Is it time to apply for a new credit card? If you can't remember, it may be time

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- How long have you had your credit card? If you can't remember, it may be time to apply for another one.

Over the past few years, credit cards have become more generous with their rewards programs. But if you have an older card, you may not be getting in on the best deals.

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Barry Griest is "super user" of credit cards. The Foster City resident says he does more than use it. He works it.

"I have three credit cards," he told me. I ask, "Do you get points, miles, money back," he jumps in and says, "All of the above."

Griest said by using the right cards, you can make more than a few bucks.

"If you get one or two percent it is a couple thousand dollars," he said. "That is absolutely fantastic."

How do you cash in? Well, for one, use your credit cards for every purchase and use the right card.

Ted Rossman is with CreditCards.com. "The absolutely best deal is going to be travel rewards," he said. "That's where if you know the loopholes and are willing to do the research that's where you can get three, four, five cents per points or miles, maybe even more if you really play your cards right."

CreditCards.com recently did a survey of credit card users and found that travel points are not the most popular.

"We found that cash back is king," Rossman said. "About two thirds of people who told us they liked the rewards from their ongoing spending told us it was cash back. Only 5-percent said airline miles and only 2-percent said hotel points."

Whichever card-type you choose, keep in mind carrying a balance can erase any point value in short order.

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"We put everything on our credit card," Griest said. "As long as you pay off and don't pay those interest charges you are using the system and the system is fantastic."

Finally, what about the bonuses for signing up? Be sure to read the fine print. Generally, you have to spend a couple thousand dollars within a few months to get the bonus rewards.

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.
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