Rewards Credit Card: Get One!

Everyone runs their budget differently. Some people use a cash-only strategy, some use a mix of cash/credit/debit, others use only debit, etc. All of these are excellent choices, but if you have the will power and don’t mind crunching the numbers every month, putting all your spending on a rewards credit card is the way to go.

When you spend cash at a business, unless they offer a cash discount, you’re paying full price with no rewards. Maybe they offer a points program, so you’re paying full price with some reward. If you pay with a rewards card, you double down on the rewards!

Whatever your choice of reward, don’t spend money just to gain rewards; that’s backwards. Anything you NEED to purchase, should be done on your card. Free is free. These cards often come with other perks as well. Travel cards come with travel insurance, lounge access, companion tickets, and more.

Currently, I have a Cashback card that I only use at No Frills (they don’t accept visa). I also have an Amazon Visa, which I use for daily spending and while travelling. I am in the market for a new travel rewards card for daily spending after dropping my Amex Gold.

If, like me, you’re looking for a new card, check out the following card aggregators:

Both of those sites are perfect for picking a card that gives you the most free stuff! Don’t be scared of yearly fees, as long as the benefit for you is there, and you will come out ahead.

-Mike

Get More Value From Your Bank

If you have a job, salaried or otherwise, you probably get paid via cheque or direct deposit. You need somewhere to keep this money because filling your mattress with cash is a terrible idea for so many reasons.

Since the creation of currency, people have needed a place to keep their money safe, and thus, the banking industry was born. I think in general people have lost sight of what a bank should be and how they work, so most people continue to pay for services they don’t use.

My advice? Move to a no-fee bank. EQ Bank, PC Financial, and Tangerine are all great choices. Most credit unions also have excellent offerings, as well. I think paying a bank is a bit absurd, because they already make money by lending your savings out. In fact, they can lend out every $1 you deposit, for almost 10 times that amount all the while they charge interest to the borrower.

Free banks still charge interest on your money, but most of them give you interest in their savings accounts. Keeping your money in a savings account with Tangerine for instance, gives you 0.8% interest which helps you fight back against inflation while you find somewhere you want to invest that money.

So here are your options:

  • You could hold it in physical cash, but you lose value to inflation.
  • You could pay for an account, but you’re losing money every month to inflation, not getting interest, AND you’re paying to lose money in the form of a fee.
  • You can hold $3000 to $6000 in an account to avoid the fees. Again, you’re losing out on inflation and interest on that money (regardless how small, it adds up).
  • You go with a no-fee bank, and get paid to park your money there. You lose only a small amount to inflation. If you have TFSA room, and keep your money in a 2% HISA, you’re making money by doing your business with that bank. THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE!

I’m with Tangerine and I have zero complaints after moving from a full service bank. If you decide to go with Tangerine, use my Orange Key (43631608S1) on sign-up to buy me a beer. Thanks!

– Mike