Multiply Your Credit Card RewardsCredit card rewards pay you to use your credit card, but did you know that you can get more out of your credit cards?

Here are three ways to multiply the value of the rewards points and cash back benefits you receive from your credit card spending:

1. Get gift cards – The industry is shifting toward a model that increases the benefits to consumers when they opt for something other than cash. It has become normal for $45 or even $40 in rewards points to be redeemable for $50 gift cards at popular retailers and restaurants. If you already frequent a particular store, redeeming your rewards for gift cards could multiply your haul.

2. Donate your points – Donating your points gives you the ability to fund a great cause, or give more than you normally could through the year. When you make a donation of any kind, you can report your donation as a tax deduction, reducing your earned income. If you want to step up the amount you donate each year, consider giving with your credit card rewards.

3. Use rewards for travel – By far, the best multipliers of rewards points are to be found in travel, particularly when you redeem your points for hotel stays and car rentals. Keep in mind that the hospitality industry is interested in keeping every last hotel room booked, so they’ll be willing to strike a deal at a reduced cost if it means a lower vacancy rate. Use this knowledge to your advantage by using your points for travel options like hotel nights. Stay away from airline tickets, which are rarely discounted.

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