How I earned $122 cash back (plus points) in 8 months with credit card offers

by | Mar 22, 2024 | Smart Finances

Credit card offers for new credit cards come with some exciting earning potential, like no interest for a period or cash back if you spend $xxx. Those offers are incentives to apply for and use those cards.

After a few months, you’ve either earned the reward or not, depending on if you followed the fine print of the offer. Applying for new credit cards also comes with the risk of negatively affecting your personal credit score (at least in the short term).

So, how do you maximize your earning potential with the cards you already have?

Most cards have offers beyond the initial incentive to apply. My credit cards are with Chase. We have an Amazon Visa and a Marriott Bonvoy Visa. We put everything (that we can charge) on ONE card and pay it off every month.

Years ago, our one card was the Amazon Visa so we could earn Amazon dollars. We did our Christmas shopping each year with the points we earned throughout the rest of the year. As our boys went off to college and we became empty nesters, we changed our one card to the Marriott Bonvoy Visa with a focus on traveling more. Now we love being Platinum Elite Marriott members when we travel, mostly with points. The way we use our credit cards is not for everyone, but it works for my family.

 

In addition to these points though, is an often overlooked and easy way to earn more free money. Each card likely offers deals for certain brand purchases. This is how I earned $122 cash back over the last eight months. For example, I just got $39 cash back for staying at a hotel (at which I also earned 5x points) to see my son compete in Boston. These offers change often. I don’t know why they don’t just give you the offers; why you must go in and check them off, but you do.

The secret to my recent success? It’s as easy as setting a reminder on my phone.

Each Friday morning while I’m drinking my tea, I open the credit card app, scroll through the available offers and check the ones that I might possibly use. It takes 2-3 minutes. Some of the offers I’ve used include hotels (Marriotts, of course), gas stations, restaurants, clothes (Tommy Bahama, my husband’s favorite), and shoes (Cole Haan, Brooks).

So, with just a very little bit of effort on your part, checking the offers available on your card with regularity could yield more money in your pocket. If you’re a bargain shopper like me, you’ll also have the satisfaction of getting the best deal available. You’ll also look great wearing those shoes!!