3 Tips for Combining Credit Cards to Max Out Rewards

Remaining loyal to just one credit card could leave valuable credit card rewards on the table. Opening two or more rewards credit cards allows you to max out your rewards by earning on all your spending.

Choose cards with different bonus categories.

When you’re shopping for credit cards to pair, pay close attention to the rewards structure. If you choose two credit cards that both pay high rewards in the same category, you’ll have a hard time deciding the best card to use. When one credit card offers bonus rewards on gas purchases, for example, while the other offers bonus rewards on dining, you can earn higher rewards n more of your spending. Pairing a flat-rate rewards credit card with a tiered-rewards credit card can also help you max out your rewards.

Be strategic about earning the sign up bonus.

Make sure you read the fine print about earning the sign up bonus. Some credit card issuers will only pay out one sign up bonus every two years, regardless of the credit card you choose. This restriction means spacing out your credit card applications or choosing another credit card.

You might even wait a few months between credit card applications. Earning the sign up bonus means meeting a minimum spend amount in the first few months of opening your credit card. It can be hard to spend enough to earn two sign up bonuses at once. Spacing your applications by at least 90 days makes it easier to max out the sign up bonus.

Look for transfer partners.

If you pick two credit cards from the same credit card issuer, it’s much easier to combine your rewards within the same program. However, credit cards from two different companies requires a little more effort to get your rewards in the same place.

Look at any rewards transfer partners to see the most effective way to move your rewards into the same program. If possible, avoid point conversions so you don’t lose any rewards when you move them between program.
Of course, cash back rewards are the most versatile and don’t require transfers or conversions.

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