Give Me Back My Five Bucks

Why I use a credit card for everything

For as long as I can remember, I’ve always used a credit card to pay for all my purchases. When I was younger, I didn’t always pay off the balance every month (which is part of how I got into over $20,000 in debt!), but nowadays I pay off the balance every week.

Of course the #1 reason why I use credit cards all the time is for their rewards programs, but I also love quick tap & go payments, how easy it is to have a summary of all my purchases online (makes entering in numbers on my spreadsheet a breeze!), and I absolutely hate carrying cash on me.

Even though I love credit cards, I’m not one to chase bonus sign-ups (only to cancel the cards later), nor do I hold a fist full of cards in my name. To be honest, that’s just way too much effort and managing my expenses is already a lot of work! Anyway, I like to think that I’m super strategic, and currently only hold two cards. Actually, I only had one credit card up until this past fall, when I added another card to my roster. :)

Here are the two cards that I currently hold:

Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard (grandfathered)

This card has a $120 annual fee, but I receive 10,000 bonus reward miles every year ($100 value) that helps to offset the cost, plus 2 reward miles for every $1 spent – with no annual limit!

What’s great about this card is the flexibility on how I can redeem my reward miles. There used to be an annoying tiered system where you weren’t really getting to redeem the full value of your reward miles. But back in October 2015, they switched it over so that you can just redeeming on any travel purchase with no tiered threshold.

This card was discontinued a while ago, but luckily I got grandfathered in with the old plan (so grateful for that). And I was able to add RD on as a user to my account so that we can start earning more rewards to put towards our travel expenses.

Related: Do you have a store credit card?

In 2016 with just my spending alone, I earned a total of $629.89 on this rewards card ($749.89 – $120 fee) which definitely took a huge chunk out of our travel budget. :)

The only down side to this card is that it is extremely difficult to get a credit limit increase. I’ve asked a few times for them to raise my limit, but it hasn’t budged from the $5,000 that I initially qualified for. It has been fine up until this past year, where there were a few instances I needed to charge more than $5,000 at a time and had to ask RD if I could use his card. So I decided I finally needed to get a second card…

Tangerine Money Back Credit Card

It was a pretty easy decision when it came to figuring out what my secondary card was going to be. I’m already a Tangerine customer, and the rewards program was the best I’ve seen for a no-fee credit card. I was offered a $15,000 credit limit and took $10,000.

Basically you get to choose two categories to earn 2% cash back (and 1% cash back on everything else). If you get your rewards deposited into a Tangerine savings account, you get to choose a third category.

What credit cards are you using?

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


Comments

  1. Max says:

    I use an American Express Essential credit card and PC Financial Mastercard. The reason I have the American Express card is because of the Front of the Line perks since I do see a lot of concnerts and I get great deals for tickets. This is also my primary credit card to use because of it’s low interest rate of %7.99 and no annual fee. I have the PC financial cads because this is my primary bank to use and I get points that I can put towards free groceries! There is also no annual fee :D

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I used to used to have a PC Financial MC as well, but ended up switching over because I don’t bank with PCF anymore (and I also don’t have a Superstore/No Frills close to me), but did like the card when I had it! And the no annual fee was definitely nice. :)

  2. John says:

    Amazing – I have both of the exact same cards as you.

    One thing that I really like about Capital One and Tangerine are the easy to use and easily accessible digital experiences. It’s intuitive and helps take a “chore” such as managing finances and makes it more engaging, interesting and something I actually don’t mind checking (compared to a few other institutions).

  3. Vad says:

    What is the reason you’re paying CC balance every week? Isn’t it more simple to pay once (at the end of the month) than to do that four times in single month?

    • Krystal Yee says:

      I personally like paying my CC balance that often because it mentally helps me budget. It makes me feel better knowing I’m as up-to-date with my credit card as possible. Sure it’s easier to pay once a month, but if I’m logged into my online banking and credit card more often than that, it just makes sense to click a few times and pay the balance. :)

  4. Jena says:

    I also have the Tangerine card, and I love it. I still have my old Visa card that is no fees and 1% cash back rewards as a back-up (and for my long credit history), but it has an annual limit for the cash back, and since I, like you, use my credit cards to pay for pretty much everything, I was maxing out that limit early in the year. I love that Tangerine doesn’t have a limit.

    I totally get the paying the card off each week. It’s so easy to do with online banking and then you never have to worry about hitting the limit when attempting to pay for something a bit bigger.

  5. Buffy says:

    I have the Tangerine card that I use for business purposes. Haven’t had the card a year yet and already have received over $600 cash back! I also have a Canadian Tire card, that I used during our house renovations, and saved the CT cash to put towards my new treadmill. I also have a MBNA card, which we got to transfer my spouse’s outstanding balance onto the 0% for 12 months, which we are diligently paying off. Credit can get people in trouble (like my spouse before he got smart ha ha), but if it used correctly there are certainly benefits!

  6. I use the Tangerine Mastercard too. I got two. One as a primary cardholder and the other as as secondary. So I get six categories of 2% rewards. Sweet.

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