We all love getting rewarded for our everyday purchases through credit cards.

Truly a win-win situation for all involved, as credit card companies charge a small fee to every business who accepts a purchase, more swiping on our part, means more money for the credit companies, and more rewards for us, like free gift cards or cashback on groceries and travel.

But did you know you can optimize your credit rewards even more than by simply swiping at face value?

Here are 5 tips to earn you the most points for your buck.

1)    Use the Right Card

Not all cards are created equal. While points can still be earned, for some, nearly twice as many can be rewarded by using the right card for the right purchase – a Macy card at a Macy’s, for example, or United Airlines for travel expenses.

Take a look at which types of purchases (and seasons!)  each card favors, and then rotate card usage to get the most points for your spending.

2)    Swipe Over Cash

Because card companies make money the more you use your card, as mentioned above, some companies capitalize on this by offering additional rewards for using their card frequently.

Take American Express, for example, who offers cardholders an additional 20% in rewards if they make 20 or more purchases within the billing period.

Either way you look at it, so long as you’re not overcharging your account or incurring fees for credit purchases, the more you swipe, the more rewards you earn – so use your card often!

3)    Compare Bonus Offers

Perhaps your biggest opportunity to earn tons of points is within the initial sign up – potentially earning thousands in rewards by simply spending the minimum amount within the first cardholding year. In addition, most card companies offer extra promotions during holidays like Christmas or Mother’s Day, while still more will give anniversary bonuses or match last year’s rewards.

Compare your reward offers when shopping for a card, and then follow through to earn as many points as possible upon sign up!

4)    Use Company Shopping Portals

Want to earn even more points through online shopping? Often, if ordering through your card company portal rather than the store’s website itself, you can nearly double your cashback rewards – while these savings can be especially helpful during holiday seasons.

5)    Open Another Account

Being a cardholder isn’t the only thing you can get rewarded for.

For institutions like Bank of America, opening up a mortgage, loan, checking or savings account, can earn you additional points (25% for “gold tier” cardholders, 50% for “platinum”) – with even more thrown in for keeping your account balances at minimum amounts.

Just because you’re spending money, doesn’t mean you can’t make your purchases work for you in return. So, optimize your rewards by learning the ins-and-outs of each individual card.

And if you’re unsure what rewards you’re entitled to? Call up your cardholder company and ask! Remember, the more you spend, the more money they make, and the more you save!

Please keep in mind that we only make these recommendations if you pay off the account balance every month and don’t have an annual fee for the card. If paying interest or fees, the benefits may not outweigh the costs, and therefore not a benefit.

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