How to use rewards credit cards to make money in retirement

by | Dec 8, 2022

When we think of credit cards, we more often think about debt as opposed to actually making money. But rewards credit cards are an excellent way to earn in retirement, whether that be increased funds or contribution to lifestyle. 

By shopping wisely and taking advantage of sign-up bonuses, special promotions and rewards, you can maximize the amount of money you earn too.

Just be sure to pay your balance in full each month and redeem your rewards where you can!

We’ve taken a deep dive into exactly how to use rewards credit cards to make money in retirement, especially alongside your current side hustle, so you can turn this debt-creating device into a profitable setup in no time!

What is a rewards credit card?

Rewards credit cards are just credit cards that offer some type of “reward” – typically being cash back, points, or travel miles – for every dollar you spend on new purchases, sometimes up to a certain limit.

Rewards credit cards are a great way to make money in retirement, especially if you already have a side hustle to milk it from

These cards either provide you with the same amount of rewards on every purchase (flat-rate rewards) or bonus rewards on certain categories such as increased earning rates, dining out or even groceries. 

Depending on the card, you can then use your rewards in a variety of different ways. It enhances the value of paying with a card over cash or debit cards, and is a great way for retirees to make a bit of extra cash while spending. It’s also ideal as retirees have lower levels of credit card debt, more time to travel (with the ability to take advantage of last-minute travel deals) and generally good credit. 

However, there are a variety of rules that often make it confusing to navigate the program. More so, with the added travel expenses associated with the additional miles, many don’t really see much return. 

But that’s why we’ve dug into all the details of how to use rewards credit cards to earn in retirement: so you can make sure you’re only ever earning, and never losing. 

Why rewards credit cards are ideal for retirees

As previously mentioned, rewards credit cards are useful for retirees for a number of reasons.

They can help retirement-aged individuals make a bit of cash while spending, giving them the chance to travel and take advantage of their good credit card debt. But it’s also an incredible boost to those in retirement who are still earning. 

For example, if you earn money in retirement as a Facebook ads manager, you can easily put the ad spend on the best-performing card and enjoy the rewards of free travel or additional credits. If you’re running a side-hustle as a proofreader, you can find the card that gives rewards for your specific supply chain and let it boost your earnings.

While it’s not all about directly earning money, it will level up your lifestyle and help fund any avenues you’d like to go down – if you do it right! And if you’re already making money in retirement? It can be a great way to cover those expenses and make sure you’re building the most financial security for yourself.

If you can use your rewards credit card alongside your side hustle, you can make good money in retirement

The best rewards credit cards to help your earnings in retirement

To make things a bit easier for you, we’ve got the run down on some of the different rewards credit cards and what exactly can be put on them in terms of business and home expenses. 

That way, you can easily browse this list and figure out if there’s anything you’re already doing that you can capitalize on. 

Please note the details below were correct at the time of writing. Do click through each to ensure you have the most up to date information.

Chase Freedom Flex

This rewards credit card offers a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months of account opening, which is pretty handy when it comes to funding your new business or redecorating that home. There are new categories each month to give you bonus cash back, plus rewards on travel, drugstore purchases, dining (including takeout) and unlimited cash back on all other purchases. It’s the perfect credit card for home or business and will make money a breeze. 

Welcome Bonus:$200 bonusAnnual Fee:$0
Regular APR:17.99% – 26.74% VariableCredit Score:Excellent, Good (700 – 749)

Check out all their card details and conditions here

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

This card is one of the best for online shoppers. You get an Amazon gift card instantly upon approval, with 5% cashback at with an eligible Prime membership. But you’ll also get 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, with or without that membership. 

So it’s not just the online shoppers who will love it. If you’ve got some business expenses that could be covered on Amazon and still want to enjoy cash back on other everyday expenses, this is the card for you!

The best part? There is no minimum rewards balance required to redeem and you can use the Amazon Rewards to pay for all or even part of any purchase. 

Welcome Bonus:Amazon gift cardAnnual Fee:$0 with Prime membership
Regular APR:17.24% to 25.24% variableCredit Score:Excellent, Good (700 – 749)

Check out the full details here

Bilt World Elite Mastercard

Finally – a card that lets you earn points on rent, and more. You’ll earn 1x point on rent payment with no fees, points on travel, dining, and all other purchases. You’ll also receive a $120 Doordash credit, a $60 Lyft Credit and no foreign transaction fees. It’s the best all-round card for those of you that work from home, pay rent, and want your general expenses covered. It’s perfect for home or work use for this reason. And no foreign transaction fees? Ideal for all! 

Welcome Bonus:N/AAnnual Fee:$0
Regular APR:19.99%, 22.99% or 27.99% variableCredit Score:Excellent, Good (700 – 749)

To learn all the conditions and more, click here.

How to earn in retirement from rewards credit cards:

To earn money from rewards credit cards in retirement, be sure to pay off your balance regularly and follow these steps

We’ve covered the most important steps to make sure you’re getting the most out of your rewards credit cards, and not falling into the trap of credit card debt:

  • Shop wisely – find a credit card that rewards you for the items you already use and buy on a regular basis
  • Take advantage of sign-up bonuses – be sure to read the terms and conditions so you clearly understand the requirements of this bonus and what exactly you’re signing up for, but if you find a hassle-free sign-up bonus, it can be well-worth the bonus (especially if you’re already in the market for a new, business-expenses card…)
  • Pay your balance in full – otherwise, that interest you’ll accrue will quickly outweigh the rewards you’re earning
  • Take advantage of special promotions – where safe to do so! Pay close attention to up-coming promotions and take advantage of them when possible (and only when you know all the details match up to exactly what you need)
  • Actually redeem rewards – nope, it’s not automatically done for you, so don’t forget to learn all the processes to redeem rewards so that, when the time comes, you can actually capitalize off your investments 

When you consider how most major credit card companies market their cards these days, it’s easy to believe that their prime market would be exclusive to those who are still working. However, you don’t have to be in your working years to get approved for a rewards credit card, nor do you have to be cash-strapped to benefit. 

If you’re in the later years of life and wondering if a rewards credit card could help you earn money in retirement, the answer is probably yes. As long as you consider these steps, pay your balance in full each month, and redeem your rewards where you can: you’ll have no trouble profiting from the major credit card companies!

If you’d like to learn more about how to earn money in retirement in easy and effective ways, explore everything we have to learn here.