Getting a travel credit card (or two) is great. But once the honeymoon period, if you will, is over it can be tough to know how to maximize the spending of those cards. Plus, the last thing you want to do is go into debt to get points. So how do you find the happy medium? How do you maximize spending without going overboard?
Here are several items/purchases you can make to earn more credit card points than you ever have:
Paying your monthly utility bills with credit cards is most certainly worth looking into. That’s because depending on the company, you may be able to pay your gas, electric, cable, or internet bill with credit. I try to do that with a few of my utility bills every month.
If you can swing it, use your credit card for every expense you make. Buying groceries? Use a travel credit card. Filling up that gas-guzzler of yours? Use a credit card. Time for a haircut? You get the idea. Every dollar you spend means more points. And every point is worth it.
Rent or (possibly) your mortgage
Using credit for rent is still kind of rare. But some companies do offer that option. The place I’m currently renting offers that option. I don’t use it, however, because they charge about $50 each time you use a credit card for rent. That’s not worth it to me. To someone else, it may be. I’m guessing (because I rent) paying a mortgage with a credit card is even more difficult, but where there’s a will, there’s a way. And that’s where companies like ChargeSmart come in, which typically charge you some sorta fee to use their services.
Big ticket items
Buying a car? If you have the cash for a big down payment use your credit cards -- and then pay them off right away -- to make the payment. That goes for other big purchases too. Think of using credit for those new appliances you may need. Or that new living room set you are eyeing. These kinds of purchases have the potential to earn you thousands of points at a time.
Earning points for future travel is awesome. But the one thing you don’t want to do is lose track of how much you’ve spent that month. Something that helps me keep track of that is using a zero-sum budget, which I mention in this post.
If you can maximize your travel credit card spending you’ll be off on that next vacation of yours in no time. And it doesn’t get any better than that!
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