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The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Portfolio
Last Updated: July 25, 2019


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In this feature of Rewards Canada' Ultimate Credit Card Portfolios we look at the ultimate one for earning cash back. We have always recommended that you should carry a Visa, a Mastercard and an American Express card in your wallet. The reason why is that there are benefits, promotions and earning potential unique to each brand of credit card. We won't go into detail here as you can read all about it in our feature on how to Maximize your Miles and Points but here we outline one card from each brand that will help you build up those cash back returns faster than ever. Ultimately there are various options that could be utilized for a cash back portfolio but we look at one card from each issuing family that won't totally break the bank on annual fees but will provide strong cash back earning along with very strong insurance benefits.

What is Rewards Canada's Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Wallet? It is the following three cards

American Express - SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express®

Mastercard - Rogers World Elite Mastercard

Visa - Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite is an obvious choice as it is many magazine, blog and financial writers favourite cash back card providing high returns of up to 4% with a strong insurance package. The Rogers World Elite Mastercard may surprise some as you would think it is only for Rogers customers - but it is not. It is in fact one of the best cash back cards in the market thanks to its 1.75% return on almost all spending, the ability to cash out anytime you hit $20 in cash back rewards and a strong insurance pacakge - all of this with no annual fee to boot!. The final card filling in the American Express spot is the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express. This card fills the need of having an Amex card in your wallet and should be used for your initial spending to reach its bonus levels and for all your possible spending that does fall under the Momentum Visa's bonus categories.

Related: Cash Back Credit Card Comparison Chart

How to maximize your Cash Back earning with these cards

Let's look at category bonuses first. The Scotia Momentum Visa gives you extra cash back at Grocery Stores, Drug Stores and Gas Stations. How much extra? The SimplyCash gives back 5% for the first 6 months you have the cards then 2% after that while the Scotia Momentum provides 4% up to $25,000 of annual spend on gas and grocery purchases and 2% on drug store purchases and recurring bill payments up to $25,000. You'll want to take advantage of these when you first get the cards.

Here is how you will want to break down your spending to maximize your cash back earning:

For the first six months you'll want to put as much as you can on the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express. You earn 5% on everything until you hit 6 months of cardmembership or max out at $6,000 in spending ($300 cash back). Once you've done that you'll want to spend on the various cards as follows:

Grocery and Recurring Bill Payments: Use the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite Card to 4% back until you hit the annual $25,000 category limit. If you hit this limit then move your spend to the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express to earn a straight 2% back on all purchases.

All the other spending you have will be at non-category bonus retailers so those purchases can be put on the SimplyCash Card so that you are earning 2% on all of them and then if you are shopping at retailers that don't accept American Express you should use the Rogers World Mastercard to earn 1.75%..

The Ultimate Cash Back Credit Card Portfolio:

Card Card Features

Related: SimplyCash™ Preferred Card from American Express® Review Rogers World Elite Mastercard Review

Other Card Options:

To save some money on annual fees you could look at downgrading your SimplyCash Preferred Card to the SimplyCash Card as the latter has no annual fee. Right off the bat you can earn 2.5% back with the no fee SimplyCash card up to a maximum of $150 back. You could also look at the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus® Mastercard® as it also doesn't have any annual fees and gives you 5% back on eligible gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months then 2% back after that in those categories however all other purchases only earn 0.5%.

Talk to us!

What do you find works best for you for earning the most Cash Back? Do you use these three cards exactly as laid out above or do you use a different combination? Tell us in the comments section below or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!

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