It’s your money, honey!
I was recently part of an awesome discussion about finances –
I know. “Awesome” and “finances” in the same sentence? Shut the front door.
We were talking about how the dreaded “F” word isn’t the sexiest of topics, but for me, finding ways to save money can get just as exciting as a viewing of Magic Mike. Imagine finding an extra $100 you didn’t know you had and don’t tell me you wouldn’t feel the same way.
One of the big pain points we talked about were credit cards. Up until a few years ago, I only used my credit cards when I needed to. Now, Dan and I use our credit cards as much as humanly possible to capitalize on points for flights and groceries. We don’t keep a balance so this is a good strategy for us. I really wish I adapted this sooner – I could have flown to Hawaii by now.
It really makes a lot of sense. All that money is coming from the same place, so why not get something out of it? Do you use cash or debit to pay for everything? (Or cheques… do stores even still accept cheques?) It’s fine and dandy if you need that transaction to be one and done, but if you’re disciplined enough to pay off your credit card as soon as the bill comes in, why not let your credit card give you something back for a change?
In 2013, we flew to Las Vegas on points simply by redirecting all of our spending through to our credit cards. I live in Ontario, so that’s a pretty substantial flight ticket! After all my years of collecting a piddly few points here and a piddly few points there, it was rewarding to see results so quickly after just slightly tweaking how we pay for things.
But how do you know which credit card will get you the furthest?
Luckily, this is where RateSupermarket.ca steps in!
This unbiased, neutral and free site rounds up the best Canadian credit cards and lets you compare all of them against each other based on interest rates, rewards, and other benefits.
But it goes a step further than just posting some chart online with all this information (also saving you time having to play Sherlock with every card’s website out there!) – they actually have a tool that can help you decide which credit card will earn you the most based on your spending habits! It’s their Rewards Calculator, and here’s how it works:
First, it lets you choose between a variety of credit card lenders. For this example, I chose my very first credit card ever, the American Express Air Miles Credit Card.
Second one in – that’s me!
Since it’s an Air Miles reward card, I wanted to see what other credit cards would offer compared to it in the travel rewards category, so that’s what I chose.
Then it asks you a bunch of questions based on your spending habits and income.
After, it gives you a snapshot of what your current card is offering you, up against what you could be earning if you switched to another card. I was only earning $132 a year? No wonder after thousands of dollars spent I only earned enough Air Miles for a pepper mill.
But what if you’re not interested in rewards, and more concerned about paying off your credit card faster?
They also have the Debt Calculator that can help you find the best Low Interest or best Low Balance Transfer card. After asking who provides your credit card (or multiple cards) like in the Rewards Calculator, it asks a series of questions regarding the balance, how much you can put towards it each month, and how much you plan to spend on the card while trying to pay it off. Eventually, you’ll end up with a chart letting you know how long it will take to pay off the credit card(s) according to your answers:
It can also give you a reality check if you’ve been treading dangerous “ignorance is bliss” credit waters:
That. Would. Suck.
And all of that is interest. I feel like interest is the biggest “oh, let me just throw my money in the garbage” trap, along with tolls, parking, and “administration fees.”
Then you get suggestions on the best card that will help end your worries.
I love how all of these stats are in one location instead of me having to go hunt for each individual card on my own, and it lets me consider cards that I didn’t even know about. I’m happy with my credit cards right now, but there’s one little detail that I’m missing out on.
Yep – ever since Costco tossed American Express to the side in favour of MC, our Aeroplan mileage has taken a slight hit. I’m forever on the hunt for a MasterCard that is part of the Aeroplan program. (Where are you? I need you!)
Ratesupermarket.ca has a “Best Of” credit card list and literally outlines every card you can get whether you want to build credit score, find a low balance transfer, more rewards, or lower interest rates – and will even find you one without an annual fee if you don’t want to pay for your card. I’ll be checking this regularly for that holy grail Aeroplan MasterCard…
But if you’re actually on the hunt for a credit card that can do you better than the one you’re using right now, Ratesupermarket.ca can help your family save money and earn more rewards. Your credit card should be giving back to you – they make money every time you charge it, so why shouldn’t you get a little somethin’ somethin’ for your continued patronage? (And the more you spend, the more your credit card company makes, so you’re gonna wanna put an end to all these “one way street” shenanigans.)
For free and unbiased credit card comparison, check out the Rewards Calculator or Debt Calculator on Ratesupermarket.ca. It’s quick and easy, and you might find yourself with a little more than you thought you had! Happy saving!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Ratesupermarket.ca. All opinions are honest and my own!