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Industry Moving Towards Even More Cash Back

With the travel industry still not back at full force, it seems like any company that has been offering cash back rewards have really cranked things up, highlighted by Tangerine’s super high 15% cash back sign up bonus.

Shift to flexible points redemption rates

Historically, what made miles and points lucrative was the ability to leverage those rewards into varying values. However, times have changes, inflation kicked in and companies are moving more towards a dynamic rewards system (a.k.a. flexible points redemption rates) versus the highly valuable fixed rewards system. The difference between the two is that fixed rewards means members can redeem the exact same number of points for a free hotel room or flight, regardless of the market value in cash. But with more and more reward companies shifting to a dynamic rewards system, with Marriott Bonvoy as the latest company making such an announcement, the number of points needed to redeem for a freebie is correlated to the actual market cash cost.

For example, when it was fixed rewards, a 20,000 points free night redemption could be for a room priced between $100 to $300, depending on whether it is high or low season. However, with flexible points, when the room costs $100 (during low season), it will cost less points than when the exact same room costs $300 (during high season).

Perhaps this is just coincidence, but I am noticing a lot of cash back programs stepping up their game. Below are some samples of how the cash back market has really taken over while the travel industry is in a transition stage.

15% Cash Back with Tangerine

It has become a norm to see 10% cash back sign up bonus offers. It has gotten to the point where we have a dedicated monthly 10% + cash back post. So any company offering 6-8% cash back offers do not even make the list, even though these rates could be considered high just 3-4 years ago.

Tangerine took it up another level with its 15% sign up bonus cash back offers.

Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 15% cash back on the first $1,000 in spending on all purchases or up to 2 months (apply before November 30, 2021)
  • Earn 2% cash back on choice of 2 categories (3rd choice if you deposit the cash back into your Tangerine Savings Account)
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases

Tangerine World MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 15% cash back on the first $1,000 in spending on all purchases or up to 2 months (apply before November 30, 2021)
  • Earn 2% cash back on choice of 2 categories (3rd choice if you deposit the cash back into your Tangerine Savings Account)
  • Earn 0.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • Receive Boingo Wi-Fi

Cash Back Apps / Websites

Cash back Apps and websites have also stepped up their game. If you have any of these sites, you are probably used to seeing some high cash back bonus offers.

For example, we recently interviewed the co-founder of Ampli, who teamed up with RBC to offer a cash back App when making purchases. Basically, members can connect their Canadian debit and credit cards to Ampli, and when they go shopping as usual, they can earn even more cash back (on top of their credit card rewards).

Rakuten (formerly known as ebates) and GreatCanadianRebates are also a very popular shopping portal site that Canadians use to earn additional cash back.

Earn cash back with surveys

Survey programs such as Maru Voice Canada or Opinion Outpost in the US offer cash back as side hustles for completing surveys for them. Even though they may have been around for a while, survey programs have become an even more popular way of earning cash back.

Going Forward

Last year, we provided some cash back strategies as we noticed the trend shifting towards cash back. Feels like it has gone up another level in the past 12 months. Can companies continue to crank it up even more? What’s next? 20%+ cash back sign up bonuses?

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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!

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