It’s safe to say that cash is no longer king. Plastic has not only replaced the convenience of cash, it’s also a lot more rewarding. Why use cash, when you can get a free flight and more when using your rewards credit card for the same purchases?
While it’s clear that credit cards offer more value than cash, what’s not so clear is how to get the most from your rewards credit card. Here are 5 tips to help you do just that:
1. Get The Right Card For You:
Not all cards are created equal. Use the wrong credit card and you could be leaving hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on the table.
Make sure you find a card that optimizes your cash back, points or miles earnings to your purchasing habits. For example, if you have a family, maybe a card with extra cash back for gas & groceries is optimal.
Moreover, look for a credit card with a rewards program you’ll enjoy using. For example, if you’re willing to be flexible and patient some of the best Aeroplan credit cards offer tremendous value. However, if simplicity and transparency are your thing, take a look at some of Canada’s top cash back credit cards.
2. Bonus Points:
Perhaps there’s no faster way to earn rewards on every day spending than through hefty credit card sign-up bonuses. Often times you can get a new credit card with no annual fee in the first year with a welcome bonus valued at well over $300. Why spend $30,000 to earn 30,000 points, when you can do so just by getting a new card?
However, many credit card welcome bonuses require a minimum spend between $500 and $1,500 in the first 3 months. Manipulating your spend to meet the minimum purchase threshold of a new card every 3 months is probably the fastest way to earn a lot of rewards.
3. Use Multiple Cards:
Ideally you’ll have a ‘mainstay’ credit card. If you’re part of a loyalty program like Air Miles, Aeroplan or Scene, this becomes a little more important because you don’t want to spread your purchases out over too many other cards, making it harder for you to earn enough points to redeem for an item of value.
However, if you have one card that earns you 2% everywhere, another with a 5% cash back promotion on gas and groceries, and yet another that offers 4% cash back on foreign transactions, a mulit-card strategy offers significantly more value than sticking to one card.
4. Use Your Card EVERYWHERE:
Once you’re committed to earning as many rewards as you can, use your card on as many purchases as possible. Whether it’s a pack of gum, groceries, or your kid’s summer camp, get your points worth. Make sure to stay in budget and never spend just for the sake of getting points.
Marc Felgar is a credit card expert & online entrepreneur from Montreal, QC. He is the CEO and founder of http://www.GreedyRates.ca, which helps Canadians find the best credit card through online comparison tools, filters, credit card reviews and the latest deals and offers in the marketplace.