Our Credit Card Rewards Surprises

July 15, 2010

Our credit card rewards show up as a statement credit once a year for our Blue Cash card.  I had forgotten this was the time of year when the cash back showed up so when I checked our most recent credit card statement, I was surprised at how much less we owed than normal. 

I was on my way to congratulate my wife on a low spend month, we’ve been cutting back on our spending to save up more for buying a house, when I realized the main reason the bill was so low was due to our rewards payment.

We definitely spent less than normal but the chunk of cash back is by far what made the biggest difference.

Grocery Rewards Surprise

Another thing I was surprised by was how much of our rewards came from cash back on groceries.  I guess 3% of any expense can add up over a year if you spend enough on it. I really shouldn’t be surprised since our growing son is eating more and more at dinner time (fewer left overs for me).

Gas Rewards Surprise

As I went over the rewards, I dug into the terms of the rewards program to see how our Costco membership could effect our spending on our card. To my surprise, our Blue Cash doesn’t earn 2% back when used for gas at Costco.  I’ll either have to gas up at a station where I can use it or use a True Earnings card, which will earn me 3% on gas at Costco.

Total Rewards Surprise

At the bottom of our cash rebate earnings summary was listed the total cash back rewards we’ve earned since we started using the card.  I was definitely surprised to see we’ve earned just over $3500 while using the card. Unfortunately the statement didn’t list the start year so I’m not sure how many years that covers but it’s a nice chunk of change from the Blue Cash card.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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4 Responses to Our Credit Card Rewards Surprises

  • Jesse W.

    Great information on credit card rewards. Unfortunately too many of my friends get excited about these rewards and forget that a high interest rate with a high balance almost always offsets the rewards. Paying off a credit card each month and gaining the rewards is a great way to save though!

  • Greg McFarlane

    Blue Cash is one of the quiet phenomena of modern personal finance. Many people still hear the phrase American Express and automatically think “annual fee”. Blue Cash gives you all the advantages of Discover (no annual fee; cash back, albeit with restrictions on when you can redeem), with the additional benefit that you can use it around the world.

  • Jenna

    What are you planning on doing with that little chuck of change you’ve earned?


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