Earn More Rewards with These 6 Strategies

Posted August 26, 2016 by cccadmin in

Rewards Credit Card

Choose your credit card wisely. You’ll be spending a lot of time (and money) together. Not all credit cards are created equal. You should always compare interest rates, fees, and rewards programs to see how credit cards stack up against each other. After all, a rewards program is no good if you don’t value the rewards.

Whether you’re upgrading your credit card, or getting your first one, check out these tips for maximizing your credit card rewards.

1. Plan for the Sign-Up Bonus Spending Requirements

New cardholders are the lifeblood of the credit card industry. To entice you to sign up, some credit cards offer sign-up bonuses. Before you sign up, make sure you’ll be able to take advantage of them. Some cards require a minimum amount spent on the card within some time period to receive a sign-up bonus. For example, with Scotiabank Gold Amex card you get 20K points when spending $500 within 3 months.

Other cards have less strict requirements and only need the card to be activated and used once to trigger the bonus reward. For example, with MBNA Rewards MasterCard you get 5K points with your first purchase.

2. Buy Everything With Your Card

With the move toward a cashless society, it’s more common these days for people to use their credit card to make everyday purchases (even small purchases). Ditch the cash and cheques when paying. Use your card to maximize rewards. But be responsible. Don’t go over budget.

The goal is to earn the most rewards while paying no fees or interest. Fee-based transactions, such as paying taxes and other things that charge fees generally do not fall under this strategy. Make sure the purchase works out in your favour.

3. Add Authorized User(s)

An easy way to boost your rewards is to combine all your family’s spending onto one credit card. Some credit cards offer higher reward accruals when you spend above a certain amount (just be careful because some credit cards cap your rewards as well).

Add your spouse or college student as an authorized user to earn even more rewards. A word of caution: just make sure you understand that you are ultimately responsible for any charges made on the authorized user’s card. Before adding your son or daughter as an authorized user, take the time to educate them about the benefits and pitfalls of credit cards.

4. Bonus Reward Categories

Some credit cards offer higher reward accrual rates on certain categories. The most common categories are groceries and gas. Some cards like the Tangerine Money Back card offer even more freedom by letting you choose your spending categories. Receive up to 2 percent cash-back (4 percent for the first 3 months) in 3 spending categories of your choice.

5. Shop Online Through Bonus Shopping Portals

If you’re already planning to shop online, why not earn extra rewards for doing so? Some issuers have a “shopping mall” that allows you to earn bonus points when shopping online through the shopping portal links. For example, MBNA Rewards cardholders can shop through MBNA Rewards mall and earn additional points.

6. Use Multiple Cards

Sometimes having 2 cards in your wallet can help you earn more points. If you already get 2 percent cash-back with 1 credit card, perhaps choose 3 different categories with your Tangerine credit card to boost your rewards even more. This advanced strategy takes additional discipline, but can pay off in the long run.

The Bottom Line

These are just 6 of the many ways you can make your credit card even more rewarding. Just make sure you don’t go overboard. There’s no credit card in the world where it makes sense to earn 1 or 2 percent cash-back and pay 18 percent interest or higher. Use your credit card responsibly and only buy what you can afford to pay off in full once your credit card statement comes due.

Is it Time to Upgrade Your Credit Card?

Posted August 17, 2016 by cccadmin in

Credit Card Upgrade

We all live busy lives. Between going to work, hitting the gym and finding time at the end of the night to watch the summer Olympics, your credit card is probably the last thing on your mind. It’s easy to overlook your credit card and take it for granted, but by doing that, you’re making a big mistake.

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How to Make the Most Out of Summer Without Going into Debt

Posted August 8, 2016 by cccadmin in

Beach Summer

While there’s nothing wrong with taking full advantage of the summer, it shouldn’t mean taking a vacation from your finances. 35 percent of Canadians will go into small debt due to summer spending, finds a BMO report. In fact, 56 percent don’t have any solid plan for repaying that debt. Yikes! Maybe instead of “summertime,” we should call it “splurge-time”?

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Air Miles Set to Expire: Have You Redeemed Your Miles?

Posted August 4, 2016 by cccadmin in ,

Photo credit LCBO Media Centre via flickr

“Do you have Air Miles?” It’s question many of us have been asked by the perky cashier behind the counter at our favourite retailers. Air Miles is one of Canada’s most popular travel rewards, but that popularity has recently turned into cardholder outrage with the revelation that miles would soon start to expire.

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Credit Card Interchange Fees in the Spotlight Again

Posted July 28, 2016 by cccadmin in

Paying with Credit Card

Last month we wrote about the ongoing battle between Walmart and Visa over interchange fees. Walmart has been relentless in its demand for lower fees, but Visa is refusing to budge, claiming the retailer giant is asking for lower fees than local grocers, pharmacies, convenience stores, charities and schools.

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4 Reasons for Being Denied a Credit Card

Posted July 25, 2016 by cccadmin in

Low Credit Score

Consumers are often bombarded with credit card offers. There are kiosks at airports and malls, advertisements on tv, junkmail in your mailbox, and of course advertisements online. It’s no wonder credit card applications seem like a breeze. Many credit cards let you sign up online and get approved in less than five minutes.

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