10 rewards you never knew you could earn with a credit card

10 rewards you never knew you could earn with a credit card

I am a firm believer of retail therapy. Although I can't really explain it, I believe there is definitely some kind of intangible positive influence on my life when I make a purchase. Especially if that purchase is for something significant or meaningful. But you know what? These days, there's no need to go shopping just to get something intangible. Here are 10 rewards you could be earning if you charge your spending to your credit card.

Isn't it amazing just what you can redeem just by spending consistently on your credit card? I know items like dining and shopping vouchers are popular among credit card users, but the ability to redeem items like Sennheiser headphones, a Kindle and even a FitBit after spending only $500 per month for a year was unexpected.

Of course, whether you can get enough points to earn these items is crucial. Here are 3 tips and tricks to maximise your credit card rewards earning:

1. Look out for credit cards that give bonus rewards points for specific categories. For example, the HSBC Revolution card gives you 5X rewards points for dining, online shopping and entertainment spending. That means you get 5 rewards points for every $1 you spend online, for example, compared to 1 point for every $1 spent shopping. The HSBC Advance Visa Platinum card is even better, giving you 10X rewards points for the same 3 categories. However, you have to be a HSBC Advance account holder first.

2. Look for the rewards catalogue that has the items you wish to redeem. Imagine earning points by consistently spending on your credit card for an entire year, only to realise that there's nothing in that bank's rewards catalogue that you really want. And then you'll end up settling for a dining voucher for a restaurant you don't really fancy, or a shopping voucher for a mall you'll never visit.

One bank that has a rather impressive variety of rewards is Citibank. Their catalogue ranges from electronics to home appliances to beauty products, sporting goods and even baby gear. Use the Citibank Rewards card to get access to one of the most diverse credit card rewards catalogues in Singapore.

3. Look for rewards points that don't expire after a year. The worst thing that can happen is when you try very hard to accumulate credit card rewards points and are forced to redeem them after a year because you'll forfeit them otherwise. Having a longer expiry period means that you'll have more time to earn points, which also means you can aim for the more lucrative rewards in the catalogue.

For example, UOB rewards points are valid for 2 years. HSBC Rewards points expire 2 to 3 years from the year they are earned. Citi Rewards cardholders get to enjoy a 5 year validity for their points.

MoneySmart.sg is Singapore’s leading personal finance portal, and aims to help people maximise their money with powerful tools and engaging content.

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