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In this feature of Rewards Canada' Ultimate Credit Card Portfolios we look at the ultimate one for earning cash back. We have always recommended that you should carry a Visa, a MasterCard and an American Express card in your wallet. The reason why is that there are benefits, promotions and earning potential unique to each brand of credit card. We won't go into detail here as you can read all about it in our feature on how to Maximize your Miles and Points but here we outline one card from each brand that will help you build up those cash back returns faster than ever. Ultimately there are various options that could be utilized for a cash back portfolio but we look at one card from each issuing family that won't totally break the bank on annual fees but will provide strong cash back earning along with very strong insurance benefits.
American Express - SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express®
How to maximize your Cash Back earning with these cards
Let's look at category bonuses first. Both the Scotia Momentum Visa gives you extra cash back at Grocery Stores, Drug Stores and Gas Stations. How much extra? The SimplyCash gives back 5% for the first 6 months you have the cards then 1.5% after that while the Scotia Momentum provides 4% up to $25,000 of annual spend on gas and grocery purchases and 2% on drug store purchases and recurring bill payments up to $25,000. You'll want to take advantage of these when you first get the cards.
For the first six months you'll want to put as much as you can on the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express. You earn 5% on everything until you hit 6 months of cardmembership or max out at $20,000 in spending ($400 cash back). Once you've done that you'll want to spend on the various cards as follows:
All the other spending you have will be at non-category bonus retailers so those purchases can be put on the mbna rewards World Elite MasterCard so that you are earning 2% on all of these purchases.
The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Portfolio:
Other Card Options:
To save some money on annual fees you could look at downgrading your SimplyCash Preferred Card to the SimplyCash Card as the latter has no annual fee. Even right off the bat you can the 5% back with the no fee SimplyCash card however it is limited to Gas, Grocery Stores and restaurants up to a maximum of $250 back. You could also look at the mbna Smart Cash MasterCard as it also doesn't have any annual fees and gives you 5% back on eligible gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months then 2% back after that however all other purchases only earn 1%.
Talk to us!What do you find works best for you for earning the most Cash Back? Do you use these three cards exactly as laid out above or do you use a different combination? Tell us in the comments section below or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!
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