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 »
Punjabi singer Diljit Dosanjh is now a Simplii brand ambassador. What does that mean for fans and cardholders?
Cards that waive or refund the fee for foreign currency charges are few and far between—but if you’re a...
These cards offer super-low introductory rates for balance transfers.
Affording a fun life isn’t just for the rich and TikTokers. Young Canadians just starting out can, too—with a...
Kathleen Cassidy is a savvy shopper, and her thousands of followers know it. With MoneySense, though, she talks about...
HSBC Canada bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages and investments are moving to RBC. What steps should HSBC customers take...
Choose the right RBC credit card for your lifestyle, whether you’re looking for low interest rates, cash back or...
As a newcomer, you’ll want a credit card that offers you the best value without having a long Canadian...