Depending on the type of rewards credit card you sign up for, you can earn all kinds of free stuff just for being a cardholder.
If you get one of the best travel credit cards, for example, you can count on earning free hotel stays, almost-free airfare, and various other travel goodies and upgrades. Some cards offer additional, lesser-known perks such as primary auto rental coverage, extended warranties, and zero liability for fraud to sweeten the deal.
At the end of the day, a good rewards credit card can be worth its weight in gold. But despite evidence to the contrary, many people assume they can’t benefit from one.
When it comes to travel credit cards, for example, I often hear people say they don’t travel, so they don’t have the need. And when it comes to your standard cash-back cards, many people feel they don’t spend enough to justify having one.
The thing is, most of the top rewards cards offer some flexibility in how you redeem your rewards. And if you’re willing to think outside the box, you can easily find at least one way to redeem them that makes sense with your budget and your spending habits.
Other Ways to Redeem Those Airline Miles
From cash-back cards to airline credit cards, the options for redeeming your points are endless. Here are eight outside-the-box redemption possibilities you might not have considered:
No. 1: Turn Airline Miles into Lowe’s Gift Cards
A few years ago, my sister and her husband both signed up for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card in order to earn the sign-up bonus — but not for the reason you think. Even though this card helps you earn Southwest Rapid Rewards airline miles, the points are also good for an array of lucrative gift card options — and my sister’s family needed a new screen door!
After they each earned their respective sign-up bonus, they redeemed their miles for Lowe’s gift cards in 5,000-point increments for $50 each. Shortly after, they went to Lowe’s and ordered a new screen door.
While this isn’t the most lucrative way to redeem your airline miles, it’s a decent option to consider if you want to earn gift cards toward something you need anyway at a rate of one cent per mile. It’s just another example of how airline miles can be good for something other than plane tickets and seat upgrades. Who knew?
Meanwhile, the Discover it® Cash Back card allows cardmembers to get their cash-back bonus in the form of dozens of gift cards if they wish — most of them at a discount.
Need a new screen door or appliance more than a trip to Florida? Cash in your miles for gift cards at a home improvement store such as Lowe’s. Photo: Lowe’s