Home > Credit Cards > Ways to Redeem Your Credit Card Reward Points

Comments 0 Comments

Having a rewards credit card comes with a lot of benefits. From being able to improve your credit score to being able to access money whenever and wherever you need it, the value of credit cards is huge. But, the most appealing benefit of a rewards credit card is earning rewards every time you shop.

Most credit card companies award points based on the frequency of credit card use, attitude towards repayment, and other criteria as determined by the company.

Sadly, many Americans never redeem their credit card rewards. This is a boon for the credit card companies, but a bust for consumers. You may not realize that you can redeem your credit card reward points for almost anything—from airline tickets to paying for a new TV, shopping at a discounted rate at online stores, or even donating them.

Here are some ways to redeem your credit card reward points for shopping online.

1. Redeem Your Credit Card Reward Points to Shop Online

If you’re looking for a discount on your next online shopping spree or even looking for some cash back, your credit card rewards points can provide both. Some credit card issuers let you use rewards points to pay for all or some a purchase at select online stores.

2. Get Cash Back for Your Rewards

Getting money deposited in your bank account or getting a statement credit is a great way to use your reward points. You can use the money to pay your bills, add to your savings balance, or reduce your credit card debt. You can also use the rewards to pay off part of your existing debt or move it into an account that pays you interest.

Credit card rewards can go a long way if you know how to utilize and maximize them properly.

3. Redeem Your Reward Points for Gift Cards

Buying gift cards is an ideal way to use your credit card rewards. Gift cards give recipients value and flexibility. And many credit card companies partner with retail stores to give you an extra perk when you redeem your points for a gift card. For example, redeeming $20 worth of rewards or points for a gift card, might get you another $25 gift card instead. And some card issuers let you redeem smaller amounts of points for gift cards compared to the points required for larger reward items. So you can get a gift card for a larger monetary amount for fewer points.

4. Get Discounts on Airfare and Hotels

If you redeem your accumulated card rewards for travel, you can net hundreds of dollars in savings on airfare and hotel accommodations. The caveat is that travel-related rewards often require that you have a lot of points saved up. Travel rewards may also be subject to blackout dates, which may make this redemption option less desirable for some. But, if you’re willing to let your points add up and work around the blackout dates, you can get some great free travel. All you have to do is log into your online reward portal and get your discount.

You may also be able to use your rewards for car rental to create more room in your travel budget.

5. Donate Your Credit Cards Rewards to Charity

You can share your rewards in more ways than just redeeming them for gift cards for others or yourself. You can actually donate rewards points from some cards to charitable causes. So, the next time your points are about to expire or you just want to share the wealth, donate your points to a charitable cause. Be aware though that some card issuers require a minimum number of points before you can donate them, so check before making any plans.

6. Pay Off Your Balance:

By avoiding the urge to spend more than you are able to pay back, you put yourself in a position to rack up more rewards. The more interest paid out every month, the less valuable the rewards become.

7. Narrow Your Spending:

It is easy to forget the value of money when rewards come into play. The more credit cards you use, the fewer the rewards accumulating per card. You may want to focus all your spending on a card that has the best value in areas where you spend the most instead of spreading purchases across multiple cards, making it harder to earn rewards.

8. Watch for Bonus Offers:

If you make a point for each dollar spent, you may be missing on some rewards. Card issuers roll out bonus offers all the time, so it is important to keep an eye out. Some credit card issuers give an increased rate in select areas.

Other credit card issuers give their user’s bonus offers through their website. Some of these include having double or triple cash back if the users shop through their online rewards platform.

9. Attach a Monetary Value to Your Reward Points:

If your card issuer gives you points, it is important you sit down to calculate the monetary value of these points to determine the best way to redeem them. The best way to do this is by dividing the cash reward you are trading in for the number of points it will cost you to trade for it. You could also consider getting a credit card that offers cash back without any point to cash conversion.

But the most important thing to remember when dealing with credit card companies is how important it is to read through the contract very carefully. It is essential to keep an eye out for any information relating to possible spending limitations attached to the rewards program, restrictions placed on redemption, or a possible expiration date linked to the rewards.

