Rewards: Smart Summer Buys in Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom Categories

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Please Note: Information about the Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom® have been collected independently by TheSimpleDollar.com. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy. The products are no longer available on The Simple Dollar

When it comes to maximizing credit card rewards, many people choose to never pay an annual fee. That way, they never have to worry about canceling the card if they stop using it enough, or the impact on their credit if they do.

Two excellent rewards cards that can help you maximize rewards are the Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom® cards. Although they’re issued by different banks, and they both offer a lucrative rewards program that allows you to rack up cash back on purchases.

Here are some other tips and things to watch out for to make you’re the one taking advantage of your credit cards (and not the other way around):

Always pay your bill in full.

Although both cards offer 0% intro APR on purchases for a limited time, you should practice paying your balance in full each month. You won’t benefit from the rewards if you wind up paying interest on your purchases.

Don’t forget to opt in.

With the Chase Freedom® card and the Discover it® Cash Back, you need to “opt in” each quarter to earn the full 5% cash back on qualifying purchases. It’s easy to do online, but some might see it as an additional hassle.

Compare other perks.

If you’re trying to decide between the Chase Freedom® and Discover it® cards, don’t forget to look at the other perks each offers. The Chase Freedom®, for example, offers a sign-up bonus after you meet a minimum spending requirement in the first three months. Meanwhile, the Discover it® Cash Back offers a free FICO score on your monthly statement and online.

Know your redemption options.

With the Chase Freedom® card and the Discover it® Cash Back, you have even more options. Not only can you redeem for cash back, but you can also redeem your points for gift cards or travel gift cards. And if you also have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can even combine your points and transfer them to a number of hotel loyalty and frequent flyer programs, such as British Airways, IHG, Marriott, Hyatt, Virgin Atlantic, and Southwest Airlines.

The Chase Freedom® and Discover it® Cash Back cards are in a league of their own.

The key to maximizing these rewards is to look for subtle and not-so-subtle ways to save on purchases you were going to make anyway. And once you do, you get to enjoy the fun part – looking for ways to spend all of the rewards you’ve earned.

Do you try to maximize your rewards categories? What strategies do you use?

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Holly Johnson
Contributing Writer

Holly Johnson is a frugality expert and award-winning writer who is obsessed with personal finance and getting the most out of life. A lifelong resident of Indiana, she enjoys gardening, reading, and traveling the world with her husband and two children. In addition to The Simple Dollar, Holly writes for well-known publications such as U.S. News & World Report Travel, PolicyGenius, Travel Pulse, and Frugal Travel Guy. Holly also owns Club Thrifty.