There's a reason why rewards credit cards are some of the most popular among consumers.
But there is a credit card mistake you could be making that is essentially leaving money on the table: not taking advantage of the rewards your card offers.
In fact, a Bankrate survey from earlier this year showed that more than half (55%) of rewards credit cardholders who pay their bills in full each month are missing out on rewards because they are opting to use cash or debit instead.
Below, CNBC Select offers advice on using your rewards credit card during the pandemic and four ways to get the most value out of it.
It's important to review any changes to your rewards credit cards, especially right now when you may not being using your cards the same way you did before the pandemic.
Before switching to using cash or a debit card, review how your credit card is rewarding your new spending habits.
You may be surprised to learn that many card issuers have altered their rewards programs to reflect the way people are living during the pandemic and are offering limited-time bonus rewards in added categories. This is especially important to know about if you have a travel rewards card with a high annual fee.
For example, restaurant, takeout and food delivery purchases are now eligible for annual hotel credits through August 2020 with the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card and the Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express (both cards have a $450 annual fee). With the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant, eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants now qualify toward the annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit, and with the Hilton Honors Aspire Card, eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants now qualify toward the annual $250 Hilton resort credit benefit.
Citi has also made temporary changes to the Citi Prestige® Card's annual $250 travel credit. Previously, this credit only applied to travel purchases, such as airfare and hotels, but now cardholders can receive a credit up to $250 for eligible purchases at supermarkets and restaurants through December 31, 2020. The Citi Prestige Card has a $495 annual fee.
Capital One has also adapted to cardholders' new spending habits. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card cardholders can now redeem their miles for eligible restaurant delivery, takeout and streaming service purchases. And Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card and Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card customers now get increased cash-back rates on eligible streaming services. Previously, streaming purchases earned 1% cash back, but you can now earn 4% (Savor) and 3% (SavorOne) cash back on eligible streaming services (such as Netflix, Hulu and Disney+). Both new benefits are eligible through September 2020.
To really get the most bang for your buck when it comes to rewards cards, there's some general guidance you can follow.
To avoid missing out on your credit card rewards, stay up to date with what your card issuer is offering and keep track of the different spending categories. This is especially important if you have multiple credit cards.
Information about the Capital One® cards, Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, Hilton Honors Aspire Card from American Express, Citi Prestige®, and Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.