It’s also important to remember that the best rewards cards require a higher credit score to qualify. If you want to apply for a new rewards card, sign up for Credit.com today to see where you stand. We give you two free credit scores updated every 14 days.

Comments on articles and responses to those comments are not provided or commissioned by a bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by a bank advertiser. It is not a bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Please note that our comments are moderated, so it may take a little time before you see them on the page. Thanks for your patience.

Certain credit cards and other financial products mentioned in this and other sponsored content on Credit.com are Partners with Credit.com. Credit.com receives compensation if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any financial products or cards offered.

Hello, Reader!

Thanks for checking out Credit.com. We hope you find the site and the journalism we produce useful. We wanted to take some time to tell you a bit about ourselves.

Our People

The Credit.com editorial team is staffed by a team of editors and reporters, each with many years of financial reporting experience. We’ve worked for places like the New York Times, American Banker, Frontline, TheStreet.com, Business Insider, ABC News, NBC News, CNBC and many others. We also employ a few freelancers and more than 50 contributors (these are typically subject matter experts from the worlds of finance, academia, politics, business and elsewhere).

Our Reporting

We take great pains to ensure that the articles, video and graphics you see on Credit.com are thoroughly reported and fact-checked. Each story is read by two separate editors, and we adhere to the highest editorial standards. We’re not perfect, however, and if you see something that you think is wrong, please email us at editorial team [at] credit [dot] com,

The Credit.com editorial team is committed to providing our readers and viewers with sound, well-reported and understandable information designed to inform and empower. We won’t tell you what to do. We will, however, do our best to explain the consequences of various actions, thereby arming you with the information you need to make decisions that are in your best interests. We also write about things relating to money and finance we think are interesting and want to share.

In addition to appearing on Credit.com, our articles are syndicated to dozens of other news sites. We have more than 100 partners, including MSN, ABC News, CBS News, Yahoo, Marketwatch, Scripps, Money Magazine and many others. This network operates similarly to the Associated Press or Reuters, except we focus almost exclusively on issues relating to personal finance. These are not advertorial or paid placements, rather we provide these articles to our partners in most cases for free. These relationships create more awareness of Credit.com in general and they result in more traffic to us as well.

Our Business Model

Credit.com’s journalism is largely supported by an e-commerce business model. Rather than rely on revenue from display ad impressions, Credit.com maintains a financial marketplace separate from its editorial pages. When someone navigates to those pages, and applies for a credit card, for example, Credit.com will get paid what is essentially a finder’s fee if that person ends up getting the card. That doesn’t mean, however, that our editorial decisions are informed by the products available in our marketplace. The editorial team chooses what to write about and how to write about it independently of the decisions and priorities of the business side of the company. In fact, we maintain a strict and important firewall between the editorial and business departments. Our mission as journalists is to serve the reader, not the advertiser. In that sense, we are no different from any other news organization that is supported by ad revenue.

Visitors to Credit.com are also able to register for a free Credit.com account, which gives them access to a tool called The Credit Report Card. This tool provides users with two free credit scores and a breakdown of the information in their Experian credit report, updated twice monthly. Again, this tool is entirely free, and we mention that frequently in our articles, because we think that it’s a good thing for users to have access to data like this. Separate from its educational value, there is also a business angle to the Credit Report Card. Registered users can be matched with products and services for which they are most likely to qualify. In other words, if you register and you find that your credit is less than stellar, Credit.com won’t recommend a high-end platinum credit card that requires an excellent credit score You’d likely get rejected, and that’s no good for you or Credit.com. You’d be no closer to getting a product you need, there’d be a wasted inquiry on your credit report, and Credit.com wouldn’t get paid. These are essentially what are commonly referred to as "targeted ads" in the world of the Internet. Despite all of this, however, even if you never apply for any product, the Credit Report Card will remain free, and none of this will impact how the editorial team reports on credit and credit scores.



Your Stories

Lastly, much of what we do is informed by our own experiences as well as the experiences of our readers. We want to tell your stories if you’re interested in sharing them. Please email us at story ideas [at] credit [dot] com with ideas or visit us on Facebook or Twitter.

Thanks for stopping by.

- The Credit.com Editorial Team