November is the hottest time of year for rewards card redemption, says Citi

With Christmas almost a week away, Aussies across the country are rushing to make their online orders and are queuing up at the checkout, credit card at the ready. 

And amongst the festive spending are rewards lovers looking to make the most out of the holiday season by racking up a mean points balance. 

According to new research from Citi, November is the prime time to cash in rewards points, as the month experienced a 72% spike in customers redeeming their rewards points. 

Gift cards in particular saw a 51% increase in redemption, suggesting that Aussies are likely using them for Christmas shopping. 

“With Christmas right around the corner, we know consumers are looking for ways to ease the holiday spending pinch. Typically, we see customers building up their bank of points throughout the year and using them in October and November to purchase gift cards to pay for their family Christmas gifts,” said Citi Australia Head of Cards and Loans, Choong Yu Lum. 

What Aussies are redeeming their points for 

With the range of goodies available to card holders, the research found that the two most preferable types of rewards were cash back (58%) and gift cards (53%). 

Travel related rewards weren’t left behind though, as 37% preferred airline points and 25% preferred flight upgrades. 

Around 20% of Gen Y and Gen Z cardholders said they redeemed their points for gift giving purposes and were more likely to redeem their points more frequently. 

When it came down to gender, women were more interested in redeeming their points for shopping related rewards, while men worked toward saving for travel-related perks.

How to get the most out of your rewards program 

Despite the number of Aussies getting savvy with their points strategy, the research revealed that a third of Aussies surveyed felt that they weren’t taking full advantage of their rewards program. 

So whether you’re thinking of picking up a rewards card in the new year or are keen to get started on building your points balance now, here are three tips from Citi to get the ball rolling: 

  • Choose the card that’s right for you: While a typical magic trick might ask you to pick ‘any card’, the same rule does not apply for a rewards card. It’s important to choose a rewards card and program that offers perks relevant to you. For instance, if you travel often, you might want to opt for a card that offers travel perks. 

  • Reap all the benefits: There’s no denying that bonus points offers are enough to get any rewards lover’s heart racing, but depending on your card, it can provide more than just a great introductory offer. Features like complimentary travel insurance, extended warranty on purchases and concierge service are available on many rewards credit card, so be sure you’re using all your card has to offer!  

  • Double dip: Some cards may also have their own rewards program in addition to another, like the Qantas or Velocity Frequent Flyer program, so if you can afford to spend and earn on both, your points stash is sure to skyrocket! 

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