5 credit card myths that could be preventing you from maximizing your rewards


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  • While researching to apply for a new credit card, I discovered some myths that I didn’t know existed.
  • For example, you can open multiple rewards credit cards and still maintain a good credit rating.
  • Travel credit card rewards can also be useful, even if you’re not traveling.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

One of my goals in 2022 is to open a new personal credit card. After being loyal to a credit card for six years with limited benefits and an outdated rewards program, I want to get a new card that offers more.

I’ve spent the last few months not only researching which credit cards are right for my spending habits and goals, but also some of the most common myths surrounding rewards programs that I didn’t know were right. were wrong.

Read more: Guide to the best current credit card offers

In an effort to make sure I understand credit card rewards programs correctly to maximize how I use the benefits of my new card, here are five myths I’m going to stop believing.

You will not earn rewards by carrying a balance

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It made sense to me that even though you spend money on your credit card and earn points throughout the month, those points don’t really belong to you until you pay off your credit card balance in full. credit.

However, for most credit cards, this is not true. Usually, your points are deposited into your account at the end of each billing cycle. You’ll get those points back to keep and use them even if you haven’t paid your bill or have an outstanding balance.

Read more: Watching my best friend rack up over $10,000 in credit card debt made me put 5 checks and balances in place to avoid the same mistake

While you can redeem your points before you pay off your full balance, it’s important not to be reckless with your spending just to earn more rewards. Maintaining a balance on your credit card can come with high interest, a reduced credit score, and the headache of having to pay off the accumulated amount each month.

Earning points isn’t worth it if you’re not a frequent flyer

As I research new credit cards, I wonder if getting a card focused on earning points that can be converted into travel rewards is worth it if I don’t plan to travel much in 2022.

What I have noticed is that travel rewards points can still benefit a non-traveler in many ways. For starters, most of these credit card points will not expire as long as the credit card is open and active. Plus, most credit cards offer additional redemption options if you don’t want to use points for a big vacation. For example, some programs allow you to redeem your points for statement credits, gift cards, purchases from retailers like Amazon, and more.

Read more: 7 things you can do with your points and miles besides booking travel, from shopping on Amazon to ordering food delivery

If you’re looking to get a new credit card that offers travel points and you don’t plan to travel, check out how these rewards can benefit you.

Having multiple credit cards with different rewards programs can ruin my credit score

If you’re someone who wants to have a handful of credit cards so you can qualify for all types of rewards programs (one from a hotel, another from a retail store, and one for an airline), you may be worried that “reward points hunting” may impact your credit score.

Read more: 6 ways to maximize your credit card rewards without hurting your credit scores

Applying for new credit cards won’t necessarily affect your long-term credit score, although your score may drop slightly when you open a new card. However, opening cards, spending money, and not paying your bills on time will hurt your credit score.

Several factors affect your credit score, from payment history and account balances to the length of your credit history. Keep this in mind before applying and make sure you have a strategy before opening multiple cards just for the rewards.

Credit card points are easy to redeem anytime

The truth is, earning reward points is easy. As you spend money on your credit card, the points start to accumulate. However, redeeming these points can be a hassle.

Some rewards programs have limited travel availability on certain calendar days (usually during holidays or busy weekends), and some hotel loyalty programs have blackout dates or only release a limited number of hotel rooms. hotel redeemable for points.

Read more: There are different types of credit card rewards, but this one is the best

If you want to make sure you can redeem your rewards anytime, no matter what, look for a credit card that earns flexible points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Credit card points never expire

A big myth that I thought was true was that credit card points never expire.

Although rewards earned while traveling or

cash back credit cards

issued by a bank generally does not expire as long as your account remains open, there are exceptions. For example, with the US Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® card, rewards will expire at the end of the calendar month 36 months after the billing cycle in which they were earned.

Read more: How to prevent credit card rewards from expiring

It’s also important to note that your credit card points may expire if your account is not active, and they may be completely lost if you close a credit card.

Make sure to first review the reward rules that come with your card so you are aware of any possible expiration or loss of your points.


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