How to Get More Value Out of Your Credit Card Rewards Program

  • TD survey finds about one in five Americans applied for a new credit card in the past year. 
  • Finding the right card and using it responsibly can benefit consumers’ wallets and credit profiles. 
  • TD Bank recently introduced the TD Double Up credit card. 

Over the past year, many people have shifted where and how they spend their money. Instead of booking flights and concert tickets, many have been ordering at-home workout equipment and updating their leisure wardrobes.

And some have strategically adjusted how they make those purchases to take advantage of credit card reward programs.

A new TD Bank survey found that about a quarter of credit cardholders say they’re putting more of their purchases on credit now than prior to the pandemic; the top reason is to earn rewards.

While reaching for a credit card at checkout is only a small behavioral change, finding the right card and using it wisely can have a big impact on personal finances and credit profiles in the long term.

Shifting everyday spending

While some began making more purchases on credit during the pandemic, many people continue to rely on cash transactions. In TD’s survey, about half of Americans said they use a debit or check card or cash as their primary method for making day-to-day purchases.

“While using cash can be effective for managing spending, these consumers are potentially missing out on an opportunity to earn cashback on those purchases,” says Paramita Pal, head of US Bankcard for TD Bank.

TD recently launched the TD Double Up credit card, which features an up to 2% Cash Back rewards program. Double Up credit cardholders can earn 1% Cash Back on purchases, with no rotating categories, and an additional 1% Cash Back when rewards are redeemed into an eligible TD deposit account. The card has no annual fee as well as no limit, caps, or expiration dates when redeeming rewards, as long as the credit card account is open and in good standing.1

With the right rewards program, a series of everyday charges can add up to considerable cashback. TD’s survey found that the average cardholder spends about $800 on their credit card each month. For someone earning a total of 2% cashback when they spend and redeem into their TD account, this could equate to nearly $200 each year in rewards.

Responsibly using a credit card can also help people establish a record of on-time debt payments, which may positively impact credit scores. In fact, 28% of TD’s survey respondents who said they’re spending more on credit cards now said it’s because they want to build their credit — which can be crucial for achieving other financial milestones such as buying a home or taking out a loan. 

Importantly, people who shift spending to a credit card should understand how they work and the basics of responsible credit card usage, such as:

  • Pay your bills on time every month. Payment history accounts for approximately 38% of your credit score, so try to pay off your balance in full every month.
  • If you have to carry a balance on your credit card, keep it at a reasonable percentage of your credit line. Most financial experts recommend keeping utilization under 30% of your available credit.
  • Do not cancel cards you aren’t using regularly unless you’re concerned about an annual fee or controlling spending. Credit history is an important factor in determining credit score.

Rethinking rewards programs

As consumer spending shifted to different categories over the past year, some began reevaluating whether the cards in their wallets were offering the most value.

According to the TD survey, about one in five Americans applied for a new credit card during the pandemic. Of this group, nearly 40% did so because they wanted a different rewards program as their spending habits had changed.

“Our survey findings reinforced that many people want the ability to spend however they’d like and earn rewards on a variety of purchases,” Pal says. “And receiving cashback allows people to use this additional money how they want or need to, whether that’s supporting a hobby, splurging on a nice meal out or covering essential expenses.”

With many Americans booking fewer flights during the pandemic, some also considered whether accumulating travel rewards was still worthwhile. More than 60% of millennials with a rewards card said they wanted to change their travel rewards program, with a third saying this change stemmed from the need for extra money in the form of cashback.

TD’s new cashback card also offers consumers the convenience of seamless redemption into an eligible TD deposit account.

Learn more about the TD Double Up credit card’s terms and eligibility.

This post was created by TD Bank with Insider Studios. 


1Read terms and conditions for important information about APRs, fees, eligible purchases, balance transfers, and rewards program details. Terms for the TD deposit account govern use and any limitations that may prohibit from depositing or withdrawing a redemption bonus.

The TD Double Up credit card is available within TD’s retail footprint only.

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