What Is Credit Card Points and How to Earn Them

Nov 09, 2023 By Susan Kelly


In the world of personal finance, credit cards occupy a unique space. They offer convenience, flexibility, and—with the right card—a host of rewards. Among these rewards, credit card points are perhaps the most sought-after, as they can be redeemed for a variety of benefits. But what exactly are credit card points, and how can you earn them?

Understanding Credit Card Points

Credit card points are a type of reward currency offered by credit card issuers. These points are earned when you make purchases using your credit card and can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including cash back, travel, gift cards, and more. The value of each point varies depending on the credit card issuer and the redemption option you choose.

How to Earn Credit Card Points

Earning credit card points is relatively straightforward. Here are a few ways to rack up points quickly:

Make Purchases with Your Credit Card: The most obvious way to earn points is by using your credit card for purchases. Whether it’s groceries, gas, or a new wardrobe, using your card instead of cash or debit can help you earn points on every purchase.

Take Advantage of Sign-Up Bonuses: Many credit cards offer generous sign-up bonuses to new cardholders. These bonuses can be worth hundreds or even thousands of points, so it pays to shop around and find a card with a lucrative offer.

Refer Friends and Family: Some credit cards will reward you with points for referring new customers. If you have friends or family members who are in the market for a new credit card, referring them can be a win-win situation.

Use Your Card for Bill Payments: Many credit cards allow you to pay bills, such as utilities or insurance, with your card. While you may incur a small fee for this service, the points you earn can often outweigh the cost.

Participate in Special Offers and Promotions: Credit card issuers often run special offers and promotions that can help you earn extra points. These offers may include bonus points for shopping at specific retailers or during certain times of the year.

Maximizing Your Credit Card Points

Earning credit card points is only half the battle; the real trick is knowing how to redeem them for maximum value. Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your points:

Compare Redemption Options: Before redeeming your points, take a moment to compare the available options. Cash back may be the simplest option, but if you’re saving up for a specific reward—like a dream vacation—it may make sense to hold out for a better redemption value.

Transfer Points to Travel Partners: Many credit cards allow you to transfer your points to travel partners, such as airlines or hotel chains. This can often provide a better redemption value than cashing out your points directly.

Use Points for Upgrades or Perks: Sometimes, the best use of your points isn’t a tangible reward but rather an upgrade or perk. For example, some credit cards allow you to use points to upgrade your seat on a flight or gain access to a VIP lounge at the airport.

The Bottom Line

Credit card points are a valuable reward currency that can be earned through everyday purchases and strategic spending. By understanding how to earn and redeem points effectively, you can turn your credit card use into a rewarding experience that pays off in more ways than one.


How can I keep track of my credit card points?

Most credit card issuers provide an online portal where you can view your point balance and transaction history. By logging into your account regularly, you can stay up-to-date on your points balance and ensure you’re on track to reach your redemption goals.

Are there any fees associated with redeeming credit card points?

In most cases, redeeming credit card points is free of charge. However, some redemption options may incur fees, such as booking a flight through a travel partner or transferring points to another loyalty program. Be sure to read the fine print before redeeming your points to avoid any unexpected costs.

Latest Posts
Copyright 2019 - 2023