It is no secret that many Americans are struggling to manage their finances. More and more people are relying on credit cards to pay for day-to-day expenses, but this can have its rewards. Read on to learn how credit-card points and air miles can be converted into cash.
Credit counselling services in the U.S. deal with numerous calls from people who have fallen into debt. According to the Federal Reserve, 98 percent of the country’s entire revolving debt, which is worth more than $800 billion, consists of credit-card spending. Clearly, credit card debt in America is big business. While credit cards are obviously very useful for millions of Americans, reliance on high-interest cards can cause problems for many consumers.
Debt-consolidation firms provide help for people who are struggling to clear their debts, but credit cards should not be seen as the enemy. The truth is that credit cards offer a fast, convenient and secure method of payment for millions of people, many of whom only sink into debt because they fail to keep on top of their finances during periods of relative prosperity.
Credit cards also offer protection for consumers, as payments can be easily reversed if buyers encounter problems with products or services. Another benefit of using credit cards is that they often give rise to rewards. Provided below is a summary of some of the top ways to turn credit-card points and miles into cash.
Points and Miles
One of the most effective methods of generating credit-card points is to sign up for a number of rewards-based credit cards. Not just one, of course, as this limits the availability of rewards. If signing up for more than one card, however, it is important for borrowers to exercise caution. Multiple cards can result in huge debts very quickly, so consumers need to be especially careful when hunting for the best rewards.
Some of the best rewards-based credit cards available include the Platinum Card from American Express and Capital One’s Venture SM. Having multiple cards can help consumers maximize rewards, so some effort should be made to find a selection of top providers.
Credit-card points usually come from certain kinds of activity. Shopping online, for instance, or at a specific high-street store can result in points being added to cards. This is another reason why multiple cards can be a good idea, as different providers offer different deals and incentives. A transaction might generate a huge number of points on one card and little or nothing on another. As always, shopping around for the best deals ought to be considered the first step.
Air miles are also counted on some credit cards, so frequent flyers really should invest some time and effort into finding the rewards-based cards that most suits their needs. Over the course of a year, some people rack up tens of thousands of air miles, which are usually exchanged for free return tickets to some expensive, faraway destination. Air miles can, however, be converted into cash in more or less the same way as regular credit-card points.
Conveniently, credit-card customers can convert their points and miles into cash on a number of websites. One of the most popular sites is Points.com, which provides an extremely useful service for those who want to do more with their rewards.
Points.com enables members to redeem credit-card points and air miles in the ordinary way, but it also provides a service for tracking and trading points. This offers enormous benefits to consumers, especially those who are frequent flyers (as thousands of points can be earned and traded). One of the main advantages of using Points.com is that points and miles can be redeemed, exchanged for gift cards or converted directly into cash. Borrowers simply need to ensure that they have a PayPal account to receive instant cash rewards.
Converting points and miles into cash can be useful for those who are a little short on money, but this is not necessarily the best method of using rewards-based credit cards. Direct cash conversions are almost always less valuable than gift-based transactions; for example, 25,000 or so air miles might be redeemed for expensive flight tickets, but the same number of miles or points might only be converted into $100, so users should think carefully about the relative savings that can be made here. SwiftExchange.com and PointsPay.com are two other websites that provide cash-conversion services for credit-card holders.