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Building a Credit Card Portfolio (around $500 spending per month)

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Back in 2014, we built a suggested credit card portfolio for people who spend about $500 per month. With all the changes in the industry, I though it’s time to update my suggestion. I will also be updated my suggested portfolios for the $2,000 and $5,000+ monthly spending as well. For this portfolio, it is mostly for people who live at home with their parents, so let’s say they have this approximate spending:

  • $30 on entertainment
  • $50 on groceries
  • $70 on cellphone bill
  • $100 on clothing and other expenses
  • $100 on clothing
  • $150 on restaurants

Below is the suggested credit card portfolio that I would recommend

Rogers Bank Platinum MasterCard

  • $29 annual fee (waived the first year or waived so long as you have pre-authorized Rogers payments set up)
  • Earn $35 cash back sign up bonus
  • Earn 1.75% cash back on all purchases
  • No foreign exchange fees
  • Apply cash back to purchases made in Rogers branded stores or monthly Rogers bill

First of all, if I was using Rogers for any of my services (let’s say you are helping to pay the home phone, cable, Interview or personal cellphone), I would for sure have the Rogers Bank Platinum MasterCard credit card in my portfolio. Pretty much all my spending will go on this credit card as it is tough to beat the 1.75% cash back return. The annual fee is waived anyway once you put your recurring bill on this credit card. Also, the foreign transaction fees are waived, so this is very helpful to have on trips.


Chase Amazon.ca Rewards Visa Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn $20 Amazon.ca bonus sign up gift certificate
  • Earn 2% cash back on Amazon.ca purchases
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees

If you are not a Rogers client, then I would for sure have the Chase Amazon.ca Rewards Visa Card instead, mostly because of the foreign transaction fees waived, but I would also put the majority of my spending on this credit card to get the 1% cash back return. Very low maintenance/hassle credit card because the rewards are automatically credited to your account.


CIBC TELUS Rewards Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1.5 point for every $1 spent on Telus (bill payments, accessories, devices), gas and grocery purchases
  • Earn 1 point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

I would only get the CIBC TELUS Rewards Card card if you are both a client of Telus and CIBC. Mostly a CIBC client if you feel the need to absolutely have a credit card with Telus. I would only put my Telus expenses on it anyway. If you are not a client of CIBC, then you can just put your Telus bill on one of the other credit cards instead.


RBC Cash Back MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2% cash back for every $1 spent at grocery stores
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on your first $6,000 (annually) worth of purchases that are not groceries
  • Earn 1% cash back on any purchases in excess of $6,000

The RBC Cash Back MasterCard is mostly if you are already a client of RBC and need to keep your chequing account active once every 90 days. I would only put my grocery expenses on this credit card to earn the 2%. All other purchases can go on the other credit cards.


RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 15,000 sign up bonus Shoppers Optimum points after your first purchase
  • Earn 15 Shoppers Optimum points for every $1 spent on in-store purchases made at Shoppers Drug Mart
  • Earn 5 Shoppers Optimum points for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Otherwise, if you do not chip in to the grocery purchases, you can look at the RBC Shoppers Optimum MasterCard instead. Again, this is only for RBC clients who must have a credit card. Otherwise, the other credit cards are sufficient for every day spending.


Scotiabank Scene Visa Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 2,000 sign up bonus Scene points
  • Earn 5 Scene points for every $1 spent at participating Cineplex Entertainment theatre or online
  • Earn 1 Scene point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Lastly, if you are a fan of going to the movies, then every Cineplex movie expense should go on the Scotiabank Scene Visa. But even normally, earning 1 point per $1 on all other purchases is pretty good too.


I would like to include the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card in this portfolio, but I am just waiting for it to go system wide. Maybe in a future update then!

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Pointshogger aims to provide analysis and updates on earning loyalty reward points and maximizing the value of your points. We hope to inspire our readers to experience the joy of travel and make the most out of what they've already got!

  • Ottawa | Vancouver
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