Beat Back Inflation with Credit Card Rewards

(BPT) - In a time of record-high inflation across the country, anyone can benefit from additional savings. Whether you want to save money at the gas pump, lower the grocery bill, or maybe save up for a vacation, credit cards ensure you get benefits that make your wallet fuller and happier. Here are three ways to earn rewards that can help you beat back inflation.

1. Travel

As our world opens back up and families increasingly travel abroad, it’s important to know the different ways you can save by using your credit card. From start to finish on your travel days, there are deals you can use to make flying more comfortable and affordable.

Most airlines have specific credit cards allowing you to earn miles through dining and travel purchases. They allow you to earn more miles on airline purchases (tickets, bags and food) and even travel-related purchases, like dining. While premium cards carry a yearly fee, there are plenty of great free options. Watch out for seasonal sign-up bonuses. Those can range in excess of 100,000 free miles. Depending on your favorite airline, you can choose the one that works best for you.

If you prefer having a more comfortable travel experience and getting credit card points is not your priority, then you should look into credit cards that offer specialty perks, such as priority check-in or free checked bags. The top cards even give complimentary lounge membership and other premium airport programs.

2. Lifestyle

Inflation affects the products we use every day, so it’s important to find ways to save whenever possible. Whether by stocking up your fridge or filling up your gas tank, credit card providers offer programs that send savings directly to your bank account without having to redeem them for specific travel or entertainment necessities.

Cashback programs exist across all major credit card providers and are sustained thanks to the interchange — the 1-2% merchants pay to accept credit cards. Without interchange, it would be impossible for banks and credit card networks to offer their customers rewards or fraud protection. Many banks offer between 1-6% cash back on purchases. The best cards give unlimited cash back on all purchases, including gas and grocery.

Those savings go right back into your pocket and add up quickly.

3. Entertainment

Finding time to relax and do things you enjoy is essential, and thanks to rewards cards, you don’t have to break the bank to do the things you love!

For instance, some cards allow you to earn more on dining at restaurants, including takeout and participating delivery services. There’s also no need to worry about spending your cashback rewards before they expire because many have no expiration date as long as your account is open. Or if you’re looking for a getaway weekend — or maybe even want to enjoy a staycation in your own city — there are premium cards that offer great options. Using the card regularly can quickly earn thousands of bonus points toward your next hotel stay, plane ticket or car rental. Not to mention, premium cards offer exclusive access to ticket presales for Broadway shows, concerts, sporting events and more.

Whether it's travel, entertainment or just everyday purchases, credit card rewards can offer significant savings when prices skyrocket. Now is a great time to take advantage due to record inflation, but also because the future of rewards points is in doubt. Congress is currently debating legislation that would end most rewards programs, including all the benefits seen above. There is a consumer movement to stop the bill at, but until the issue is settled, the best you can do is cash in while the rewards are available.

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