How credit cards can help you stick to your New Year’s resolutions

Happy New Year! As we close out one year and look to the next, many of us are making resolutions to be better in the new year.

And what’s better than being rewarded for keeping those resolutions? With the right credit card, you can save money and earn valuable rewards as you practice your resolutions — no matter what they are.

Here are our favorite ways credit cards can help you stick to your resolutions in 2024.

Exercise more

Whether you’re checking out the new fitness studio in town or investing in home workout equipment and a fitness subscription, you can earn bonus rewards on your fitness purchases.

With a card like the World of Hyatt Credit Card or the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card, you’ll earn bonus rewards on your gym membership purchases.

If you’ve already found a gym you love and want to ensure you’ll go more consistently, use the Chase Freedom Flex to purchase an annual membership. It earns 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent in each quarter’s categories, and fitness memberships are eligible in the first quarter of 2024.


If you’re going the home gym route, you may want to take advantage of the Equinox membership credit you’ll get with The Platinum Card® from American Express. Or, if you’re purchasing new fitness equipment, you can use the Chase Sapphire Reserve to earn 10 points per dollar on a Peloton equipment purchase of $150 or more (up to 50,000 points).

And the Bilt Mastercard® (see rates and fees) does more than let you pay rent fee-free. With it, you can book eligible fitness classes with your points or earn bonus rewards when you book them using your card.

Related: The best credit cards to maximize fitness spending

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Save more

It may sound counterintuitive that credit cards can help you save money, but you can take advantage of merchant offers and shopping portals to save money on the purchases you’re making anyway.

Most credit cards have merchant offers that function like coupons. Just log in to your account and add any offers you might use to your card. Then, as long as you spend at that merchant by the date the offer expires, you’ll automatically get a statement credit for some of the money you spent or, in some cases, earn additional rewards on the purchase.


To save (or earn) even more, go through a shopping portal when you’re shopping online. Simply begin your online shopping trip from the portal, and you’ll automatically earn rewards on your purchase — on top of the credit card rewards and merchant offers you’re already taking advantage of. We love Rakuten because you can opt to earn your rewards in the form of cash-back or American Express Membership Rewards points, but there are many shopping portals you can choose from.

And if you’re focused on pinching pennies more than traveling this year, consider using a cash-back credit card. You’ll earn a percentage back on everything you purchase, and you can redeem your rewards for a statement credit to cover your purchases.

Related: The beginner’s guide to online shopping portals

Read more

If you’re buying books or using a subscription to encourage yourself to read more, credit cards can help you save money on this habit.

First, be on the lookout for reading-related merchant offers. For instance, I regularly see offers on my Chase cards for Audible and Kindle Unlimited subscriptions.


And if you prefer audiobooks and ebooks to hard copies, you’ll want to use the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express for your reading subscriptions. It earns 6% cash-back on eligible U.S. streaming purchases, including reading subscriptions like Kindle Unlimited, Audible and Spotify.

Of course, if you’re buying physical books or a new e-reader from Amazon, you’ll want to use your Prime Visa to earn 5% back on these purchases as well.

Related: The best credit cards for book lovers

Cook more

If you’re looking to eat healthier in the new year, chances are that you’ll be spending less on dining out and more on groceries. Ensure you have a credit card that earns bonus points on these grocery purchases.

If you want to earn travel rewards, you can’t beat the American Express® Gold Card. It earns 4 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on U.S. supermarket purchases (including Walmart) on up to $25,000 in spending each year.


And if you’re focused on cash-back rewards, we love the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It earns unlimited 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and doesn’t have an annual fee (see rates and fees).

Plus, both the Amex Gold and the Capital One SavorOne also earn bonus rewards on dining purchases, so they’re also great cards to reach for when your cooking plans go up in smoke and you need to order pizza.

Related: The best credit cards for grocery spending

Travel more

If this is the year you’re ready to dust off your suitcase and finally take your dream trip, credit cards can certainly help with that.

The easiest way to get a good stash of points is by earning the welcome bonus on a new credit card. We’ve compiled a list of the best welcome offers this month for you, so start there if you don’t already have a card in mind.

Beach to the right of our villa. KATIE GENTER/THE POINTS GUY

Beyond that, we’re here to help you use credit card rewards for whatever travels you have on your list. Whether you’re headed to the Maldives, Disney World or a national park, points and miles can help make your trip a reality.

Related: The best places to travel in 2024

Bottom line

No matter your resolutions this year, we’re rooting for you. And as long as you’re following best credit card practices, like paying off your balance on time and in full every month, credit cards can make sticking to your resolutions even more rewarding.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Bilt Mastercard, click here.
For rewards and benefits of the Bilt Mastercard, click here.

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