Give yourself the gift of rewards this holiday – and all year long

December 19, 2022

Chris Roncari, head of Product and Experience for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions, shares insights on how to make credit card purchases more rewarding.

Savvy shoppers are making the most of their budgets this holiday shopping season. One way consumers can stretch their spending ability is to take advantage of various special offers and incentives on their rewards credit card.   

Chris Roncari, head of Product and Experience for U.S. Bank Retail Payment Solutions, leads a team of experts who dedicate their time to delivering the type of rewards customers seek the most from their rewards cards.   

We asked Roncari a few questions about how to get the most out of a rewards credit card. 

How do I choose which credit card to use for my purchases?
There are many great options in the credit card industry today to help you buy the things you want and need. If you are looking for a way to finance a large purchase over time, you might want to consider a card that offers a 0% annual percentage rate (APR) on all new purchases for a period of time. If you know you are going to be making several purchases in the near future and are looking to maximize your cashback you may want to find a card that offers high percentage of cashback at specific categories or merchants. Some cards, like the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card or Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card offer as much as 5% and 6% cashback when you shop at specific locations, so those savings can really start to add up. 

Can a rewards card help me save on purchases I make now? 
Absolutely. Many card issuers offer ways for you to use your points to help reduce the cost of your purchases. With U.S. Bank cards, for example, you may want to consider making a purchase with your rewards card and then immediately redeeming your cashback or rewards points as a statement credit. Or, you could choose to redeem some or all of your rewards as you check out at an eligible retailer such as U.S. Bank also offers our cardholders the ability to shop with points through our partnership with Paypal, or in our new, exclusive Apple Store. In addition, we allow our cardholders to sign up for a unique program called Real Time Rewards which allows cardholders to immediately “pay off” credit card purchases they just made by redeeming their points through a simple text message. 

How can I make the most of a cash-back rewards card? 
Cash-back cards can be a game changer for folks who really want to make sure they are always getting the best deal. Using the right rewards card that offers cashback at the places you shop the most every day such as grocery and retails stores, gas stations, even utilities and services, can really stretch your spending power and help you afford the things you really want or need to have. 

What are other ways that I can get the most of my rewards points? 
Depending on the rewards card you have, you can do many things with your credit card rewards. For example, if you’re already using a U.S. Bank rewards card regularly, make sure you download the account management app and sign up to manage your credit card online. That’s because many of the special programs designed to help you maximize your credit card rewards value are available online.  

You can use your points:

  • On to Shop with Points and pay for part or all your holiday gifts or necessities – it can even cover shipping and taxes.

  • To purchase gifts or gift cards online in our Rewards Center to use yourself or give as a gift to others. 

  • To shop with your points directly in our own Apple Store   

  • To pay it forward. Many rewards programs offer an option to convert the rewards you’ve earned into donations to local and national nonprofits.

How can I make the most out of my rewards card for travel?
If you are hoping to use your rewards to fund your next adventure, consider a card that gives you accelerated points when you book travel, allows you to redeem your points for travel, and gives you unique travel benefits to make your trip as hassle-free as possible. Many of the U.S. Bank credit cards, including the Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card and Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, allow cardholders to book their trips in the Rewards Center using either cash or rewards points and even give the cardholder more points on those purchases. It’s a great feeling to know that each purchase you make throughout the year helps you get closer to that family visit at the holidays, the weekend away or the dream vacation.

For more information on convenient tools and ways to manage your finances so you can spread more joy this holiday season and though out the year, explore our resources on Financial IQ.

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