I’d say I’m pretty well organised when it comes to putting the right expenditure on the right card. I tend to calculate things to the point where I’ll consider applying for extra cards, or running things through an additional card on the same account if the returns stack up. Perhaps boringly so – after all, who really wants to have to think about their cards every time they spend any money? So, in comparison to just chucking everything through a standard non-rewards debit card, what does my card juggling actually earn me?
Here are some of the main cards I’ve used to earn more back in the past month.
1) American Express
I’ve run grocery shopping through five different Amex cards to benefit multiple times from the £10 off £30 supermarket spend card offer and 5% or 10% off at Morrisons offer. This got me around £65 back in total.
To do this, I saved the offers on the main and supplementary cards on both mine and my wife’s American Express Gold cards. I also saved it on my BA Amex card. Where cards only had one or other offer, we split the spend into two parts – a £30 spend to get the £10 and then the Morrisons % offer on a different card. Where we had both, we successfully got two credits on the same transaction. We simply worked through the cards, using a different card each time to ensure we got the offer.
Even before you consider bonuses and points, carrying an Amex card is worth considering. The ‘save to card’ offers on my American Express cards are almost always superior to my other cards.
Read Next: Should I Get an American Express Card?
2) Curve Card
I’ve used Curve Card on all foreign spending. Avoiding around £20 of FX fees – whilst also earning points.
In the past month I’ve bought hockey tickets in Swiss Francs, withdrawn cash in Spain and paid for a hotel in Euros. My standard debit card would have charged 3% – with Curve I avoided this entirely and charged this back to my rewards credit card earning approx 0.7% rewards.
3) Reward Credit Cards
Everything which isn’t a direct debit (i.e utility bills, etc.) has gone through a reward credit card – even for cash withdrawals or BACs transfers I use Curve and Monese to charge back to a reward card whilst avoiding fees. Typically these rewards are worth 0.7-1.0%, so I’d expect to earn £10-12 per month, before any offers. In addition I’ve also received £3 cashback from Quidco on transactions this month.
4) Co-op and TOTUM
OK – so this one might be cheating a bit, as it’s not available to everyone. I work for a university, which entitles me to affiliate NUS student card (now called TOTUM) membership. Using this on small purchases with the Co-op gets me 10% off, if I also swipe my Co-op card I get another 5% back in rewards. That 15% has amounted to another £12 back – but I do have to be the person who gives the Assistant 3 cards every time!
In total that’s £110 of credits, savings and rewards on money I would have spent anyway – just from being strategic about where I put each transaction. That’s £110 I wouldn’t have got if I’d have just put everything through my debit card without thinking about it. This will obviously vary from month to month, however it also doesn’t include any spend bonuses. That means that potentially managing my cards well for a year could net me £1,000+ extra to spend. In reality, because this article is just about card rewards (and excludes travel points and some smaller returns), it’s actually quite a bit higher than that.
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