I use a cash back credit card to earn credit card rewards on my everyday purchases and monthly bill payments. Since I spend the money anyway, I like to use the method of payment that gives me the best return.
You need to look at your overall spending habits to figure out the best credit card rewards for you. That’s because many rewards credit cards offer a higher rate of return when you spend a lot in a specific category, like groceries or gas.
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Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards
So if want to maximize your credit card rewards, consider using more than one credit card and let the spending category dictate which card you pull out of your wallet.
A good example is the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard, which offers 2% cash back on groceries and gas purchases – up to $400 spending a month. I’ve been using this card for over a year and earned more than $700 cash back on my spending so far.
But I have a tough time maximizing the grocery and gas spending multiplier because I buy a lot of groceries at Costco – and they don’t accept MasterCard or Visa, only American Express cards.
Last month I signed up for the True Earnings Card from Costco and American Express. With this card I get up to 1% cash back on everyday purchases – including at Costco. I also get 2% cash back on gas purchases and 3% cash back at restaurants.
I still use the Smart Cash card for most of my purchases, but now I use the True Earnings card whenever we shop at Costco and when we go out to eat.
For those of you who don’t shop at Costco regularly, here’s another strategy to boost your credit card rewards by taking advantage of category multipliers:
If you don’t mind paying an annual fee to earn more cash back, consider using the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite as your main rewards card. This card comes with a $99 fee, but you’ll earn 4% cash back on grocery and gas spending, and 2% cash back on recurring bill payments and drug store spending.
You only earn 1% on all other spending with the Momentum Visa Infinite, so consider using this card in tandem with a no fee card like the Capital One Aspire Cash World Master Card.
Aspire Cash gives you 1% back on your spending – no matter what category – but it pays a juicy 50% cash bonus every year on your card anniversary. This means when you spend $1,000 a month with Aspire Cash, you’ll earn $120 cash back, plus a $60 bonus for a total cash back rebate of $180 a year.
It’s easy to boost your credit card rewards by taking advantage of category multipliers and bonus offers. Just make sure you’re diligent about paying off your credit card in full each month or your earnings will be quickly nullified with credit card interest.