A Simple Guide to Earning, Redeeming, and Maximizing All of Your Bank's Offerings
Getting your debts down to zero and establishing a budget is a mighty good feeling, but so is knowing that you're taking advantage of cash-back opportunities and credit card reward offerings at your local bank. These loyalty programs are a tried-and-true marketing tactic, offering the ability to both reward and incentivize customers. In many cases, account holders are unaware of initiatives and cash-back rewards, and if you're one of the many people missing out on what is essentially free money or points in exchange for transactions you're already making, you're doing yourself a great disservice.
"The key is to find offerings that you'll actually take advantage of," says Poulomi Damany, financial specialist, general manager at Credit Karma Money and Tax. "For example, a travel card may have great perks, but if you don't plan to travel anytime soon, you may want to consider looking at cards with other rewards like cash back." Damany also says it's important to look at the fine print: "This ensures you aren't paying a high annual fee or any other fees just to take advantage of a promotion or offering."
When researching a bank, doing a bit of homework in search of cards that offer rewards within reason of your spending habits can pay off in the long run. "If a card is offering a higher percentage cash back on things like groceries or gas," says Damany as an example, "and you tend to spend more in those categories, that may be the most advantageous benefit for you and your family." In other words, look for offers that you'll more-than likely want to take advantage of.
Sometimes, a promotional offer may be too good to be true, though. Read the fine print to ensure there isn't a high annual fee or other fees upon and or after sign-up. If it is your bank running a special promotion, Damany encourages others to ask them how this can be financially beneficial to you as well as build better monetary practices.