I have always wondered about the benefits of reward credit cards. I have friends who have the cash back ones and they are always telling me that over the course of a year, their regular credit card purchases they received enough back to pay for most of, if not all, their Christmas shopping.
My Mother is always travelling to places with the points she and her partner rack up. To be fair, he does a lot of travelling for work, so his card gets more of a work out than mine ever would.
Either way, I started to feel like I was missing out with my regular, no nothing card. So when I was offered a travel card, I decided to test it out for a year. Then VISA approached me and asked me to use my credit card in a new way. For everything. All the small little purchases you make every day. 100 of them. They call it Smallenfreuden.
I thought about it. After school I was in some wasteland of finances. Huge debt, trying to pay back too much of it at a time and running low on funds by the end of the month so you end up using credit cards even more. Tie that in with trying to start an adult life (read – work clothes, wedding, new home and all the expenses that come with it) and it was getting overwhelming. Then I began watching Till Debt Do Us Part religiously, and reading all of Gail Vaz-Oxlade’s books. I learned that my best weapon in keeping my finances under control was knowledge. Know what you were spending and on what. Oh Slice TV… what haven’t I learned from you.
Fast forward a few years and I’m in a much better spot than I was. But I’m still watching my bottom line. So I was a bit hesitant to start using my card all the time, but I wanted those damn rewards so bad! I decided to give it a go. At least for the 100 purchases I was being asked for. The secret was to not spend any more than I normally would and make sure that I paid off my purchases in a timely manner. I actually found that putting as many purchases on one card, with one statement helped me see the big picture easier.
So… did it pay off? Did putting my daily tea break, my weekly *cough* daily *cough* LCBO visit, and all those little things really add up to something bigger? Actually yes! You’d be surprised how many little transactions you make in a day. And so far I racked up about 21,000 rewards points. Is that enough for me to get something super amazingly fantastic?? No. Not yet. But it will be. And way sooner than I expected.
This kind of money management isn’t for everyone. It might not be worth paying a fee for a card that can earn you rewards faster – that’s an individual choice. But if you are spending the money anyway, if you already have the card, it might be something to consider!
Now that you have listened to me drone on and on… here is your chance to win $100 pre-paid credit card from VISA. They sponsored this post and it’s time to give a little of that to you! Entering is easy. Just leave a comment on this post telling me what you would save your reward points for if you could have anything! A trip?? A fancy new kitchen gadget?? Gift certificates? Don’t forget your email! I will pick a winner Friday at 2.