How We Find Joy in the Smallest Things – Like Cash Back

It’s amazing how we can always find joy in the smallest of things. Like when I lingered too long at a downtown coffee shop last week and expected to find a parking ticket – but to my surprise a Good Samaritan had plugged the meter for me before time expired. Or the time we went shopping to buy new clothes for our two girls and were told when we got to the cash register that the items were actually on sale – 40 percent off!

I’m sure you can share similar stories of how you were delighted by the littlest thing – finding a $10 bill in the pocket of your spring jacket, getting upgraded to a suite at a hotel, or having someone ahead of you in line pay for your coffee. Heck, there’s even an international Pay it Forward Day designed around random acts of kindness and inspiring good deeds that bring people joy.

We appreciate those unexpected moments because we feel like we’re getting something back. That’s one reason why I started using a cash back credit card for my everyday purchases. I hated the feeling of paying fees every time I had to withdraw cash from the ATM or when I went over the limit for monthly debit transactions.

Cash back made me feel better about how I spent my money. Now, instead of listing “bank fees” as an expense in my budget, I list “cash back rewards” under the income column. If you can get an average of 1 percent back each year on $25,000 spending, that’s $250 you can use to treat yourself or set aside for a rainy day.

For example, take the no annual fee SimplyCash Card from American Express: it offers 5 percent cash back on eligible purchases made at grocery stores, gas stations, and restaurants for the first six months (up to $250 cash back), and 1.25% cash back on all other purchases. Imagine getting another $10 off at the grocery store on a $200 purchase – that’s like combining the parking meter fairy, free Timmie’s coffee, and the surprise clothing discount into one amazing deal!

After the first six months, SimplyCash Card holders can earn 1.25 percent back on all spending without having to change the places they shop or navigate through earnings caps and category tiers – there’s no limit to how much cash back they can earn.

Hey, we’re always looking for ways to make our dollars work harder for us, and with a cash back card it’s like you’re getting a discount on every purchase. That feels good!

The SimplyCash Card offers the best flat cash back rate (1.25 percent) of any no annual fee cash back credit card on the market. So if you’re a fan of cash back rewards and don’t want to pay an annual fee, the SimplyCash Card will put the most money back into your wallet. Now that’ll make you smile.

Click here to learn more about the SimplyCash Card from American Express.

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

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  1. Dan @ Our Big Fat Wallet on April 12, 2015 at 4:13 pm

    I’m a big fan of cash back, and the $350 offer from ATB is the latest example of how the average consumer can earn more spending money by taking advantage of offers like this when they come up. 1.25% cash back isn’t as good as the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite that pays 4% cash back on gas and groceries, but with no annual fee it’s a decent start

    • Ben on April 12, 2015 at 4:39 pm

      It’s the perfect card for someone who doesn’t spend enough to justify paying a fee for the Scotia Momentum card. If my spending habits were a little different I’d surely ditch my Amex for that card.

  2. gcai on April 13, 2015 at 7:22 am

    I use the MBNA SmartCard and am very happy with it – what I’m looking is a Canadian based debit/ATM card that does not charge (or rebates) foreign ATM charges (i.e. drawing cash from an ATM in the US or Europe) – any ideas or suggestions?

    • Arch on April 13, 2015 at 8:35 am

      I personally use the Tangerine debit card. They are free to withdraw at any Bank of America ATMs in US or any ATM in the interchange network for free or $2 per transaction and charge no exchange fee.

      I used them in turkey recently and loved that I paid less than I would have if I had used an currency exchange network. You can use my orange key (referral code) to get $50 bonus on for signing up with a $100 on your account.

      33721944S1 <= orange key


  3. Barry @ Moneywehave on April 13, 2015 at 8:09 am

    I mainly use travel rewards cards because well I like travel but switching to a cashback card might be in my best interests since there’s more flexibility.

  4. Laurie on April 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

    It seems as though American Express cards are not as widely accepted as Visa and MasterCard, at least in smaller stores, hotels etc. Is that a fair assessment? Many years ago I had an AmEx gold card and various vendors asked if I had a Visa or MC that I could use instead, because of the higher fees AmEx charged them.

    • Beth on April 14, 2015 at 5:24 pm

      Yes, and here’s why: it has the highest fees. Small businesses don’t have the same volume of transactions as larger stores to get the discounted rates. Why would they pay higher fees to Amex when most people have a Visa or MasterCard anyway?

      People forget that businesses pay a % of the transaction — tax included — to credit card companies. Rewards aren’t just coming out of interest on consumer debt, they’re coming out of the pockets of small business owners and consumers.

      • Ben on April 14, 2015 at 5:27 pm

        What you may not have considered is that some people, myself included will not shop at businesses that don’t accept credit cards. So just as there is a cost to accept cards, there certainly is a cost of not accepting them, it’s just much more difficult to measure.

  5. Beth on April 14, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    Ugh. I hate it when blogs don’t tell people it’s an advertorial until the end. You’re part way through a post and suddenly sales pitch!

    Please don’t waste our time — say it’s sponsored at the beginning, please.

  6. Anne - Money Propeller on April 14, 2015 at 8:09 pm

    The little things, it’s so true! At work we get way more excited about a $100 gift card than about an equivalent raise, which is pretty ridiculous. I should add up my cash-back earnings for a year, it would be pretty fun to find out how much we got back.

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