Maximize Rewards on Essential Spends

Maximize Rewards on Credit Card Spends

Credit cards when used right can have a lot of benefits. We can use the reward points to cover a new phone/laptop buy or book that domestic/international trip that we want. The next question is how to earn more reward points. The answer is in moving our spending to credit cards as much as possible while utilizing the best offers. In this article, I will highlight a few ways to get the maximum benefit for some of our spendings on credit cards.

The aim is twofold – Use credit cards for these spendings and meet annual fee waivers/spend offers on credit cards.

LTF IndusInd Bank Credit Cards

Rent/Society Maintenance Payments

Rent and Society Payments

There are many services that allow paying rent by credit card. All we need is a credit card (non-Amex) and a rental agreement (for some cases). To get the maximum benefit from this recurring payment:

  • Check the convenience fees – Most platforms charge a convenience fee when using a credit card. This can be in the range of 0.39% to 2.5%. It is better to choose a platform that has the lowest convenience charge. Lower the convenience fees, better the benefit.
  • Choose the right credit card – Super-premium cards like HDFC Infinia/DCB and SCB Ultimate give 3.3% rewards for rent payments. The other option is to use a card where there is a spend offer or where you need to meet a fee waiver target.
  • Check offers for the current month – We have rent payment offers from various banks for rent payments. These are in association with the service provider like Payzapp-NoBroker or Citibank-Redgirraffe offer. I publish a list of the best rent payment offers every month over here.

Fuel Purchases

Fuel Purchases

Most ‘general purpose’ credit cards do not give rewards on fuel spending. Plus, we also have a fuel surcharge between 1% to 3% levied on the transaction. Some credit cards waive this off. Here are two ways to get good rewards on fuel purchases:

  • Get a fuel credit card – There are many fuel credit cards that can give up to 7.25% rewards on fuel purchases. The points to consider while taking a fuel card are – rewards cap for fuel transactions, rewards for other purchases, and fee waiver criteria. Here is a list of the best fuel credit cards.
  • Buy gift vouchers – The other option is to buy gift vouchers for petrol. Both HPCL and BPCL gift vouchers are available for sale on Amex Reward Multiplier and Gyftr. We can buy these vouchers and fulfill spend targets and the 4/6 transaction per month to get bonus MR points.

Gold Purchases

Gold Purchases

Gold purchases are an essential spend for any household during the festive season. Gold purchases are also excluded from rewards by most credit cards. But, we can save on those as well.

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One way is to buy Amazon Gift Cards and convert them to required vouchers. Amazon gift cards are easy to get at a discount from Smartbuy or Amex Reward Multiplier. We can add these to Amazon Pay and buy Tanishq/Kalyan Jewellers vouchers as required.

We can also buy digital gold from Amazon Pay and use it for physical purchases from Tanishq stores.

NPS Payments

NPS Payments

Many of us use NPS for retirement planning. We have an income tax benefit under Section 80CCD(1B) for investing up to Rs 50000. We can invest this amount in NPS using a credit card.

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There is a convenience charge on using credit cards for NPS payments but that is offset by the rewards. The best time to make a contribution of Rs 50000 is during a spend offer for any of your credit cards. For example, I always make my contribution during Diwali as we have many offers at that time.

Insurance Payments

Insurance Payments

This is another significant spend for most of us. We need to pay annual premiums for our health/life/term insurance. Most credit cards exclude or reduce the rewards for insurance transactions. But, there are many other ways to get decent rewards on our insurance payments.

  • Amazon Pay – One way is to buy Amazon Gift Cards and convert them to required vouchers. Amazon gift cards are easy to get at a discount from Smartbuy or Amex Reward Multiplier. We can add these to Amazon Pay and pay for insurance. Amazon Pay supports most of the major insurers like LIC India and ICICI Prudential.
  • Use Insurance Offers – The other option is to use the insurance payment offers run by credit cards. Amex recently ran a 15 MR Points / Rs 100 to get bonus points.

Final Thoughts

These are some of the ways I have been using my credit cards over the past few years to maximize reward points. We have many more ways but it is difficult to cover all in one post.

Hope this helps in planning your spending and earning more rewards from your credit cards.

If you have a favorite way to get more rewards on credit cards, do comment and share. 🙂

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