Points – credit card points, loyalty points, rewards points
Now these are really hidden and can be incredibly valuable. Do a quick stocktake of all the accounts or memberships you have which earn you points – start with cards in your wallets, apps on your phone and statements mailed or emailed to you. Put them in spreadsheet – much easier to manage and track.
See if you’re close to getting enough points for something you’ve always wanted AND really need. Otherwise just use them for gift cards and movie vouchers which make great presents, can be used to buy presents or will save you time and money when Christmas and holidays come around.
If you can’t stand closing an account with a small number of points or throwing away the coffee card, check if there’s an expiry date and if so, when. Decide to make an effort to build up the balance then close the account after all the points are used. If it’s too much effort or not important or will cost too much, then decide to throw it out and don’t think about it anymore. Otherwise you’ll be wasting more time J Sometimes you can redeem small amounts (such as $5 iTunes voucher) or donate to charity.
If it’s something you want to keep such as frequent flyer points or credit card points then do a bit of research, sit down and check your points balance, review your spend to see how much you earn every month. Look at the catalogue and identify what you want to use the points for. Be realistic and aim for something you’re close to earning. Otherwise redeem regularly every time you get to a $20 or $50 gift card for a retailer you always use eg supermarket or department store. That way, the $20 you save on groceries just paid for your lunch and coffee with the girls.