Are credit card rewards worth it?

Has anyone mastered the art of credit card rewards, travel hacking, etc.? For the longest time, I’ve wanted to be one of those people who masters credit rewards and flies around the globe for free. But playing that game seems like so much work!

Rewards typically aren’t worth it if you carry a balance since the interest quickly eats up any rewards you earn. Successful travel hackers tend to get most of their points from applying for new cards. I worry that if I juggled so many cards, I’d forget to pay something or wind up overspending, and that any rewards I’d get would be wiped out by the damage.

I have four open credit cards, three of which I barely use. (I just put Netflix on one, my gym membership on the second, and couple small subscriptions on the third.) I keep them open just because they’re older accounts, so they help my credit score. Otherwise, I mostly use a simple 1.5% cash back card for everyday purchases.

Are you a master of credit card rewards? Or do you keep things simple like me? If you do play the credit rewards game, what are your tips? How do you stay organized? What’s your favorite rewards card?

I see people talk about the benefits of rewards and points, and there’s a part of me that wants to join that too.
But then again, I like to keep things simple. I have 1 card with a good limit that’s 10 years old. I don’t need another. I’m concerned that having more cards and juggling them for points, it would be easy to rack up a balance.
So, for now I’m just keeping what I have, but real interested to hear what others experiences are!

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They’re only worth it if you can pay them off in full each month. They’re also useful in emergencies. Otherwise they can get you into some serious debt!


I used to use a rewards card to pay for things I’d ordinarily pay for with my debit card just for the points. I made sure to pay the exact amount spent from my checking to balance out the charges. That got to be too much to keep up with, so now I don’t bother earning any rewards. With that said, frequent flyer points can be a good thing. My brother and a friend were able to use frequent flyer miles to travel for free to the NFL draft last month. :slightly_smiling_face:


I don’t want my debit card number out there so I use a 1.5% card on everything but groceries. I do a Walmart 5% back card for our groceries.


I’m not an expert but definitely a travel hacking enthusiast. We do not carry a balance on any of our cards and for some of the deals the one time annual fee we pay is worthwhile based on the intro offer we get back. We just do all of our spending and put all of our bills on whichever card we are focused on for meeting the minimum spend. I typically do not keep cards longer than a year or I’ll downgrade them to a no fee card if I want to keep it. Without a doubt we are saving money on hotels and airfare which allows us to take the trips we want to take possible. There are some people who are able to capitalize on those offers better than we do but we’ve been happy keeping it fairly simple.

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Hi i also use my cards but i pay them off as soon as the bill comes in

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