4 ways to use your credit card points in recessions to save money

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Redeeming credit card points for cash back or statement credits can help you when you’re feeling down during a downturn.

Alyssa Powell / Insider



  • I collected over 300,000 credit card points during the pandemic because I didn’t use them for travel.
  • Now I plan to recoup it to offset the increased expenses and decreased income in the event of a recession.
  • Using credit card points for cashback, gift cards, statement credits, and merchandise will help me keep on budget.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

For the first time in 2022, I decided to take an inventory of everything I had Credit Card Rewards points. Since I’ve spent most of 2020 and 2021 at home due to the pandemic, I’ve found that I’ve collected far more credit card rewards than I thought. With nearly 300,000 points in my accounts and no upcoming holidays or trips on my calendar, I wanted to see how I could use them.

Since my personal finances have taken a huge hit this year, due to stock market dips, price hikes due to inflation, and the desire to be more frugal because Possible stagnationI wondered if I could use my credit card points to help meet my spending and savings goals.

Here are the ways I strategically plan to use a significant portion of my credit card points in the event of a severe recession.

Insider Premium Cashback Credit Cards

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Earn 2% unlimited cash back rewards on purchases.

$200 cash back bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cashback on purchase, plus an additional 1% when paying for these purchases.

$200 cashback after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening

5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in reward tiers every quarter that you activate. 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3% cashback on pharmacy and dining in restaurants purchases, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cashback on all other purchases.

$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening

Here we focus on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it is important that you pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Redeem credit card points for cash

As a full-time, freelance entrepreneur, I expect the recession will affect the amount of income I can make each month, as clients and projects change their scope. If my salary is reduced, I will have to find additional ways to bring in cash to cover my monthly expenses.

One way I can do this is by Redeem some of my existing credit card points for cash.

For example, file Hunt for Freedom Unlimited® Earns at least 1.5% back (in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points) on every purchase and you can redeem your travel rewards, gift cards or cashback.

I plan to use this cash to contribute towards rent payments, my retirement fund, or even for immediate and important weekly expenses (food, electricity, and more).

Buy gift cards

Citi Citi Premier® Card

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80,000 Bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Rewards

Earn 3x ThankYou® Points at restaurants and supermarkets. Earn 3x ThankYou® Points at gas stations, air travel and hotels. Earn 1x ThankYou® Points on all other purchases

Citi Citi Premier® Card

introductory presentation

80,000 Bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Rewards

Earn 3x ThankYou® Points at restaurants and supermarkets. Earn 3x ThankYou® Points at gas stations, air travel and hotels. Earn 1x ThankYou® Points on all other purchases

Rewards

Earn 3x ThankYou® Points at restaurants and supermarkets. Earn 3x ThankYou® Points at gas stations, air travel and hotels. Earn 1x ThankYou® Points on all other purchases

introductory presentation

80,000 Bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Credit recommended

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18.99% – 26.99% variable

Editor’s Rating

4.3/ 5

Our editor reviews analyze fees, rewards, rewards, and benefits to highlight the simplest and most valuable credit cards available.

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One feature that some credit cards offer is the ability to redeem your points for gift cards to popular retailers and restaurants. For example, file Citi Premier® Card It allows you to redeem points for gift cards at a rate of one cent per point, however, they sometimes have sales that offer points discounts of up to 20%.

When I need to give someone a holiday or a birthday gift, this is the path I will use to be able to afford it. I’ll buy a gift card using my points to give them or I’ll use that gift card to buy a specific item in the store I know they want. This way, I don’t need to tap into my savings account when my budget is tighter due to the recession.

Get account balances

In the past, when I had a lot of credit card points stuck and had no plan for how to use them, I just exchanged them for statement balances. help me this Reduce my credit card balance for a month.

Since all of my credit cards offer this as a feature, I plan to go this route if I notice my credit card bills are increasing more than usual due to the recession and I don’t have the cash flow to be able to get my balance down.

Use points to pay for merchandise

I’ve already started preparing a financial strategy for a recession, and while I’ve found ways to work with a tighter spending budget, there will inevitably be items I’ll need to purchase each month, even if they aren’t very large. Necessary. Purchases such as household cleaning tools and clothing for the new seasons will cause spending fluctuations.

The Capital One Spark Miles for Business
lets you Redeem your miles to pay for purchases on Amazon An average of 0.8 cents each. If there is a month when my planned budget is maxed out, I will take a few thousand miles and buy the items I have stored in my Amazon cart that I need to get, without spending cash on them.

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