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Lesser known ways to get the most out of your credit cards

Credit cards are a great tool, but sometimes we don’t get the most out of them. Yes, there are benefits to spending in certain categories. But there are other ways to get more value out of your plastic. Here are some to try.

Ask For a Change

If your card no longer matches your spending habits, you can request a product change. Ask your issuer to either upgrade or downgrade to a different card that they already offer. Sometimes you might want to upgrade to take advantage of new perks. You might want to downgrade a card that you barely use that has an annual fee.

Look For a Reason

Debating if a card is still right for you? Ask the card company for an incentive to stay. This usually only works if you’ve been a good customer. So if you have a good history with the credit card company, it’s worth a shot. Sometimes card companies give out retention bonuses or additional rewards for meeting spending requirements.

Buy Gift Cards

Some credit card bonuses are tied to spending requirements. It may be tempting to bust your budget just to hit that mark. This is especially true if you’re oh-so-close to getting that big rewards bonus. However, as MarketWatch suggests, a better way to hit your spending goal is to purchase gift cards. Use the credit card to buy gift cards to places like grocery stores or Amazon — some place you’ll definitely spend money down the line. This way you’ll get the reward bonus buying something you’ll actually use.

Chris O'Shea

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