At a Glance

One of the major benefits of utilizing credit cards is the potential to garner credit card points. Learning how to use credit card points can open up the door to perks that a person never knew they had with their card. Below is a comprehensive guide for outlining what are credit card points, how credit card rewards work, and everything in between.

In this article, you’ll learn:

What are credit card points?

For those unfamiliar, credit card points are either percentages or multiples back that a person gets when they make a purchase with their credit card. For perspective, a card offering 3% back on all food purchases would provide a person with three credit card points on a $100 food purchase. Credit card reward point amounts can vary drastically depending on what credit card is being used.

How do you earn credit card points?

The easiest way to earn credit card reward points is automatically by making purchases in spend categories in which the points apply. However, another way to earn credit card points is to simply sign up for a new card which is offering new member card bonuses.

How to redeem credit card points

The method to redeem credit card points will vary from card to card. Certain credit card companies will have specialized rewards portals through which points can be redeemed for various awards. However, some companies don’t utilize a rewards portal and only allow a person to redeem their points directly for cash back in their account.

Are credit card points worth it?

When looking at how to accumulate credit card points, many people often wonder whether points are worth it or not. Credit cards that offer a low percentage in rewards can often take years to accumulate a significant amount of money, but specialized rewards cards can often provide a person with excellent rewards in as little as a number of months depending on spending habits.

Credit card points vs. cash back

The primary difference between credit card points and cash back outlined by many credit card points guide writeups is that credit card points can be redeemed directly for awards. Cash back, on the other hand, only comes from converting credit card points into cash back directly.


When looking at how credit card points work, it is an automatic process every time a purchase is made. For credit cards with multiple reward categories, all a person needs to do is make a purchase in one of the applicable categories and the points will automatically be applied.

There are a variety of credit cards with excellent points programs, which makes it difficult to choose a single card. In general, credit cards such as the Amex Platinum card which offers points in multiple categories such as food, travel, and more are excellent options.

When looking at what are reward points in credit cards, many often wonder whether it is worth getting a card solely for the points options. The fact of the matter is that a person either gets a credit card that offers no points or they get a credit card that does offer points. Those who choose the former will earn nothing back for their purchases, whereas those using the latter will automatically reap benefits from making their normal purchases.

The best way to use credit card points is to evaluate how are points calculated for a specific card so that payments can be structured. This is the best way to make rewards categories make sense for a specific card.