Top ways to ramp up credit card rewards points

Top ways to ramp up credit card rewards points

There’s something very enticing about racking up a juicy pile of rewards points and then cashing in on everything from free flights to gift cards.

But did you know the way you use your rewards credit card could make a huge difference to how long it will take to accumulate points?

So follow our top tips for speedy rewards redemption:

1. Boost your balance with bonus points

If you’re looking for a new rewards credit card, kick start your rewards stash with a bonus points offer.

A good example is the American Express Velocity Platinum Card which will give you 100,000 bonus Velocity points, if you apply by 30 September and spend $1,000 on your card within the first 3 months. When you consider that’s just a spend of $334 a month, this should be pretty easy to do!

So when you sign up with a rewards credit card make sure you check what the provider’s requirements are for activating any bonus points, to ensure you’re taking full advantage of the rewards points on offer.

While a bonus points offer is a great way of boosting your rewards stash, make sure it delivers long term value with a competitive points per dollar spent offer and low annual fee.

2. Check the points per dollar spent

Many rewards credit cards come linked to two networks, which offer different points per dollar spent. For instance, with the ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum you’ll earn 1.5 points per dollar spent on AMEX but just 0.5 points per dollar on Visa.

To really put things in perspective, if you were trying to rack up points for an overseas trip from London to Sydney and had an annual spend of $20,000 it would take you 12 years and 10 months with the Visa option but only 4 years and 4 months to accumulate those points with the AMEX option.

That’s why it always pays to check what the points per dollar offering is for each network and always choose the higher point option at the checkout, which is generally American Express. Of course, as long as you’re not charged a pricey merchant fee for paying with AMEX that could negate the value of those rewards.

Also take the time to review the rewards programs to see what the points will buy you, as not all points are created equal. Even if two credit cards both offer 1 point per dollar spent you may find that one rewards program will give you more when it comes to redemption. For instance a flight from Sydney to Melbourne through the Qantas Frequent Flyer program will cost you 8,000 points, whereas through the Velocity Frequent Flyer program you will only need 6,900 points and can put that extra 1,100 points saved towards other redemption offers.

3. Know your card’s partnerships

Another way to see your rewards points soar is to check the card’s partnerships and spend within their network. We are not saying splash out on items you don’t need but everyday purchases like movie tickets, cosmetics and jewellery could be part of your credit card’s partnerships and help you ramp up your rewards points.

Want an example? With the Westpac Altitude Black you can earn up to 3 bonus Altitude Points per dollar spent at eligible retailers like Village Cinemas, Lush cosmetics and Wine Direct.

4. Pay for everyday expenses with your credit card

From your groceries to your petrol, it’s a smart idea to put everything on your credit card, as this will mean you’re earning the maximum amount of rewards points for your spend. While this is a thrifty way to rack up rewards points fast, you should only use this strategy if you know you can diligently repay your credit card balance in full each month.

5. Add an additional cardholder

To really see your rewards points soar consider adding a family member as an additional cardholder, as the more people spending on the card the more points you’ll earn. Just keep in mind you may need to pay a small fee for the extra card.

Want to find the right rewards card for your spend? Simply punch in your details into our rewards revealer tool and we’ll show you some of the best cards in the market for your situation.

Top ways to ramp up credit card rewards points was last modified: August 6, 2015 by Rebeccah Elley

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