Chosing a Credit Card Rewards Program

I’m grown up now. Despite how I look, feel and act; I am. I have finished uni, got a respectable full-time job, and hell I even have a LinkedIn profile which is like Facebook for grown-ups. And part of being a grown-up is owning a credit card. Everyone has heard of their friend’s uncle’s dentist who got a huge around-the-world trip paid for from his credit card points. It seems like they get awesome rewards just for having a credit card. If only it were that simple. I took in onto myself to compare the major New Zealand credit card providers to work out, which card would give me the greatest return in rewards based on an estimated annual spend. (Sounds like another crappy episode of Target.)

And so I started Excel (judge me how you like, MS Office is still better at spreadsheeting than anything else I’ve used) and began entering data and formulas. My preference was to get a card with a reward scheme I was already a member of eg: FlyBuys or Airpoints, of which there are plenty, but straight cash back (National Bank) works for me too. Then using these as a filter basing my decision on the one with the greatest reward. And when I was done, I was totally surprised at how little the return really was. Of course most of the credit cards have additional benefits, like travel insurance etc, which aren’t as easy to compare, but this still gave a rough indication of what gave the best return.

And then I thought, why not share this? So I have made an online version, see it here: Credit Card Rewards Calculator.

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