Special Report

5 ways to fly faster with rewards cards

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is suggesting we freeze our credit cards one day a week. But what if you want to save points for travel?
What's the best way to collect airmiles? (Canadian Press)

The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is suggesting we freeze our credit cards one day a week. They say it's costing small business too much.

The problem is, many of us are hooked on paying with plastic because we're chasing rewards points.

Patrick Sojka is the founder of Rewards Canada. It's an independent organization that helps Canadians take advantage of reward offers.

He offers up five tips for using rewards cards:

1. If you put $1,000 on your credit card a month it's best to go after a plan that pays cash, or gives reward points. If you put $20-30K on your cards each month, you should be collecting Air Miles.

2. Use your credit card for everything (as long as you can pay off your balance each month, of course. Carrying a balance wipes out benefit of rewards).

3. Don't be afraid to take advantage of offers for signing up for new cards. Lots of reward gurus switch cards all the time. It's called "churning" by people in the know. Beware though that this can have a negative impact on your credit score if you apply for too many cards and cancel too many in a short period of time.

4. Watch for special deals and offers. Sometimes there are products and flights that get you a ton of extra miles.

5. Double dip. Use your credit card and your Air Miles/Aeroplan card when buying stuff.

Bonus Tip: Don't forget to pay off that balance. It will wipe out the rewards. Miles cards tend to pay 10 per cent back. Points cards tend to pay about three per cent. That gets wiped out pretty quick by paying 17 per cent interest.

Hear Patrick Sojka on Information Radio on Nov. 8 between 7 and 8 a.m.


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