Many rewards credit cards will offer 2x, 3x or even 5x points for spend in various categories. Here is a great post by the Frugal Travel Guy that I highly recommend checking out to determine which cards you should use for certain types of spend. I also like the Wallaby app, which uses GPS to determine your location and will tell you which card out of your wallet you should use at that particular merchant.
It can get confusing to carry around multiple cards and try to remember which card you should use for which purchase, but if you can figure out your top spend categories and know which card to use, it can help you to quickly grow your points balances. The Villain has a hard time keeping it all straight, so I tell him to use his Chase Sapphire when in doubt, which earns double points on any travel related expenses, including dining and fuel, two of our biggest expenses.
We have the Chase Ink cards, which offer 5x Ultimate Rewards points on any business related expenses, including internet, TV, and cell phone bills. We’re able to earn an easy 15,000 points each year just by setting up for these bills we have to pay anyway. Another one of my favorite cards in my wallet is my Chase Freedom, which I keep because it is a no annual fee card, and offers rotating quarterly bonuses. This quarter, for instance, restaurants and Lowe’s stores earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points. So from April to June, I try to put all dining spend on the Freedom instead of the Sapphire. If you have the Freedom card, remember that you must manually activate the 5% bonus each quarter through your online account.
I think it’s important to note that if we are ever working on hitting minimum spend for a big sign-up bonus (like we will be for the $10,000 we need to put on The Villain’s new Citi Executive AAdvantage World Mastercard–more on that soon), then we will put all spend on those cards before worrying about category spend.
Using the “right” credit card for your bills, shopping, eating out, etc. can earn you extra points and miles!