Choose the right one. Everyone has different lifestyle priorities and expenses — maybe you have a big family and high grocery bill, maybe you travel a lot for work or pleasure, or maybe you enjoy watching all the latest movies in theatres. To get the most benefits out of your rewards program, choose one that either gives you points for every purchase or one that's tailored to what you spend on or value most.
Link your accounts. Many rewards programs include several brands or partner with other programs, allowing you to earn more frequently or even exchange your points. Other programs add brands and earning opportunities as they expand and merge with other companies. For example, since Marriott acquired Starwood last year, members of both hotel chains' rewards programs have been able to link their accounts and transfer points, giving them access to 6,200 properties in 125 countries.
Go mobile. Rewards programs love connecting with their members and look for opportunities to engage with them whenever possible. Often, there are extra bonuses and perks for downloading mobile apps, like special discounts and the ability to track your rewards status. Marriott's app unlocks a Mobile Key that lets you skip the front desk and go straight to your room; get priority room upgrade notifications; and request services like robes, amenities, room service or luggage assistance at any time.