This is the first of a series of posts where each of us in the FI Garage is going to tell you about the credit cards we use. We’re also likely to write a post as an introduction to credit card hacking and harvesting, but I’ll give you the coles notes version here:
*This page includes affiliate links – donated by an asterisk. (Because we are bad at monetization all of our affiliate links for credit cards are through rate supermarket; if you sign up for a card through our link they split the affiliate fee with us 50/50) – Thanks for helping to support the podcast!
When companies offer you sign-up bonuses, bonuses for taking a certain action, or compensation for spending taking advantage of this compensation can only accelerate your path to FIRE unless you start taking action or spending in ways that you would not in the absence of the additional compensation. TRY TO AVOID DOING THAT, IT’S BAD. Only spend what you would spend and do what you would do in the absence of any special offers.
Credit card hacking in Canada is not nearly as lucrative as it is in the US, but in many cases, it can still be worth hundreds of dollars per year.
Now, without further ado, here are the credit cards I am currently using in an effort to get the most out of my spending:
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My Everyday Card: Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card*
I wanted to find the best cashback card out there and ended up getting this card at the beginning of 2019. It gives me 4 percent cash back at gas stations and grocery stores as well as 2 percent cash back at drug stores and on recurring bill payments. For any other purchases, they give me 1 percent cashback.
BUT the kicker was that they give me 10 percent cash back on the first $2,000 in purchases I make in the first 3 months, which I have just achieved. You should confirm any current promotion yourself.
Fair warning: Cashback is only paid once per year. For me it is in November, I’m not sure if this is the same for everyone or not.
The minimum annual income is on the low side for cards with rewards as good at this at $60,000. They also offer decent insurance (travel medical for those under 65, rental car insurance, purchase security, extended warranty, etc.). There is an annual fee of $99 so it is likely I will be looking for a new card to apply for around Christmas time next year.
Restaurants, Entertainment, and Parking: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card*
This card offers 2 percent cash back on 2 categories of spending of your choice BUT you can get one additional 2 percent category if you agree to have your cashback deposited to your Tangerine Saving Account.
As you might guess I don’t get a bunch of cashback from this card but there are 10 categories and some of the others could produce significant cash back for some of you depending on your situation like “Hotels/Motels” and “Home Improvement”. The categories also include “Grocery”, “Drug Store”, “Gas”, and “Recurring Bill Payments” if you don’t already have a card for those categories.
If you are interested in this card and don’t have a Tangerine account please do use the FIGarage referral code: 28920188S1. If you use our code and deposit $100 you and the garage will each get $25 (or $50 until April 30, 2019!). A 25% (or 50%) return is always nice!!!
BE CAREFUL where you use this card as you’ll only receive 0.5 percent cash pack on all purchases outside your chosen category. This card has no annual fee so I have decided to keep it indefinitely. Having a longstanding card is also good for your credit score if that is something that is important to you.
That’s it! I have a little cash every now and then but I try to put everything I buy on one of those two cards and then send the cashback I receive straight to Questrade so I can buy some ETFs 🙂 What do you use your cashback for? Do you have a card that is better than the Scotia Momentum® Visa Infinite* Card*?