How I Earned Over $2,000 In Credit Card Rewards This Year

Last year I cashed in on over $1,500 in credit card rewards by optimizing the two cards I use for everyday spending while also taking advantage of several promotional offers with juicy sign-up bonuses. I used the same approach this year to increase my rewards to over $2,000.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard – $1238
  • Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite – $234
  • American Express Air Miles Platinum – $230
  • TD First Class Visa Infinite – $220
  • Rewards Visa – $72
  • Scotiabank Gold American Express – $50
  • Total rewards – $2,044

Now, both the Capital One and Scotia Momentum cards come with annual fees and so I subtract any annual fees paid to get my total net rewards for 2015.

  • Total rewards earned – $2,044
  • Annual fees paid – $219
  • Net rewards – $1,825

My everyday rewards cards this year were the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. I used the Momentum Visa for groceries, gas, and drug store spending as well as for recurring bill payments. I used the Capital One card for pretty much everything else, including travel.

With these two rewards cards alone I was able to net more than $1,250 on my everyday spending this year.

But I’ve found that our family has shifted more and more of our grocery spending to Costco, which doesn’t accept Visa cards. That’s why you see higher earnings from the Capital One card this year and why I’ve decided to cancel the Momentum Visa before the annual fee kicks-in next year.

A couple of credit card promotions caught my eye this spring, including one for the TD First Class Visa Infinite where I was able to earn 40,000 TD Rewards and pay no annual fee for the first year. I redeemed those points on two hotel rooms this summer and saved $220 cash.

Next I grabbed a great offer from American Express for its Air Miles Platinum card. This promotion pays 2,000 Air Miles, which I was able to turn into $230 worth of free groceries using the Air Miles Cash program. The annual fee was also waived in the first year.

Both cards came with attainable early spending bonuses, but I have not used the cards since unlocking those rewards. I plan on cancelling both of these cards in the New Year before the annual fees come due.

I used the Rewards Visa a bit more than usual this year due to my Amazon Prime membership. This card is also a must-have anytime you travel to the U.S. or abroad, as it’s one of the only cards not to charge 2.5 percent for converting your foreign currency purchases back to Canadian dollars.

Finally, I was able to redeem $50 worth of Scotia Rewards from when I held the Scotia Gold American Express card last year.

Final thoughts

There has never been a better time to cash in on credit card rewards. The competitive landscape means that credit card issuers have stepped up their game when it comes to bonus offers and base earning rates.

Look no further then the newly revamped Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard, which offers an incredible 40,000 point early spend bonus and gives cardholders the most flexible and fair redemption options of any other travel rewards card.

By making the most of the two cards I used for everyday spending and taking advantage of some timely credit card offers I was able to earn over $2,000 in credit card rewards and net over $1,800 in rewards this year after fees.

How To Make Your Christmas Shopping More Rewarding

I find myself shopping online more and more these days, especially around the Christmas holidays. Two years ago, around this time of year, my wife and I took advantage of a 30-day free trial and signed up for Amazon Prime. The subscription, which costs $79 per year, gives you unlimited free two-day shipping on everything from books, movies, electronics, and more.

Your orders are shipped free anywhere within Canada, which is great for buying and sending gifts to friends and family across the country, and beats paying the outrageous prices to ship via Canada Post.

I love shopping online because I can avoid large crowds and pushy sales staff, plus I can read helpful reviews from people who actually bought the product I’m interested in, rather than listening to someone who just wants to earn a commission.

So that’s how I use Amazon to save money on shipping costs and save time (and aggravation) by not having to navigate through the busy malls and stores at Christmas.

Great Canadian Rebates

Before I shop anywhere online I always make sure to go to Great Canadian Rebates first so that I can get extra cash back on my purchases. I’ve used GCR for six years now and the online shopping website has gotten better every year. You’ll not only find hundreds of merchants listed who ship to Canada and offer cash back incentives, GCR also lists the merchants who offer free shipping on ALL orders.

You can make your Christmas shopping even more rewarding this holiday season by going through Great Canadian Rebates before you visit to buy your gifts. By doing so you’ll get:

  • 2.75% Cash Back for purchases in the categories: Electronics, Mobile Electronics, Video Games, Toys, Kitchen, Home, Camera, Watches, and Luggage
  • 0% Cash Back for purchases in the categories : Books, Kindle Devices, Gift Cards
  • 1.3% Cash Back for everything else
  • Free Shipping on orders over $25 (some restrictions apply)

Final thoughts

Christmas shopping used to be a stressful time of year, however I’ve found the process much more enjoyable lately as I’ve moved most of my shopping online. Not only can I get my shopping done from the comfort of my living room, I can ship directly from Amazon to my out-of-town friends and relatives at no extra cost.

Christmas is about giving and your gifts should be as rewarding to give as they are to receive. And since I love collecting rewards, it’s great to combine my online shopping experience on with a cash back website like Great Canadian Rebates to make my holiday shopping even more rewarding.