I eventually realized what a dangerous game I was playing and ultimately came to my senses. Dangerous because I applied for so many credit cards, and had access to so much credit, that my credit score took a major nose-dive (shameful for a personal finance blogger).
Besides, it was a royal pain balancing my budget every month with spending on multiple cards – each one with a different due date. Enough was enough.
This time I’d go back to funnelling all of my spending onto one card. But which one? I thought about the cards that had staying power in my wallet, the ones I held onto for longer than a year.
What did they all have in common? High earning rates in lots of spending categories, not just one or two. Flexibility when it comes to redeeming points, including the ability to book travel with any provider and use your points to cover fees and taxes. Outside of the box incentives help, too, like free checked bags, priority boarding, or a complimentary airport lounge pass for you and a guest.
That may sound like I’m being picky but Canadians are a rewards savvy bunch and many are also looking to get more from the credit cards they carry. According to a recent TD survey, cardholders want and expect greater choice and flexibility for what their reward program offers, as well as new and creative ways to earn and redeem points.
The same TD survey said many Canadians own more than one credit card, with nearly nine in ten (89 per cent) owning a least one card for an average of 1.9 credit cards each.
This humble blogger thinks Canadians are leaving money (rewards) on the table by not finding one program that meets their needs and then sticking to it.
Here’s the thing: funnelling all of your spending onto one rewards credit card is the best way to earn points quickly and maximize the rewards potential of that program.
In today’s competitive travel rewards landscape, it shouldn’t be hard to find a rewards program that let’s you have your cake and eat it too.
But, as the TD survey says, with such a wide variety of rewards programs available, and so many ways to collect and redeem points, make sure you understand how the earning and redemption mechanics of the card work in order to get the maximum benefit from it.
My advice is to dig into your budget and understand where you spend your money (and how much you spend each month). Only then can you determine which credit card rewards program best matches your spending.
In addition to running the Boomer & Echo website, Robb Engen is a fee-only financial planner. This article originally ran on his site and is republished here with his permission. The post was originally created in partnership with TD. All thoughts and opinions are Mr. Engen’s.