At a Glance

Credit card rewards can be a great way to maximize the value of your spending. Whether it’s cash back, points, or travel miles, understanding how to redeem these rewards is key to maximizing your credit card benefits. Let’s explore various strategies for redeeming credit card rewards and provide valuable tips to help you maximize your rewards program.

In this article, you’ll learn:


$141 billion

The amount of money spent each year to earn points.

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How can you redeem credit card rewards?

Credit card rewards can typically be redeemed through various methods, depending on the type of rewards program your credit card issuer offers. Some common redemption methods include cash back, point-based rewards, travel, and miles rewards, credit for merchandise, and gift cards. Let’s take a closer look at each of these options.

1. Redeem cash back rewards

If your credit card offers cash back rewards, you can usually redeem them as a statement credit, a deposit into your bank account, or a check. Statement credits are a convenient option to help offset your credit card bill, while deposits or checks provide more flexibility in using the cash back rewards.

Related: Can You Get Cash Back From a Credit Card?

2. Redeem point-based rewards

Credit cards that offer point-based rewards usually have a redemption portal where you can use your points for various options such as travel bookings, merchandise purchases, or even transferring points to partner loyalty programs. This flexibility lets you choose the redemption option that suits your needs and preferences.

How to redeem travel and miles rewards?

Travel and miles rewards are often associated with co-branded credit cards or cards with travel-focused rewards programs. You can typically book flights, hotels, rental cars, or other travel-related expenses through the credit card’s travel portal to redeem these rewards. Some credit cards also offer the option to transfer miles to airline or hotel loyalty programs for even greater value.

1. Redeem credit for merchandise

Certain credit cards allow you to redeem your rewards for merchandise, such as electronics, clothing, or household items. While this can be a tempting option, it’s important to carefully consider the value you’re getting for your rewards. Frequently, redeeming for merchandise may not provide the same level of value as other redemption options.

2. Redeem regards for gift cards

Another popular option is to redeem your credit card rewards for gift cards. Many credit card issuers have partnerships with various retailers, restaurants, and online platforms, allowing you to exchange your rewards for gift cards from these establishments. Gift cards can be a great way to stretch the value of your rewards and treat yourself or someone else to a nice gift.

How to maximize credit card rewards?

To maximize your credit card rewards, consider the following strategies.

1. Check for the most valuable option

Before redeeming your rewards, compare the value you would receive from each redemption option. Some options may provide better value than others, so choosing the one that offers the highest return on your rewards is important.

2. Check bonus category

Take advantage of bonus categories offered by your credit card. Some cards provide increased rewards for specific spending categories, such as dining, groceries, or travel. You can earn more rewards on your everyday expenses by aligning your spending with these bonus categories.

3. Consider introductory bonuses

When applying for a new credit card, check if there are any introductory bonuses available. These bonuses often require you to meet a minimum spending requirement within a specific timeframe, but they can significantly boost your rewards earnings.

4. Look for other travel perks

Certain travel-focused credit cards offer additional perks like airport lounge access, travel insurance, or free checked bags. These perks can further enhance the value of your credit card rewards, so consider them when evaluating your options.

Key takeaways while redeeming rewards

  • Compare redemption options to ensure you’re getting the most value.
  • Maximize rewards by leveraging bonus categories and introductory bonuses.
  • Consider travel perks offered by your credit card.
  • Be mindful of the value you’re getting when redeeming for merchandise or gift cards.

What to look out for when redeeming credit card rewards?

When redeeming your credit card rewards, keep the following points in mind:

  • Expiration Dates: Some rewards may have expiration dates, so be sure to use them before they expire.
  • Redemption Fees: Check for any fees associated with certain redemption options, such as transferring points to partner programs or purchasing merchandise.
  • Minimum Redemption Thresholds: Some credit cards may have minimum thresholds for certain redemption options, so ensure you meet the requirements before redeeming.

3 ways you should not redeem your credit rewards

While credit card rewards can offer great value, there are a few methods of redemption you should be cautious about.

1. Merchandise

Redeeming your rewards for merchandise often provides less value compared to other options. It’s advisable to calculate the worth of your rewards and consider if using them for merchandise is truly worth it.

2. Using statement rewards on travel card

If you have a credit card specifically designed for travel rewards, using the rewards as statement credits might not provide the best value. Consider using them for travel-related expenses to maximize their worth.

3. Shop with points

Some credit cards allow you to use your rewards directly at checkout when shopping with certain retailers. While it may seem convenient, this method often results in lower redemption value than other options.


Credit card rewards are often earned as points, so converting them is unnecessary. You can directly redeem your points according to the credit card’s redemption options.

It’s generally best to redeem your credit card rewards regularly rather than letting them accumulate for too long. Check your credit card’s terms and conditions for expiration dates or restrictions.

Reward points are typically earned based on your credit card usage. Every dollar you spend or meet certain spending criteria can earn you a specific number of reward points, as determined by your credit card issuer.

Yes, using credit card rewards can be beneficial if you manage your credit card responsibly and avoid carrying high-interest debt. Redeeming rewards can provide value and help offset your spending.

Yes, many credit card rewards programs offer cash back redemption options, allowing you to receive the value of your rewards as cash or a statement credit.