For those that have followed my blog for a while, you’ll know that I’m a HUGE fan of cashback sites. One of my favourites is Great Canadian Rebates because they’re Canadian and because I know that when I’ve had issues with missing cashback in the past, they were resolved immediately so I know that my efforts will result in cash back in my pocket.

If you don’t know what a cashback site is or how to use one, I would encourage you to check out my previous post about them.

With cashback sites, you can pretty much rely on them to get you a great rebate during Black Friday and Boxing Day/Week. In fact, I have often held off on making big purchases like a new laptop until these times. I remember that during Black Friday 3 years ago, Dell had 10% cashback ON TOP of the ridiculous sale prices that you often see on Black Friday. I made my purchase of a Dell XPS13 and saved a ridiculous amount of money. If memory serves, the configuration of my laptop was close to $1,900 and on Black Friday it was on sale for $1,199 + taxes and fees, so the total was $1,282.49. That was an amazing deal but I also got back an additional $128.25!!!

I don’t know about you but it really makes me happy knowing that I have an edge over the common consumer.

A New Phenomenon

More recently, retailers and vendors have been seeing the benefit of advertising through cashback sites and have been offering “cashback boosts” to encourage buying behaviours.

These “cashback boosts” can be quite lucrative if you are paying attention. There are two pretty dang good ones out there at the moment and they’re both credit cards that Travel Hackers like you and I covet.

American Express Cobalt Cashback Boost

American Express Cobalt

Normally, GCR offers $50 cashback on approved cards but from now until December 31st, 2019, they are offering $75, which is a 50% improvement on the normal offer.

With the Cobalt card, you only pay $10 per month, rather than the normal $120/year that most other cards charge. This means that if you applied for the card, got approved, got the cashback, and then cancelled your card, you theoretically be ahead by $65.

I personally love the card so I wouldn’t cancel it but that’s just me.

The 5x Membership Reward Select points at grocery and restaurants is well worth keeping the card for. For those of you that are trying to get into and understand Manufactured Spend (MS), I can give you a very strong HINT that the Cobalt card is a MUST HAVE in your wallet.

I haven’t 100% decided yet but I think it might be time to start sharing some MS secrets through the blog.

Whether it be organically or via Manufactured Spend, the Cobalt card is a must-have so why not pocket some additional cashback?

Scotiabank Gold American Express Cashback Boost

Scotiabank Gold AMEX

This card has a little more urgency than the Cobalt card because the cashback boost is so significant, it has a shorter fuse. From now until October 9, 2019, you will earn $100 cashback for an approved card.

The card itself carries a $120 annual fee, so in essence, you will be paying $20 for the card in the first year. That’s a pretty damned good deal because you can earn up 30,000 (worth $300 in travel) Scotia Rewards points in that first year. The 30,000 points are broken into two separate bonuses:

  1. Earn 25,000 Scotia Reward points when you spend $1,000 or more in the first 3 months from account opening.
  2. Earn an additional 5,000 Scotia Reward points when you spend $10,000 in the first year from card opening.

I would say that it’s pretty easy to make $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months but the additional $9,000 in a year is a bit tougher, especially if you don’t plan on making this your “top of wallet” card.

If we assume that you make it over the $1,000 in 3 months hurdle, that means you would have earned 25,000 points ($250 in travel) for $20, giving you a very strong return on investment.

Additionally, the card itself offers some pretty good benefits as well.

Similar to the Cobalt card, you earn 5x points at grocery, restaurants, fast food, food delivery, and some drinking establishments. You also earn 3x points for streaming services, gas, transit, and rideshare services.

The card also offers no foreign currency exchange, which is great for travel and can save you handsomely as most credit cards charge a 2.5% premium for foreign currency transactions.

I’ve had the Scotiabank Gold card in the past and at the time, the offering was a little on the vanilla side but with the cashback offer of a $100, it’s almost a no brainer. While I’m not a huge fan of Scotiabank’s credit card offerings, this is a card I’ll be getting.


Both the American Express Cobalt and the Scotiabank Gold American Express provide very real value in their card products but by combining the value with cashback sites like Great Canadian Rebates, you can really get amazing value. These offers are time-sensitive so if you were ever on the fence on either of these cards, now is the time to act.

Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


  1. Could you give a very general idea, please, without divulging techniques (yet) what kind of points you get from manufactured spend, and what the cost per point is, and how scalable it is. Please specifically exclude sign up bonuses and anything limited to ten thousand points . Thank you

  2. You were able to sign up for the scotia gold card and get 150,000 drop points =$150 in gift cards, although not sure if the promo is still running, I’ve heard it’s come and gone in last few weeks. If you did happen to sign up for drop and get the offer it was offset the annual fee and put $30 in your pocket.

  3. Welcome back Jayce! Can you apply for multiple products under with one credit hit? I see GCR has the Passport for example ($139 less $50 GCR) for 25000 Scotia reward points. Also wondering if it would be possible to pool the Scotia reward points from two cards

  4. ‘I haven’t 100% decided yet but I think it might be time to start sharing some MS secrets through the blog.’

    I certainly hope that you are VERY picky with what you decide to share. You have been in this game long enough to know that once a method becomes too popular, that’s the end of it.

    Yes, current methods are discussed in a few platforms, but blogs like yours are easily found by Google and anyone else looking for more info.

    Can’t tell you not to share, but to really consider what you are going to share for the sake of getting more followers.

    • Hi Andrew,

      Thanks for your comment and concern. If you’ve read my blog in the past you’ll know that I have been very choosey on what I share and you should expect that diligence to be the same. I’m not likely to share an exact step-by-step method on MS but rather, give some clues to those that are willing to invest the time and effort to discover it for themselves. Cheers


  5. Churned the Alaska World Elite Master Card a couple of time. 3rd time I was denied the rebate. The reason give to me was, “The rebate is for first time cardholders”. Has this been always the case?

    • I’ve heard of this happening before but it’s a YMMV type situation. I’ve always received the rebate personally. You could always start a new account for any new MBNA card of you want to be safe. Cheers



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