Our Credit Card Rewards Strategy
Credit cards often get a bad rap because of irresponsible spending. It’s true that credit cards bills can consume your finances and become a burden. That’s why it’s so important to be responsible with your spending and only use credit for items that you have the cash for.
My strategy for using a credit card with rewards is centered on one key principle: Never spend money you don’t have on something because you have a credit card.
When you approach a credit card with that mentality, you can take advantage of some awesome rewards, such as free flights, free hotel stays, and even cash back.
This last year alone, we used our credit card rewards for over $250 in visa gift cards, 10 Hilton hotel stays, and we racked up enough points to pay for three round trip airline tickets anywhere in the U.S. That’s close to $3,000 of perks just for using our card on items that we would have purchased anyways.
If you are not comfortable with the idea of using a credit card for points, there is an alternative that I highly recommend. You can earn rewards by using your debit card when you bank with Perkstreet. The average family gets $650 in rewards each year! Take a look at my Perkstreet review for more info.
If you are a responsible credit card user, there are rewards that you can take advantage of just by using your credit card on everyday items. Don’t sign up for a plain old credit card that has no rewards. Take a look at these options and build up rewards along the way.
Best Hotel Rewards Credit Card
If you travel often, the Citi® Hilton HHonors™ Visa Signature® Card is a must. I use my Hilton card for all my major purchases, and it really pays off. You build points at a rate of 6 points per $1 spent at Hilton hotels, plus you get bonus points every time you stay at a Hilton hotel. Hotel stays usually run about $30,000 points, but you get there pretty quickly with the 6X points multiplier and if you’re traveling for business.
- 40,000 Hilton HHonors Bonus Points (after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first 4 months)
- No annual fees
- Automatic HHonors Silver status
Best Airline Miles Credit Card
Recently we featured the Citi American Airlines credit card and how it provided 2 free flights for us this year. Two free flights meant $1,000 in our pocket!
- 50,000 AA bonus miles after $3,000 in purchases in first 4 months (good for two free flights)
- $150 Statement credit for eligible American Airlines purchase in the first 12 months.
- Two (2) free admirals club passes ($100 value)
- Credit card fee waived for first year ($85 savings)
Best Overall Points Credit Card
The Chase Freedom 5% cash back is a great overall spending credit card. You accumulate 1% cash back on everything and 5% cash back on rotating categories like dining, entertainment, and retail. We use Chase Freedom and cash our points in for $50 statement credits every few months. The points add up fast!
Best Credit Card for College Students
If you’re a college student wanting to build credit, the Citi Forward® Card for College Students is one to consider. It gives these perks:
- $100 credit towards student loans after $650 in purchases
- 5 Points on restaurant and entertainment expenses
- 0% APR for 12 months