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3 ways to boost rewards by Labor Day

By Jeanine Skowronski ·
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

Looking for ways to fund that last-minute summer vacation? Your credit card rewards may be able to help. Points or miles from the best reward credit cards can be used to pay for your airfare, hotel, entertainment and amenities.

But, if your rewards well hath run dry, there are a few ways to boost earnings potential by Labor Day. Savvy credit card spenders -- who, of course, will be able to pay their balances off in full come the end of their billing cycle -- may also want to utilize the following strategies:

Shop in your issuers' online shopping portal. Many issuers offer extra earning potential (on top of your card's base rewards program) when you make purchases through their website. These websites also often feature discounts and coupon codes for merchant partners. Deals are often seasonal, so if you know you're going to be buying your child new back-to-school clothes, you might want to check if their favorite store is featured among stores your issuer has partnered with.

Look for a lucrative sign-on bonus. If your credit report can handle another inquiry, you may want to consider adding to your payments arsenal. A competitive credit card marketplace has led issuers to offer big sign-on bonuses to new cardholders who meet certain spending thresholds within a specified timeframe. Just make sure the bonus parameters are in line with your normal spending habits. You don't want to negate the bonus points by revolving a balance later on.

Refer-a-friend.  Many major issuers offer rewards bonuses to cardholders who convince a friend to sign up for one of their credit cards. Just remember to choose your recommendations wisely. Bonus points or miles are typically only awarded if your friends are actually approved for the plastic. Plus, you don't want to suggest a credit card to a buddy who won't use it responsibly.

Follow me on Twitter: @JeanineSko.

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