How I Earned Over $2,000 In Credit Card Rewards This Year

Last year I cashed in on over $1,500 in credit card rewards by optimizing the two cards I use for everyday spending while also taking advantage of several promotional offers with juicy sign-up bonuses. I used the same approach this year to increase my rewards to over $2,000.

Here’s how I did it:

  • Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard – $1238
  • Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite – $234
  • American Express Air Miles Platinum – $230
  • TD First Class Visa Infinite – $220
  • Rewards Visa – $72
  • Scotiabank Gold American Express – $50
  • Total rewards – $2,044

Now, both the Capital One and Scotia Momentum cards come with annual fees and so I subtract any annual fees paid to get my total net rewards for 2015.

  • Total rewards earned – $2,044
  • Annual fees paid – $219
  • Net rewards – $1,825

My everyday rewards cards this year were the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard. I used the Momentum Visa for groceries, gas, and drug store spending as well as for recurring bill payments. I used the Capital One card for pretty much everything else, including travel.

With these two rewards cards alone I was able to net more than $1,250 on my everyday spending this year.

But I’ve found that our family has shifted more and more of our grocery spending to Costco, which doesn’t accept Visa cards. That’s why you see higher earnings from the Capital One card this year and why I’ve decided to cancel the Momentum Visa before the annual fee kicks-in next year.

A couple of credit card promotions caught my eye this spring, including one for the TD First Class Visa Infinite where I was able to earn 40,000 TD Rewards and pay no annual fee for the first year. I redeemed those points on two hotel rooms this summer and saved $220 cash.

Next I grabbed a great offer from American Express for its Air Miles Platinum card. This promotion pays 2,000 Air Miles, which I was able to turn into $230 worth of free groceries using the Air Miles Cash program. The annual fee was also waived in the first year.

Both cards came with attainable early spending bonuses, but I have not used the cards since unlocking those rewards. I plan on cancelling both of these cards in the New Year before the annual fees come due.

I used the Rewards Visa a bit more than usual this year due to my Amazon Prime membership. This card is also a must-have anytime you travel to the U.S. or abroad, as it’s one of the only cards not to charge 2.5 percent for converting your foreign currency purchases back to Canadian dollars.

Finally, I was able to redeem $50 worth of Scotia Rewards from when I held the Scotia Gold American Express card last year.

Final thoughts

There has never been a better time to cash in on credit card rewards. The competitive landscape means that credit card issuers have stepped up their game when it comes to bonus offers and base earning rates.

Look no further then the newly revamped Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard, which offers an incredible 40,000 point early spend bonus and gives cardholders the most flexible and fair redemption options of any other travel rewards card.

By making the most of the two cards I used for everyday spending and taking advantage of some timely credit card offers I was able to earn over $2,000 in credit card rewards and net over $1,800 in rewards this year after fees.


  1. adi on December 20, 2015 at 1:56 pm

    How much did you spend overall this year on all your cards ?

    • Robb Engen on December 20, 2015 at 2:38 pm

      Hi adi, it looks like I was able to funnel about $50,000 worth of expenses onto my credit cards, which works out to about a 4% return.

  2. Ralph on December 23, 2015 at 10:10 am

    When applying for new cards continuously does it not affect your credit rating?

    • Robb Engen on December 23, 2015 at 12:24 pm

      Hi Ralph, it does to some extent. I just checked my credit score and it is slightly below 700, so not great but not that bad. It was about 780 when I last checked 4 years ago. That said, I have the credit I need in terms of a mortgage and line of credit (both at excellent prime minus rates) and haven’t had any trouble getting approved when applying for new cards.

      I’ll keep the Cap One and Amazon cards for a long, long time to establish a continuous history. New inquiries cause a credit hit, but not by much (less than 10 percent of your score). The biggest factor is your history of handling credit and whether you pay your bills on time.

Join 3,500 Canadian Subscribers!

Sign up today to learn all about the best cash back and travel rewards credit cards, plus how to maximize your rewards and loyalty programs.