Glad you asked! I like helping people write their own financial "Declaration of Independence," just like I helped my buddy Tom Jefferson write America's back in 1776. Here's what to do:

(1) Use several rewards cards that give you different benefits.

(2) Do not carry high balances on rewards cards.

(3) Use them frequently: Often you can use them to pay for health care, tuition, rent, and most private utilities such as long-distance and cable bills (though usually not public utilities.)

(4) If it has a rebate cap or sign-up bonuses, and there are two adults in the household, both can apply.