How to Earn More Credit Card Rewards

A woman handing over her credit card to a cashier at the grocery store.

One of the most rewarding parts of using a credit card is racking up the freebies. Learn some tips and tricks on how you can potentially earn more points. 

Choose the Right Card

One of the most important steps you can do is to find a credit card that aligns with your lifestyle and purchase habits. If you’re a frequent traveler, a travel reward card like the Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite card not only allows you to earn points that you can redeem for free travel but has features like no FX markup and free lounge passes, that any seasoned traveller will appreciate.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a card that you can use to maximize the benefits of everyday shopping from groceries to gas, a credit card like the President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® can reward you for everyday purchases.

Redeem Your Rewards Strategically

Some credit cards offer greater rewards if you redeem your points for specific purchases. For example, if you have the TD® First Class Travel® Visa Infinite card, your points are worth three times as much if you book travel online through Expedia. This extra multiplier can mean a serious amount of extra rewards. 

Pro-tip: Keep an eye out for program multiplier events. Many reward and loyalty program credit cards (like Air Miles, PC Optimum) will often host reward multiplier events which will allow you to earn or redeem extra points during these promo periods.

Take Advantage of Sign-Up Offers

Many companies have large incentives to sign up for a new credit card. The Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite card is currently offering up to an additional 80,000 bonus points. That’s a $400 value just for signing up and using the card!

Pro-tip: Check if the credit card has an annual fee and compare the fee to the value you get back in the welcome offer. You don’t want to end up paying back what you earn in annual fees because you were enticed by an attractive sign-up offer. 

Pay for Large Purchases with Your Credit Card

Whenever possible, use your credit card when making large purchases. Whether you’re buying a car or making insurance payments consider paying part or all of your major purchases on your credit card to earn rewards.

Pro-tip: Before you charge it, make sure you have a plan and budget to pay for your major purchase. Interest charges on credit cards are calculated daily on your balance. 

Most cards these days also have purchase protection and extended warranties on goods charged on the card as part of the cardholder benefits. This comes in handy on large purchases especially.

Pro-tip: Some cards have high reward multipliers for paying recurring bills with your credit card. Doing this can help you rack up spend (and rewards) on your card very easily.

Offer to Pay

If you’re going on vacation with a bunch of friends, offer to pay for the flights and hotels. Have them reimburse you for your expenses. Buying five round-trip flights to Europe can earn you a significant amount of points. Of course, this only works if the costs are within your credit limit and you’re sure you’ll get the money back from your friends in time to pay off the credit card bill. 

Buy Discounted Gift Cards

If you’re looking to hit a minimum amount of spending so you can earn your bonus points, consider buying discounted gift cards. Some websites like offer gift cards to familiar retailers at discounted prices. If you can buy a gift card for 10% off and hit your spending threshold for a big stack of bonus rewards, it’s a win-win. 

Add an Authorized User

Adding an authorized user to your credit card can earn you rewards in two ways. First, when the authorized user makes purchases, those charges go towards your overall rewards total. Second, some credit card companies offer additional bonus rewards when you sign up an authorized user and they buy something within a specified window of time. 

Pro-tip: Make sure you have a discussion with your secondary cardholder and agree on card usage and how bills will be paid so you don’t end up footing the bill on purchases you didn’t make.

Shop around for the right rewards credit card today. 

Related Topics

Credit Cards / Credit Cards 101 / Using Your Credit Card

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