5. Go for the gift card
Image: Maegan Tintari
A great way to maximize rewards at the point of redemption is to exchange them for a merchant gift card since these cards are often loaded with more money than what you are being asked to redeem. Chase, for example, is currently running a deal with Pier One Imports that allows cardholders to exchange $40 in points for a $50 gift card on its Ultimate Rewards website. Discover offers similar deals on partner gift cards.