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If you’re one of the millions of Americans with a major credit card, then you know the value of having good credit and what it can mean for your wallet in terms of perks, incentives, bonuses and rewards.
If you have a healthy relationship with your credit, loan service provider, and your monthly bills, then you’ve probably seen some of the benefits of continuously paying your credit card bill on time and using it for specific purchases that give you rewards every time you swipe it.
The different kinds of rewards associated with having a credit card can be translated into cash back into your pocket which makes having a good rewards credit card a lucrative financial asset, especially if you dine, travel, or shop at the same retailers often.
There are a lot of high level financial practices that can make you money back by using complex tactics or manipulating the system in a way that amplifies your rewards but are difficult to stay on top of, but you don’t need to go that route to make money off of your credit card.
Being aware of the different tactics you can employ to maximize the benefits of your credit card can help you increase your capital annually without doing more than spending time and money at places you already interact with.
10 Ways to Make Money with Your Credit Card
If you’re looking for ways to make money with your credit card, you don’t have to fret over reading lengthy books or consulting with a financial advisor who may or may not lead you in the right direction.
Instead, take a look over these top ten ways you can make money with your credit card within this year, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier financial life.
1. Choose a Card with a Sign-Up Bonus
Finding a credit card with a substantial sign-up bonus is like finding a pot of gold outside your front door.
There are specific actions that you have to follow through on to reap the benefits, but knowing what these steps are and how to execute them can mean you get a hefty payback just for signing up for the credit card.
Credit cards with sign-up bonuses should be carefully shopped for.
Not all sign-up bonuses are created equal, and being aware of all your options can mean that you pick the best deal for yourself versus having to jump through hoops and hurdles just to make the choice you made come to fruition.
One of the requirements to signing up for a credit card with a decent sign-up bonus is having good credit, and unfortunately this is a non-negotiable.
Making sure you have good credit is the first step in discovering the power of credit card benefits, but if your credit is less than stellar, then your options will be limited.
Rebuilding credit to reach the point of good standing can take years, but if you decide to go this route and come back to better credit card benefits in time, then you can foray into the world of high-yield rewards.
If your credit is in good standing and you’re ready to window shop for a new credit card, then you should be aware of the fact that sign-up bonuses for a lot of cards can mean as much as $250 or more in rewards.
Depending on what kind of card you get, your bonus can come in the form of points, travel miles, or actual cash just for signing up.
Although you may not get money outright depending on the card that you decide on, the rewards act like cash in that they can be used to make purchases after the rewards accrue.
A lot of the cards with incredible rewards points have annual fees, and some of the best ones can be on the higher end because of the benefits and exclusivity the comprises being one of their card holders.
More often than not, a lot of these annual fees are waived for the first year, but if you don’t opt out of the credit card after the first year, the amount for your credit card’s annual fees will be deducted from your account when the year turns over.
Your sign-up bonus will usually get delivered within the first few months of owning the card, but if you stick it out through the year, you’ll be able to reap the rewards associated with the general use of your card as well.
It’s best to consider signing up for a credit card carefully and with the intention of utilizing the card and its rewards for at least a year or more.
Your sign-up bonus will be beneficial initially, but there are also long term rewards to consider when you start looking to get your hands on a quality credit card.
Regardless of which card you decide on, carefully choose a credit card with a sign-up bonus that suits your needs and that will start off your rewards journey in a fruitful way .
You’ll make some money back just for signing up, what more could you ask for?
2. Get a Cash-Back Credit Card
One benefit that a lot of credit cards employ is the cash-back rewards opportunity.
These cash-back rewards programs are lucrative for people who shop steadily with their credit cards because they pay you to do just that!
Cash-back credit cards are incredible because, depending on which card you choose, you can gain cash-back rewards by dining out, spending money on travel and hotels, or shopping at retailers that are approved by your credit card company for accruing your benefits.
The best thing about cash-back credit cards that allow you to shop at retailers for points is that you may be able to use online shopping portals for specific rewards back.
These “credit card malls” are perfect for you if you don’t like to venture far and wide to make your purchases, but like the idea of shopping at major retailers for points.
Most of the cash-back credit cards available earn you rewards at a rate ranging from 1% to 5%.
Each card is different, so paying close attention to which cash-back credit card you choose can ultimately amplify how much you reap in terms of rewards.
A lot of cash-back credit cards reap higher rewards on specific purchases and give basic rewards at a rate of 1% on other purchases.
