Have you recently received the credit you have long applied for, or perhaps already have one but never really use it unless it’s for a big purchase? If you said yes to either of the two, you have come to the right place.

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While credit cards are usually used to pay for big-ticket items, they can also be useful for small, necessary purchases. The keyword here is necessary. Using a credit card wisely always means spending within your financial capacity. 

Once you know how to discipline yourself with your spending, it’s time to dive deep into the perks and rewards of your credit cards. Below, we share how you can better maximize these to your advantage. 

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Read the fine print

If you own multiple cards, it’s time to read the fine print of your credit products. You may have been inclined to have one because you were offered one, or perhaps it promised to waive the annual fee—whatever the reason—now is the time to read the terms and conditions of your credit card. 

This will help you better understand the charges you may be incurring, whether you were being penalized for still having a printed statement of account for example, or perhaps you didn’t know using your card for online purchases meant a top-up amount. The fine print can better understand these details for you.

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Check the rewards offers of your card 

This may seem obvious, but of course, the best way to know the rewards of your credit card is to ask. Just type the name of your credit card and add “reward” in a search bar, and chances are, a website link will show a list of the latest reward offer of your credit card. 

Other cards also share the rundown of updated deals when you call the credit card hotline. Check if your card is offering a free meal for a certain purchase amount, or a cashback for a certain period. You never know you may be eligible for such perks.

Use the right card for the right purchase.

Once you’ve seen the list of rewards of your cards, you will have a better idea that purchasing items in a certain store may be giving you a bigger discount versus the other. This way, you save a few hundred pesos for a necessity. Other cards, meanwhile are just simply designed to make purchases for certain stores all the more worthwhile. 

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Credit cards designed for specific stores, or even e-commerce websites, for example, tend to give higher rewards points. If you already own credit cards like these, always remember to use them for purchases in such stores. The rewards points of these cards are almost always eligible as cash payments when you reach certain thresholds.

Use the installment option.

Credit card providers almost always have installment offers with certain big-ticket items. Perhaps you are looking to upgrading your three-year-old phone, or your mom needs a new washing machine at home. Before paying for such items with cash, check if you can get it for a cheaper price with credit card installment options. This can give you better liquidity and perhaps even help you with budgeting if such purchase isn’t really part of a monthly budget.

Pay it all with a credit card and pay the bill in full monthly.

This may be counterintuitive, but using your credit card for all purchases would not only mean a chance to raise your credit limit, it can also mean a higher chance of getting bigger points. Why use cash when using a card can mean getting your cash back, for example? 

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Again, some credit cards give rebates when you reach certain thresholds. Most of the time, these rebates are offered at certain periods and for specific purchases like gas transactions, or for groceries. Check rebate offers with your credit card providers as this can surely help you gain those points.

And remember, always pay your bill in full. You wouldn’t want to put all of those rewards points in vain with high-interest rate charges, won’t you?

READ MORE:

6 Everyday Instances It's Better to Use Your Credit Card

Here's How to Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud

Important Things You Need to Know Before Getting a Credit Card

5 Times It's Better to Pay in Cash Than to Use Your Credit Card

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