It can be difficult to keep track of credit card rewards if you're juggling multiple accounts that you don't check regularly. Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can monitor your points if you want to use your plastic strategically. Keeping tabs on your account can also help you look out for errors made by retailers or your card provider.
One of the simplest ways of finding out how your rewards are mounting up is to get online access to your credit card accounts. Most credit card providers allow borrowers to keep tabs on the bonuses they've earned by navigating to special sections of their online statements. There may be a slight delay in rewards from recent purchases being added to your accounts.
If you've got multiple credit cards and can't be bothered to log into all your accounts individually to check your rewards, a reward tracking service could be right up your street. Sites such as GoMiles.com, AwardWallet.com and MileWise.com allow you to view all your rewards in one place. Critics of these services say they could put the security of your data at risk, since they ask for your online credit card account log-in details.
For the more traditional consumer, there's always the paper statement. If you're not a fan of conducting all your financial affairs online, most card providers will still be happy to send you out a hard-copy breakdown of the rewards you've earned. Bear in mind that paper statements may be out of date by the time they reach you.
Keep Your Receipts and Take Notes
Credit card providers are not immune to making mistakes with customers' accounts. If you want to be sure you're getting all the rewards you've earned, keep your receipts and work out what you think you should be getting. Cross-check your calculations with your online or physical statement to make sure you're getting what's due to you. If a reward hasn't shown up on your statement and you've got proof you made a purchase, call up your card issuer to get things put right. If you're asked to provide evidence, send a copy of your receipt.
Michael Roennevig has been a journalist since 2003. He has written on politics, the arts, travel and society for publications such as "The Big Issue" and "Which?" Roennevig holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from the Surrey Institute and a postgraduate diploma from the National Council for the Training of Journalists at City College, Brighton.