Score discounts on routine expenses like groceries, gas and travel with these tips from Matt Schulz, senior industry analyst at creditcards.com, part of the Bankrate Online Network.
SET A SPECIFIC GOAL
Decide if you want airline miles, gas credits or cash, then channel your spending through one card.
CONSIDER SIGN-UP BONUSES
“The best rewards go to new customers,” says Schulz.
It may be worth applying for a card with a great sign-up bonus, but be sure to cancel it within 9 to 11 months to avoid any annual fees, and check specific card terms for rates.
Limit yourself to six cards over the course of the year to maximize savings without negatively affecting your credit rating. Then, focus on paying off each card monthly.
Try smartphone apps like AwardWallet (free, Android, iOS), which tracks rewards points and sends alerts when points are near the expiration date.
For on-the-go savings, the WalletUp app (free, Android, iOS) tells you the most profitable card to use based on the store at which you’re shopping.