Experts Say By Studying Benefits Offered By Credit Cards, Users Can Get The Most Bang For The Bucks They Charge

When it comes to credit cards, experts say the average person carries about three, with at least one being a rewards card.

Experts Say By Studying Benefits Offered By Credit Cards, Users Can Get The Most Bang For The Bucks They Charge

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — When it comes to credit cards, experts say the average person carries about three, with at least one being a rewards card.

But it can take some know-how to get the biggest bang for the bucks you charge, CBS2’s Jessica Moore reported Tuesday.

Some say cash is king, but not Lionell Gardner.

“I have in total 20 credit cards,” he said.

And he said the reward for having and using all those cards are the rewards.

“Total point accumulation between miles and points, it’s somewhere in the million range,” Gardner said.

READ MORE: Consumer Credit Expert Warns Of Pitfalls Of Comfort Spending While Home During Coronavirus Pandemic

He has nearly half a million points on AMEX cards alone, plus thousands in cash-back rewards. But Gardner works hard to maximize his rewards.

“I make sure to use the cards that will give me the best benefits on dining. AMEX Gold, which is four times points on dining,” Gardner said.

READ MORE: Tips To Protect Your Credit Score While Under Financial Strain

He said apps such as Points and AwardWallet helps to keep track of everything — miles points, cash, and other rewards.

“We are all obsessed with maximizing our points and miles. Some of us have spreadsheets to kind of keep track of things. Some of us have stickers on our credit cards so we know when there are enhanced offers,” said Benet Wilson of The Points Guy.

Wilson added this is a great time to shop for a credit card.

“There are cards out there that are offering increased sign-up bonuses, and some of those bonuses are high enough to actually allow you to book a vacation right now, after you do the required spending within three months,” Wilson said.

READ MORE: FICO Changes Coming Soon May Impact Your Credit Score

It’s estimated that about one-third of Americans didn’t take advantage of their credit card points in 2020, largely because travel was down by more than 40% and that’s the biggest category for redemption. But Jasmin Baron from Business Insider said card issuers offered users other incentives instead.

“For example, you know, Chase with the Sapphire Reserve, that card comes with a $300 travel credit. People can’t use that right now for the most part, so they’ve changed that to, you know, for a limited time you can use that now towards things like groceries or gas station purchases,” Baron said.

Baron added it pays to be diligent about offers.

“Make sure you’re opted into your bank emails. Sometimes the best promotions come through an email that you would normally just click delete,” Baron said.

As for Gardner, he plans to put a good chunk of those miles to some long overdue trips in the coming year.

“Depending on where you want to go and how you want to fly, these points will take you all over the world,” he said.

And everyone warns not to use your cards for things you don’t need just to get the points. Experts prefer the major credit cards instead of many of the store cards for longer term, more flexibility and bigger benefits.

Source : CBS News York More   

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Suffolk County Looking For Volunteers To Serve As Stewards Overseeing Local Small Parks

There's a new push on to keep public parks clean and safe on Long Island.

Suffolk County Looking For Volunteers To Serve As Stewards Overseeing Local Small Parks

SMITHTOWN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — There’s a new push on to keep public parks clean and safe on Long Island.

Volunteers are needed to serve as stewards to be the eyes and ears of often overlooked public parks, CBS2’s Carolyn Gusoff reported Tuesday.

Charlie Bravo is on a mission to keep parks clean and visitors safe, as a volunteer steward of his local town park.

“It’s incredible how much people just throw stuff away. It’s really sad,” Bravo said. “Plastic and chips and bottles and discarded masks and gloves.”

FLASHBACK: New Program Targets Dumping, Other Illegal Activity In Suffolk County Parks

Beautiful little parks dot Suffolk County, but not all of them have staff to clean litter or report hazards and abuses. So, the county is launching its own corps of community volunteers for more than 60,000 acres of parkland.

“Neighbors who love it, who use the trails regularly can step up and volunteer to be a park steward,” Legislator Kara Hahn said. “To notify the Parks Department if there is vandalism, graffiti. Let the Parks Department know if a tree has fallen.”

FLASHBACK: Suffolk County Legislators Want To Install Cameras In Parks To Crack Down On Graffiti

Pristine parkland has been dumped on, construction debris by the ton, cars abandoned in the woods.

Park stewards will be the eyes on the ground, a welcome addition to the volunteers who already maintain hundreds of miles of Long Island Greenbelt trails.

“Since Sandy, I have cleared probably 750 trees. This, to me, is the best thing that I have heard in forever,” said David Reisfield, president of the Long Island Greenbelt Trail Conference.

Smithtown resident Barbara Hansen said she is signing up.

“I like to have a nice, clean, healthy place to walk for myself and for my dogs to walk,” Hansen said.

Patrick Sabo, an orthodontist by day, stewards his local park during his time off.

“We maintain the trails, keep the fields open,” Sabo said.

There is no limit to how many park stewards can volunteer. Year-round care of more than 50 small parks is needed.

Suffolk County park stewards will be assigned only parks that are not regularly maintained by Parks Department staff.

Source : CBS News York More   

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