They add up over time: the financial rewards, the special discounts, the financial perks. When you’re eventually notified that you’ve earned financial rewards, you can’t help but feel like you’re getting something for nothing, like you’re grabbing a freebie that you deserve because, well, you’re you!
According to a recent Bank of America survey, Americans feel three specific emotions when earning financial rewards: happiness (49%), eagerness to redeem (28%), and gratitude (27%). But the survey also revealed that two-thirds of Americans don’t have a strategy or well-thought-out plan for maximizing their rewards. With just a few easy steps you can better manage the financial rewards you receive, ensuring that they work for your lifestyle, spending habits, and budget.
1. Pick A Rewards Program That’s Right For You
Consider the following questions when determining which rewards program will benefit your wants and needs the most:
• What are your top monthly spending categories?
Prioritize what you spend your money on — travel, dining, shopping, etc. — and choose the types of loyalty programs and credit cards that best tie into those categories.
• Which companies are your favorites?
Sign up for rewards programs and try to consolidate your spending at companies where you spend the most money, whether it’s department stores, warehouse clubs, restaurants, hotels, or airlines.
• Could consolidating savings and investments with an affiliated bank and broker help you qualify for additional rewards and benefits?
By combining your finances with a banker and a broker, you could qualify for special rewards and loyalty programs that include perks such as home and auto loan discounts, credit card reward bonuses, and no-fee banking services.
2. Use Digital Tools To Discover, Track, And Better Manage Your Rewards
Mobile banking apps can help you track the many rewards, deals, and benefits you earn across the many financial rewards programs in which you’ve enrolled. Most apps allow you to easily view the total value of your rewards, redeem existing earnings, and review and access any additional benefits you might qualify for.
3. Combine Rewards Programs Together
Layering your rewards programs together allows you to earn in as many places as possible with one transaction. For example, you could book a flight using a rewards credit card and include your frequent flier number, thereby earning rewards points in both programs.