Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Credit card rewards can really pay off

I use a Mosaik MasterCard as my primary credit card. The Mosaik card is a "modular" product: you apply for the basic credit card, and you then select a card design and add features (like a rewards plan) à la carte. For my card, I have selected the "Gold" Air Miles reward plan, which gives me one Air Mile for every $15 that I spend on the card. Air Miles are redeemable for a wide variety of rewards, from travel purchases, to gift certificates, to electronics and kitchen gadgets. One Air Mile typically has a value of $0.12-$0.14, so with the Gold plan, this works out to the equivalent of about 0.9% cash back.

The rewards don't end there, however. With the Air Miles program, I also receive a free Air Miles collector card, which I present when I shop at Air Miles sponsors (including supermarkets, liquor stores, gas stations and several online merchants) to earn additional rewards. This earns me an additional Air Mile for every $20 that I spend at an Air Miles sponsor. By using my Air Miles MasterCard at an Air Miles sponsor, I'm actually "double-dipping" my rewards.

I was surprised to see how much these rewards actually add up. This year alone, I've redeemed Air Miles for the following rewards:
  • $50 Chapters gift card

  • $50 RONA gift card

  • $300 in HBC gift cards

  • $50 in Banana Republic gift cards
Obviously, Air Miles isn't the only reward program out there; there are several cards that offer cash back rewards. The point is that I've managed to use my rewards to purchase $350 in gifts ($150 of that for Christmas gifts), where I otherwise would have been out-of-pocket for this amount. If you're careful about how you use the card, and don't get caught up in the "I'm-getting-points-so-spend-spend-spend" mentality, then you can really make out like a bandit.


SavingDiva said...

Wow! You've received a lot of rewards! I usually opt for the cash reward with my discover card...

Wooly Woman said...

I love air miles. I just use the regular card right now and get about $75 in gift cards every year, which isn't bad. Seems like you get a lot more with the credit card.

Jazmin said...

We decided to go with aeroplan rather than air miles, but same principle. We just don't shop in the places that seem to offer air miles nearly as much, and we do travel enough to make the prospect of cheap/free flights really appealing. The key is to pay off the CC right away, and it works like a charm!