Maximize Reward Points

Take the Miles, Leave the Cannoli: Maximizing Your Reward Points

Using reward points seems like a no-brainer, right? So you might be surprised to find out that a majority of people actually aren’t getting the full benefit of the rewards possible to them from credit cards, workplace benefits, and more.

For example, credit card rewards seem straightforward: you purchase things on the card, you accrue points, miles, cash back, some sort of reward. However, there are a few key ways in which people consistently misuse these benefits. Max Frankel of Max Points (a business focused on helping people get the most out of their rewards) has these tips.

Welcome to Rewards Point School

Make sure to get the most bang for your buck

It takes a little research, but always check the value for which you’re exchanging your rewards. One example: accruing 100,000 points could get you upwards of $1000 toward flights. However, if you turn those points into frequent flyer miles, it could be the equivalent of a first class ticket (~$5000).

Look for Partners

One of the biggest frustrations that can arise with redeeming points is a lack of availability in flights or departures. Say you want to plan a trip to South America. But, when you try to book your trip through the main airline, there are loads of blackout dates. Or they want to take a major chunk of your miles.  But here’s the thing: most airlines have partners around the world who will not only accept your miles, but give you a better deal as well. Take the time to Google partner airlines, and go directly to their websites to see if you can find the options you want.

Choose the Right Card For You

Before signing up for a card specifically for the benefits, make sure that it meets your goals. If you choose a card that accrues Amazon cash quickly, but you’d really rather put the money toward a trip to Japan… Well, you probably should rethink where you want to accrue your reward points.

Maximize Your Earning Rate

It might be tempting to take advantage of a specific airline or frequent shopping outlet (see Amazon example above) offering a sign up deal, but it’s best not to lock yourself in to one particular card. Limiting your options ultimately limits your earning potential.  Make sure that the card you ultimately choose has a variety of uses for points, or at least allows transfers for miles or other rewards.

Avoid the Temptation to Cash In

For most cards, trading in points for cash offers some of the lowest rates of return. Make cash redemptions your last resort.

Do Your Rewards Align With Your Goals?

No matter how satisfied you are with your program, take a step back and reevaluate the cards in your wallet and rewards they offer. Ask yourself: are these reward points getting me what I want?

Don’t forget to check your corporate card as well - and use those miles to make every business a trip an upgrade. Another method to ensure a smooth flight? Use Carrousel Travel’s corporate and business services to leverage our network for upgrades, discounts and more. Contact Carrousel today!