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Use 'Em or Lose 'Em

Most people don’t think of credit cards as a terribly exciting topic of conversation. When was the last time you were hanging out with a bunch of friends and felt an overwhelming urge to brag about how many “ThankYou” points you banked with your CitiCard this year? Probably not going to be the life of the party if that’s the best you can come up with. That is, unless you’re hanging out at my house.

Rewards Credit Cards

We love talking with friends about the best credit cards out there and all the fabulous rewards you can enjoy once you figure out how to navigate the fine print. Yes, credit issuers are slapping consumers with increased fees and higher interest rates left and right these days, but there are still some great benefits to using plastic while living within your means: free companionship tickets, gift cards, cash back, just to name a few. You won’t get any of them when paying with cash. So, why miss out? I’ve always had a kind of obsession with maximizing the benefits I receive from using plastic, and I love to talk about it, too. I paid for my whole honeymoon with nothing but points, and I’m sure my wife is sick of hearing about it four years later. Of course, she converted to my obsessed ways rather quickly. I think she’s worse than me now. And I’ve recently found that once the topic is brought up, a lot of other people get just as excited about it as I do. The problem seems to be that many people have thousands of points sitting around in separate accounts, some of which have been partially forgotten, and they just never find the time to redeem them.

Holiday Rewards Shopping

The holiday season is a perfect time of year to remedy this situation. Let’s be honest: cash flow is tight for most of us right now, so why not make the most of what we already have? If you carry a rewards credit card in your wallet, chances are you have a nice stockpile of unused points just waiting to expire. Don’t let it happen! Login to your accounts today, check the balances, and see how fast you can cross things off your Christmas shopping list. What’s the coolest thing you’ve ever done with credit card points? Leave a comment below or send an email to Credit¢ents. We’d love to hear your story.

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Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Joshua Heckathorn was President of Creditnet, is a credit expert and has been featured on CNNMoney, FOX Business, Yahoo Finance, The Street, and many other national publications during the past ten years.  He received a Bachelor of Science in Management (Finance) from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business and earned his MBA from Seattle University.

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Comments

Chelo Marroquin's picture

Interesting take on the benefits of plastic. Since these days all we see is the negative.

Joshua Heckathorn's picture

Yes, we do try to keep things positive around here. Thanks for your comment Chelo.