Insider Tips to Max Out Your Credit Card Rewards

Money Girl interviews Kristy Olinger, Credit Card Product Manager at Citizens, and co-host of The Opposite of Small Talk podcast, to discuss clever ways to take full advantage of different types of rewards credit cards, including avoiding foreign transaction fees and receiving cash back on gas, hotels, and airfare.

Laura Adams, MBA
2-minute read
Episode #690
The Quick And Dirty

Using the best rewards credit cards for your everyday spending and upcoming travel can pay off with nice purchase benefits and cash back.

If you’re not using one or more rewards credit cards to make the most of your purchases and qualify for special promotions, you need to get more strategic. The cards you keep in your physical and digital wallets can help you rack up rewards points and save money on everyday purchases, such as groceries, gas, travel, and more.

Some cashback credit cards give you a statement credit or gift card balance to apply to purchases at retailers such as Amazon. That’s my favorite way to use rewards because it happens automatically, without giving it any thought. 

To discuss clever ways to max out card rewards, I interviewed Kristy Olinger, a Credit Card Product Manager at Citizens. She’s been deep in the credit card and technology worlds for decades and specializes in product storytelling and communication. 

"The best rewards card to use depends on your lifestyle and how you choose to use credit cards." - Kristy Olinger

As the co-host of The Opposite of Small Talk podcast, Kristy’s no stranger to getting behind a mic. We connected virtually for a great conversation about ways to take full advantage of different types of cashback cards. My favorite part was remembering some of the best ways we’ve used card rewards!

On the Money Girl podcast, Kristy and I discuss:

  • How to know if you should have a flat-rate or category rewards credit card. 
  • Why analyzing your spending habits is critical for maxing out rewards. 
  • The right number of credit cards to have for good credit. 
  • Ways to use rewards that give you the most enjoyment. 
  • Insider tips for tailoring cards to your financial situation. 
  • How a no-foreign transaction fee card saves money in the U.S. and abroad. 
  • Some benefits of Citizen’s Cash Back Plus™ World Mastercard®.  

[Listen to the interview using the embedded audio player above or on Apple PodcastsSoundCloudStitcher, and Spotify]

What questions do you have about using credit cards wisely and building credit? Leave a voicemail for Laura by calling 302-364-0308. Follow her on Instagram and sign up for her weekly newsletter at LauraDAdams.com.

Citizens is a brand name of Citizens Bank, N.A. Views expressed may not necessarily reflect those of Citizens. The information contained herein is for informational purposes only, as a service to the public, and is not legal advice or a substitute for legal counsel, nor does it constitute advertising or a solicitation. You should do your own research and/or contact your own legal or tax advisor for assistance with questions you may have on the information contained herein. Visit citizensbank.com/moneygirl. Mastercard is a registered trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Member FDIC.

About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.