Turn $245 into $1,100 with loyalty credit cards
3 steps to grow your rewards
3 steps to grow your rewards
We talked to the savviest points collectors in Canada to learn the secrets of boosting loyalty rewards. Here are their steps on how to turn $245 into $1,100 with some smart loyalty credit card moves.
Sign up for a pair of American Express cards—the Amex Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Amex Gold card. The Starwood card comes with 20,000 SPG bonus rewards while the gold card comes with 25,000 Amex points. Refer a couple of friends to the SPG card and you can pick up an additional 20,000 points (10,000 for each referral).
40,000 SPG points
25,000 Amex rewards
Expert hacks to boost your loyalty riches »
Most programs offer better deals once you pass a point threshold, but if you are short of that goal there are a few options to help get you over the top. Experts call this “manufacturing” spending. One approach is to buy gift cards to make up the difference and then immediately try to liquidate them to get the funds back to pay off the balance on the card. But there is a cost and fees can quickly render this approach ineffective. In this case we just need 5,000 SPG points, so we buy $5,000 in gift cards and then liquidate them.
5,000 SPG points
Loyalty programs like Aeroplan frequently offer bonus points when you convert rewards from another program. (One such promotion that ran this summer offered up to 55,000 points to convert 200,000 or more.) In our case we have 45,000 SPG points available, plus Starwood offers an additional 5,000 point bonus when its members convert more than 20,000 SPG rewards, which brings our tally to 50,000—just enough to qualify for 10,000 additional points. Without that additional 5,000 points the bonus would have been 4,000, which is what we earn when we exchange the 25,000 Amex reward points.
Final point total: 89,000
Cost: $245 ($120 sign up fee, $125 for manufacturing spending)
Check out more expert hacks to grow your rewards »
Best cash-back cards »
Best low rate cards »
Best retail rewards cards »
Best student card »
Best travel rewards cards »
Best business cards »
Share this article Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Reddit Share on Email
As the world's largest credit card company, Visa offers a wide array of credit cards and benefits, making it...
Interested in earning versatile travel points at a faster rate? Here’s what you need to know to get started.
From redeemable points to cold hard cash, these credit cards offer big rewards on your everyday spending.
FICO’s Jenelle Dito shares personal lessons around credit and how finlit impacts her job educating about credit scores.
These impressive travel cards can help turn your everyday spending into flights, hotels and more.
These cards have no annual fee and still boast perks like cash back, travel insurance and more.
Whether you’re looking for points or cash back, these cards will help you earn benefits from your fuel expenses.
Learn how to rack up Canadian Tire Money faster and how CT-branded credit cards can benefit you in other...
If patience isn’t your thing or you need a card, stat, consider one of these credit card options. In...
If shopping is your hobby, or you want discounts on everything—from groceries to a new car—check out this list...