Some cash-back credit cards limit how much you can earn in one yearly quarter, which means if you exceed the amount of return, you won’t receive more cash-back once you’ve reached the cap on your purchases.
That being said, between the four yearly quarters and how much you spend during each part of the year, you can earn back hundreds to thousands of dollars a year.
These cash-back rewards are essential to balancing the annual fee, and if you work with the amount available for your to gain each quarter, your credit card’s rewards will pay for the card itself.
Some credit card companies, like Discover, will match your cash-back rewards within the first year and double them.
The substantial cash-back possibilities are a good reason enough to shop around and commit to a high-yielding rewards credit card.
In a way, having cash-back rewards is like receiving free money for buying the things you already would buy!
3. Rack Up Credit Card Rewards Points
One option that you have when selecting a new rewards credit card is how you’ll yield the most in rewards points to use towards specific purchases.
If you’re an avid traveler, having a travel rewards credit card can mean that you end up getting travel perks throughout the year, including hotel upgrades, flight upgrades, and miles on your next trip.
The way this works is by accruing points from your regular every day purchases and putting them to use towards specific purchases such as your hotel or your flight itself.
Some credit cards are made to reward diners and can be used in the same way as travel cards by using the credit card to purchase every day things and put the points towards future dining excursions.
There are other rewards credit cards on the market, but the most lucrative are the dining and travel rewards cards.
Using these kinds of cards can make a huge difference in big expenses such as flights or business dinners.
Every time you go to book a flight, your travel rewards card may be able to completely wipe out your fare or significantly reduce it.
Signing up for a rewards card with a good sign-up bonus that yields rewards from average purchases as well to build your rewards points can be crucial in saving money throughout the year, which translates to more dollars in your accounts and worry-free spending.
4. Shop Online and Use Your Credit Card
A great way to gain rewards points is to shop online with your credit cards, especially if the rewards system they employ is designed to up the ante on your online shopping specifically.
Some of the credit card companies require you to be logged into your banking account online where you will find a shopping portal to shop through, but many simply require you to use the card in your checkout process on certain websites.
Reading the fine print and learning which ways you can use your credit card to shop online for points will clarify the most efficient way to gain rewards and will ensure that you make conscious purchases that benefit you where it matters most.
This card allows you savings on things like shipping and gives you back up to 5% in rewards per purchase at Amazon and Whole Foods.
If you’re already doing a ton of online shopping with these websites, you can easily up your rewards game by acquiring one of these credit cards that pays you back for shopping online.
With these cards there is a possibility to earn other kinds of rewards as well, such as gift cards or a percentage of savings off future purchases.
5. Download Apps that Help You Stack Credit Card Rewards
There are an incredible amount of apps on the market that open you up to the possibility of stacking your credit card rewards.
Although these are “third-party” apps that are not owned or operated by your credit card company, you can easily use them to make back more cash-rewards, gift cards and build on discounts to up your rewards returns for the year.
If your credit card already gives you rewards on purchases from specific retailers, there’s a chance that applications like Drops or Swagbucks have relationships with these same retailers.
If you don’t have to shop through a portal that is connected to your credit card company directly through their website or app, yet you are still able to gain rewards for buying from these companies, then you should link your credit card to Drops or Swagbucks and earn more points with these apps.
Most of these apps are associated with companies and brands like Amazon, Lyft, Uber, Sephora, Starbucks and Trader Joe’s, making it easy to shop for the things that you like and need without going out of your way to spend on things you don’t want.
These apps can help you earn more money by using your credit cards through the tactic of stacking your rewards, which is greatly beneficial to your financial health.
6. Use Your Credit Card for Travel and Hotels
A good way to use your credit card for more points every year is to use them for major expenses that you would normally pay for out of pocket, such as flights and hotels.
If you have a rewards card that is specifically used for gaining travel rewards, you can amplify your rewards by getting credit cards with major airlines that you already use, such as the ever-popular Delta Airlines SkyMiles Rewards program.
If you don’t have a travel rewards card but still want to accrue large amounts of pints, another way you can go about this is using your card for the big purchases and gaining more points in one sitting while choosing to pay off the full amount at the end of the month or over time.
If you already have the cash on hand to make the flight purchase, you should use your credit card to make the purchase for the sake of the rewards points, and once the amount of your flight has posted to your credit card account, use the cash that you originally had for your flight and pay it off immediately.
This tactic will help you avoid interest rates while still accruing your rewards points.
