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5 ways to boost your credit card rewards

If there’s one financial product dominated by promotions, it’s credit cards. Between bonus rewards offers, interest discounts, and welcome incentives, it can be hard to keep it all straight — let alone know how to get the best value. Here is a quick guide to help you borrow smarter, with examples from our suite of credit cards.

 
1. Hunt for a lower interest rate

If you’re planning on carrying a credit card balance, there are a few ways you can save on interest. The main way is to choose a low-rate card, like our SCU Collabria Centra Visa* Gold Card, which offers a fixed rate of 11.99%.

However, if you’re considering switching credit cards, you may also want to keep an eye out for promotions that offer lower interest rates if you transfer your card balance. Take Collabria’s balance transfer promotion for instance, which offers a rate of 5.9% for six months if you transfer your current credit card balance to a Collabria card. In addition, if you have multiple credit cards, this is also a great way to consolidate your balances and save on annual fees.

To illustrate this point, here’s a breakdown of how much you’ll pay in interest if you carry a balance of $500:

Interest rate

Cost per month

Cost per year

19.99%

$8.22

$98.64

12.99%

$5.34

$64.08

5.9%

$2.42

$29.04

 

 

2. Find a card with a rewards system you’ll use

There’s more to a rewards program than simply the points you’ll earn. There are two other factors you should consider: One, are the rewards easy to redeem? Avoid credit cards that make it difficult or time-consuming for you to receive the rewards you’ve already earned.
 
Secondly, are the rewards useful? You may earn more points from a certain type of card, but if you can only redeem them for items you won’t use, you may want to choose another option. Determine which categories are more valuable to you: Would you rather receive gift cards, electronics, travel points, or cash? With Collabria cards, you have plenty of options, including direct deposits, gift cards, or even charity donations.

 

3. Know which purchases earn you the most rewards

Looking to maximize your credit card rewards? Take advantage of card promotions that give you extra points depending on the type of purchase. For instance, our SCU Collabria Cash Back Mastercard® doubles your points for gas purchases, and our SCU Collabria World Mastercard® offers extra rewards for grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases. If you choose either of those cards, be sure to pay with your credit card in those bonus categories to maximize your rewards.
 
In addition, you can also receive extra rewards by adding your credit card to your mobile wallet (Collabria is available on Apple Pay®, Google Pay™, and Samsung Pay). These mobile wallet companies will occasionally offer limited-time promotions at specific stores.

 

4. Pair your card with other products

Sometimes the smartest way to borrow is by leveraging multiple products to give you better returns. For example, say you’re borrowing for a major kitchen renovation. You don’t want to use a credit card, because you may need to borrow above your credit limit and the high interest rate would be costly. But a line of credit won’t give you any rewards for your purchases. What do you do?
 
Why not use both? You can make the initial purchase with your credit card, then use your line of credit to pay down the balance. It’s a win-win: You’ll earn those extra rewards from your credit card and enjoy the lower interest rate that comes with a line of credit.
 

5. Look for extra perks

It’s easy to forget about those extra benefits that come with some credit cards, but they can be incredibly useful. Dropped your brand-new smartphone on your concrete driveway? If you paid for it with your credit card, mobile device insurance can come to the rescue. Flipping through a catalogue to discover that the lawn mower you bought last week is now on sale? You might want to investigate your price protection. Noticed a purchase on your credit card statement that you’re sure you didn’t make? Look into Zero Liability coverage for a refund.
 
Also, don’t overlook the standard Mastercard® and Visa* benefits that come with all credit cards. There are limits to all credit card benefits, so be sure to read all the terms and conditions to see what exactly you’re eligible to receive. You can find these details on your card provider’s website, or by calling their customer service number.


Apple Pay® is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.
©2018 Google LLC All rights reserved. Google Pay™ is a trademark of Google LLC.
®The Collabria Mastercard is issued by Collabria Financial Services Inc. pursuant to a license from Mastercard International Incorporated. Mastercard is a registered trademark and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. 
*The Collabria Visa Card is issued by Collabria Financial Services Inc. pursuant to a license from Visa. *Trademark of Visa Int., used under license.

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