due date is next month, it actually is not a bad thing to bring out the plastic at the register. With checks, and even cash for that matter falling off, debit cards are popular, taking money directly out of your checking account, but credit cards seem to be the norm for most purchases these days, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.
The Rewards Dollars Really Add Up
While there are plenty of benefits to using a credit card such as being widely acceptable, offer purchase protection, and even not worrying about a hold on the account when checking into a hotel or getting a rental car, the rewards could be where it makes the most sense to use for purchases. I belong to Costco and recently got switched over from American Express to Citi, and while I thought the rewards were great with AMEX, Citi is even better. Now offering between 1-4% cashback on purchases, the rewards just continue to add up, and once a year you receive a check to use at Costco (and get the rest back in cash). Think about it, if you spend $2,000 a month in normal purchases and get roughly 3% back, that’s $60 a month adding up to a reward check back for over $700, just by using that card on purchases you would have already made.
Put the Points to Good Use
This money that is coming back to you, so instead of blowing it on gift cards to Best Buy or spending your check on a new purse, put the use into your home. Home Depot gift cards would be a good way redeem your points, where no matter how much you are getting back, it can be put to good use. A high-quality gallon of paint that only uses one coat can be purchased for under $50 and can instantly transform a room. If you are looking outside of the house, gas gift cards are a great way to redeem rewards to give your bank account a break. Even restaurant gift cards are a good way to reward yourself with a nice meal. Whether you get gift cards in increments or a check once a year, the goal would be redeeming for items that will save you from spending your own money.
Just Keep Spending Under Control
The tricky part when it comes to using a credit card, is that you have a huge credit limit so you really could go on a shopping spree and buy any item you want, without draining your bank account. The problem is, you have to pay for these items at some point, and if you cannot pay the full balance by the due date, you start to carry interest. Even some of the best rewards credit card have a high interest rate, so if you start carrying a balance with 15% APR, it will be hard to chip away at it, so try to stick to a budget to ensure spending is under control.