Guest writer: Ratehub.ca
You don’t have to be a personal finance guru or diligent coupon cutter to save a considerable chunk of change on your everyday expenses and routine bills.
With the right credit card, a little prudence and by taking advantage of what is known as “double dipping,” you can earn rewards for every dollar you spend, and in turn, knock a few hundred dollars off your payments every year.
Why picking the right credit card matters
The best credit cards in Canada offer between 1% and 5% back in cash or travel points. Depending on your spending habits, that can amount to upwards of $300 every year - that’s a notable amount of savings on purchases that you would be making anyway.
Not all credit cards are created equal however (i.e. some offer bonus rewards on restaurant purchases while others offer additional rewards when you fill on gas). Therefore, it’s critical you do your research and compare your credit card options. Otherwise, you risk using a cash back or travel credit card that isn’t aligned with your spending habits and leaving hundreds of dollars in rewards on the table.
It’s also important to note, if you make a habit of carrying a balance you will incur interest charges. So, always spend within your means and pay off your balance in full every month.
Double dipping rewards - explained
Double dipping takes one of the key perks of a rewards credit card - the ability to earn cash back or points on purchases - up a notch.
If you’re not familiar with the term, double dipping is about leveraging the loyalty programs of both your credit card and that of the retailer or service provider you’re buying from to rack up rewards even faster. Simply put, the goal is to earn additional rewards on top of those regularly offered by your credit card.
For a prime example of double dipping in action, you need to look no further than Butter. For any subscription service you sign up for through Butter, you earn 1% cash back. This 1% is in addition to whatever points or cash back you already get through your credit card. So, effectively you’re getting rewards from two sources (your credit card and Butter) on the same purchase at the same - hence why the term double dipping is used.
Double dipping in action
Let’s say you use Butter to sign up for everything from Netflix and Spotify to stream your favourite shows and albums; HelloFresh and Instacart to simplify your weekly meal prep and grocery runs; the Dollar Shave Club to ensure you’re always fully stocked on razors; and a Goodlife membership as part of your workout routine. In total, these subscriptions can amount to an estimated $460 every month.
If you cover these purchases using a credit card, you could earn as much as 2% back in rewards on several of those purchases. However, since you used Butter to subscribe for these services and Butter offers 1% cash back, you would earn a combined total of as much 3% back. Thanks to double dipping through Butter, you would get a 50% boost in the amount of rewards you earn and increase your net annual rewards from roughly $110 to $165 - all on purchases that you would be making anyway.
Double dipping goes beyond simply earning additional rewards on a per-dollar basis however. Many loyalty programs and subscription services (including Butter) provide access to limited-time deals that offer even more opportunities for you to double dip. For example, until December 31, you’ll get 2 months of free grocery deliveries when sign up for Instacart through Butter. That’s at least $3.99 in savings per delivery on top of the 1% cash back already offered by Butter in addition to any rewards you would regularly earn from your credit card. It’s easy to see how you can rack up significant savings when double dipping rewards programs.
Ratehub.ca is a website that compares mortgage rates, credit cards, high-interest savings accounts, chequing accounts and insurance with the goal to empower Canadians to search smarter and save money.