How to maximize your credit card rewards - Part 3

Find out how to get your money back: Go to your card's rewards portal to find out more about how you can use your points. If your card gives you cash back, you might be able to choose between a credit to your statement, direct deposit, or a check.

If you are earning travel miles, the portal will tell you how to turn those miles into flights, hotel stays, or other benefits. And if you get points, you might be able to choose between gift cards, physical goods, digital media, or donations to charity.

Keep in mind that the value of the things you can get with your points and miles is not always the same. For example, you might get 1 cent per mile when you use your miles to buy travel, but only 0.8 cents per mile when you use them to buy goods.

If you want a certain reward, write down how many miles or points you'll need to get it. Then you can figure out how long it will take to get the reward and keep track of your progress.

Use all the perks that come with your card. Most rewards credit cards give you a lot more than just the chance to earn rewards like points, miles, or cash back. Some of the perks of travel credit cards can include access to airport lounges, hotel stay credits, and insurance for lost or late luggage.

Cardholders can also often get discounts on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck, as well as travel insurance that covers your trip if it is cut short, canceled, or delayed. If you're thinking about getting a travel card, here are the ones we think are the best.

Many credit cards come with shopping and entertainment perks, such as extended warranties on things you buy with your card and discounts and special offers when you shop at certain stores. Cards can also have extra features, such as protection against fraud and purchases.

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