I started getting very interested and aware of credit cards when I received what appeared to be yet another piece of junk mail from my bank trying to peddle some kind of product or service that I did not need. Right before I inserted the “useless” letter into my shredder I had a change of heart and decided to open it. Inside was a rather disarming and simple letter talking about my (at the time, only) credit card I had with them. It was the new updated terms to the card’s cashback rewards program. I never really paid much attention to how much money I got back with my purchases but something caught my eye. Very quickly I realized that my card’s rewards program was changing from a flat rate of 1% cashback to a new tiered system. For the first $10,000 I spent in a year I would get a return of less than .5%. Then it would slowly increase with every $10,000 more I spent until it eventually reached the very anti-climatic amount of 1%. For some reason it was this letter that left me indignant after years of enduring pitiful cashback returns. Perhaps it was the way the chart mockingly displayed the tiers and what kind of astronomical spending was needed to achieve the dismal peak of 1%. I can’t quite remember the rest of events and thoughts that transpired, but I do remember spending a good portion of that night and rest of the week fervently researching credit cards. The rest is history as I am 3.5% and quickly on my way to over 4% overall average cashback for all my purchases. While starting out I became very interested in squeezing every possible cent out of my purchases with different combinations of credit cards. It has been a fun and informative journey for me and I hope to give back some of that enjoyment to all of you through this site.
Everyone has their own story on how they suddenly realized their credit card situation was not maximizing returns and holding them back towards achieving credit card nirvana. I think no matter what your story is, it comes down to wanting to maximize your money’s potential. It is realizing that a whole dollar spent doesn’t have to mean a whole dollar lost if you can get a few cents back from using your credit card. It is not about just one transaction because a few cents doesn’t matter. It is looking at it through a broader lens and seeing how those few cents grow with every transaction. How do you value your money?