Choosing the Rewards Card That’s Right for You

It’s easy to get comfortable with your current rewards card to the point where it just doesn’t occur to you to look around for something else. I’ve had the same rewards card for 15 years and, only recently, realized that I wasn’t getting everything I wanted back for it.

Our family loves to travel so the rewards card I want must include free or discounts on travel and travel-related items. So in an effort to make sure that I was being rewarded in the way that I wanted, I began looking around at what was being offered.

While most (68%) state credit card rewards programs are important to them, it appears consumers aren’t putting much research into selecting what card best suits their needs.

  • In fact, just over a quarter (27%) admit to not even understanding what their rewards program offers them and a further 11% feel confused or overwhelmed by all of the choices, different programs and affiliated cards available today.

Here are the considerations I made before I chose and applied for a new card.

Sign-up Bonuses
Some rewards cards will offer a bonus for signing up and using the card. Make sure you read the terms on these offers so that you understand what is required before you can claim the additional points. I know that with the new American Express Gold Rewards Card you get a whopping 25,000 points for signing up and you only need to charge $500 in the first three months to claim the points. For us, during the holidays, that is two weeks’ worth of grocery shopping, or a free flight to almost anywhere in North America!

Most Bang for My Buck – Literally
How many points does each rewards card offer and how many points do I need to get to where we want to go? Point systems are different all around so make sure you understand what your rewards points equal to. Do your points equal a distance (as in miles/kms) or do they equal a dollar value? How much do you have to spend on your card to equal a trip to your dream destination?

With the American Express Gold Rewards Card, you earn double points for every $1 in eligible travel purchases charged to the Card, including last minute travel, hotels, airline reservations, holiday packages, car rentals, cruise vacations, and more. Plus, earn double points for every $1 in eligible gas, grocery and drugstore purchases charged to the Card.

Can you imagine signing up for a card, working for one or two (or longer) years to collect all of the points you need for your dream vacation only to find out that you are not allowed to use them because they fall within a ‘blackout’ time frame? Find out which of your cards offer no blackouts, or better yet, which ones will let you charge your vacation to your rewards credit card and cash in your points afterwards.

After reviewing everything, I’ve realized that I became too comfortable with my old rewards card and I got lazy. I received the occasional free magazine subscription and gift card, but I want more. I want to be back on vacation and enjoying life with my family. A little bit of research and an application later and one of these winters we’ll be back on the beach looking for seashells and having fun.


Get started comparing your card with others and make sure you add the American Express Gold Rewards Card to your list as their benefits are impressive. You can find out more and apply on the American Express website.

This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions
expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.

Found in Money

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • SuperMel Dec 6, 2013, 10:04 am

    I personally love the WestJet Mastercard. A WestJet dollar is an actual dollar toward your flight, which makes redeeming for travel so much easier then Airmiles/Aeroplan. Also love that every year I get a companion voucher to bring someone on a trip with me for only 99$. When I signed up, I also got a 500$ credit! (I think its down to 250$ now). Best part is no black outs!

    • Sheri Landry Dec 12, 2013, 11:15 pm

      That’s fantastic Mel. It is great when people really know what they get from their card. For me, we tend to fly to some destinations that are more expensive if flown by WestJet, so having the AMEX Gold Rewards Card is more beneficial for us as we can use it on any airline or vacation so we can always go with the best price first. And I agree – I love the no blackouts too.