If you’re like many Americans, you’ve been earning credit card rewards all year. But there’s a solid chance you forgot they existed, meaning you have eleven or twelve months of rewards sitting there waiting to be used. The holidays are a great time to start cashing them in; they can help ease the burden on those expenses that will put a strain on your budget. Give yourself a gift this year and look at what credit card rewards you have available, and start putting them to good use with these three easy methods.
1. CASH IN REWARDS TO PAY FOR GIFTS
This one is pretty obvious, but convert your rewards to cash or physical gifts to make holiday gift giving a little bit easier. You likely have a few options. You can simply cash out your rewards as a statement credit to help lower your holiday gift-giving expenses, or you can use your rewards to purchase gift cards or experiences that you want to give as a gift.
2. USE REWARDS FOR HOLIDAY TRAVEL
Whether you’re driving or flying, holiday travel can be expensive. While you probably want to use your credit card rewards to visit a warm beach in February when you have the winter blues, it may make more sense to use your credit card rewards to cut your holiday travel expenses down. Redeem your air miles, book a hotel room, or cover the cost of gas with your accumulated credit card rewards.
3. DINE OUT ON A DIME
If there’s one thing most of us do over the holiday season, it’s dining out. Between social functions, taking out family and friends, holiday get-togethers, and just not having time to cook, this can really take a toll on your holiday budget. Consider covering the cost of a meal here and there with credit card rewards so meal expenses don’t take a massive hit on your holiday budget—a little help here and there can make a huge difference.