How do you use credit card rewards points?


Quick Answer

Credit card rewards points can be used to make online purchases, pay down a credit card balance, or add cash to a checking or savings account. How points can be used specifically and how they accumulate depends on the particular rewards card in question.

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Full Answer

Rewards credit card points are accumulated by making credit card purchases. Standard rewards start at 1 percent on most cards and can go up to 5 percent or more on more exclusive cards. The Chase Freedom card, for example, offers 1 percent on all purchases and 5 percent on rotating quarterly categories as of January 2015, while the Amazon Visa rewards card offers 1 percent on all purchases and 3 percent on Amazon purchases. In addition to accruals for card use, some cards offer additional points for initial purchases or extra point bonuses for maintaining a checking account with the bank that issued the card.

How rewards points can be used varies greatly between cards. Most cards allow for a cash back option, and many give users the option to apply points to reduce a card's balance due. In addition, some cards provide discounts on gift cards, travel reservations and at partner stores and locations. In order to access points, log into the online account for your card. Many banking sites have a rewards center that provides information about how points can be used, although the specifics vary from bank to bank. Once you have access to your card's rewards information, you can make a choice about how to use your points based on the options your card provides.

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