Set up a GIRO payment plan
In my opinion, the best way to maximize the use of your credit cards is to set up a GIRO payment plan for your card account so that any amount you spend on your card is debited directly from your bank account on the payment due date each month. This little known trick is how I manage my credit cards. This smart way ensures that you don't pay any interest whatsoever on your spending, and since payment is done automatically, you won't ever forget to pay on time. Just make sure you have more than enough in your linked bank account for the payment deduction!
Use your card
Sounds silly, but yes, do use your card when you can, instead of cash or debit cards. Using your card regularly will help you chalk up cashback, reward points or miles quickly, depending on the type of card you have. Remember to pay off your balance in full by the due date of each month so that you don't have to pay any interest. That way, you can enjoy the privileges of your card without guilt!
Know the card's terms and conditions
Ok, although this is the most tedious part, it is also the most important component of making the most of your card. Make sure you know the card's annual fee (if any), annual interest rate, late fees, penalty charges, foreign currency transaction fee, and so on.