It’s a neat little trick to overstep not having a travel rewards card but still make money back on your travel purchases!
7. Invest Your Cash Back
One really smart way to make money on your money is to take the cash-back rewards that you gain from your purchases over the course of the year and invest it.
If you think about it, cash-back rewards are somewhat like free money.
Thinking in terms of the fave that you would’ve made the purchase that you made with your credit card without your credit card if you hadn’t applied for it, in a way you balance out the expense with the return.
When you receive your quarterly cash back rewards, take that money and put it into an investment account.
There are plenty of ways to invest your money today, and taking the money that you make on a yearly basis from your credit card rewards means that you’ll turn that money into even more money.
Putting your money into an investment account that yields a percentage increase every year regardless of the stock market means that you’ll be guaranteed to double, triple or even quadruple the money in just a few years time.
This is a great way to begin a retirement account early in life or it can make a huge difference when it comes time to making very pricey purchases like buying a home or a car.
Smartly investing your money is crucial to the financial stability in the future of money conscious people, and being aware of how to up the return on the “free money” you get from your credit card cash-back rewards can be extremely beneficial to your financial health.
8. Join Acorns, Invest Money, Increase Your Capital
A great, albeit more roundabout way, of making money with your credit card is to link it to Acorns.
Acorns is an investment application that deducts the difference from your purchases up to the next dollar and puts it into an investment account without you having to manually process the transactions.
What this means is that you can put your money into the investment market and make money from the up-swing in investment assets.
Acorns intelligently invests your money into areas that are likely to procure interest in your favor, making your money stretch while saving for important things like retirement.
Joining Acorns is incredibly simple.
All you have to do is download the app, sign up for an account, choose how you want to invest your money and link your credit card.
The more money you invest over time, the more your yields increase.
Acorns invests your money into a diversified portfolio that lowers your risk and ups the potential to make more money each year.
While using Acorns “Found Money” feature, you can shop through the partners that Acorns has connected with, and a percentage of the amount you spend is invested into your Acorns automatically by the companies they have partnered with.
One of the best things about Acorns is that you can set a weekly deposit amount that goes directly into your account to help fund your investments.
You can select an option to put a minimum amount into the account each week automatically, starting at just $5 a week.
Another great thing about Acorns is that you can link as many credit cards as you like, as well as debit cards, as long as they’re eligible.
Although this isn’t directly linked to your credit card through the credit card company, you can still link major credit cards to your account to help you amplify your investment amounts and begin earning money back through rising interest.
Acorns is a trusted company that can help you develop a retirement account even if you don’t have a corporate job or a 401k, making it a lucrative app to use if you’re interested in developing your financial future now.
9. Transfer Your Credit Balances
When you sign up for a new credit card, there may be a chance that your credit card choices have a balance transfer option.
This can be a great way to save money in the long run with your credit cards.
If you have a credit card with a high yearly APR, then you should look for a credit card with a balance transfer option because you’ll be able to bring the balance over to your new card and lower your interest rates.
This is especially beneficial if you know that your new card has extra added perks on top of the lower interest rates.
You’ll be able to completely pay off your old credit card and perhaps even close it if the decision is right for you.
If you consolidate your debt by transferring the balance, you can pay off your credit card debt faster because the interest won’t accrue as quickly.
10. (Cautiously) Sell Your Rewards Points
One last and slightly sneaky way to make money back from your credit card transactions is to sell your rewards points.
This isn’t so much not allowed as it is frowned upon because your benefits are being given to another person, but ultimately they are your benefits and you should be able to do with them as you see fit.
The only major drawback from doing this is that some credit card companies may prohibit it.
The best way to know for certain if this is something you can do is to read the fine print closely when you are deciding between rewards cards.
If you deem it ok or are willing to take the risk on your credit account for the sake of your own benefit, then you can simply use this method with friends or family looking to make a purchase at a discounted rate.
You’ll gain more in positive interest by selling your rewards than you would directly from the credit card company, and that’s what makes this a lucrative option.
The best way to go about this process is to identify what purchase your friend or family wishes to make.
A perfect example of a transaction that you can sell your points for is a flight.
What you would do is find the flight, ideally one that is discounted already or will be discounted with the use of your credit card, make the purchase in lieu of your friend or families own banking information, and then have them pay you for the flight in cash.
It’s a circuitous way of getting your cash-back rewards in your hand, but it can be easily beneficial to you is your credit card company doesn’t mind and your friend or family member could use the little financial boost of your credit card benefits.