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What is Great Canadian Rebates?
Great Canadian Rebates (GCR) is one of our favourite cash back websites here at The MasterMiles. GCR is a cash back shopping portal that rewards users with, you guessed it, cash back for their online shopping purchases. What makes GCR different than say, Ebates, is that they offer cashback for things other than just online shopping, like credit card applications. GCR rewards you with a certain amount of cashback for each approved credit card application. This is a well known way to reduce the net annual fee on cards such as the Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard and the Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard as they both receive $60 cash back. GCR has now updated some of their American Express cash back offerings but are they worth applying through or are there better ways to apply?
American Express Cash Back from Great Canadian Rebates
As mentioned above, American Express has a referral program; however, over the years the referral bonuses have decreased and we’ve seen GCR increase their bonuses, so sometimes it’s not worth using a referral and it’s better to just receive cashback instead. Here are the current offers:
American Express Gold: $50 cash back
American Express Business Gold: $75 cash back
American Express Business Platinum: $75 cash back
American Express Cobalt: $75 cash back
Marriott Bonvoy American Express: $20 cash back
Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express: $20 cash back
American Express AeroplanPlus: $30 cash back
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold: $50 cash back
SimplyCash Card from American Express: $30 cash back
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express: $50 cash back
Scotiabank Gold from American Express: $80 cash back (only until July 31)
Scotiabank Platinum from American Express: $80 cash back (only until July 31)
Which Great Canadian Rebates Offer Is A Good Deal?
American Express is unique in that they offer a referral program for card applications. Those who apply through a referral link often receive an increased welcome bonus and those who refer someone else receive a bonus as well. For certain professions or groups of people, American Express also has special offers available. For instance, Perkopolis members usually have access to increased offers or waived annual fees. If, like all of us here at The MasterMiles, you’re not a special member and you only have what is publicly available to choose from, we have to decide what is and isn’t worth it.
The American Express Gold card is not worth applying for through GCR because there are other ways to apply and have the annual fee waived instead. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will share that with you. Through GCR, you will still have to pay the annual fee of $150 and only receive a $50 rebate, leaving you at -$100. Pass.
The American Express Business Gold card is not worth applying for through GCR because you only get a 30,000 point welcome bonus. If you apply through a referral link you will get a 40,000 point welcome bonus. Even if we value 10,000 points at its bare minimum of 1 cent per point that's still $100 in value vs $75 cash back. Pass again.
The American Express Business Platinum is not worth applying for through GCR because you only get a 40,000 point welcome bonus. If you apply through a referral link you'll get 75,000 welcome points. If we use our minimum valuation from above that's $350 in value more than GCR offer. Hard pass.
The American Express Cobalt Card is worth applying for through GCR. GCR’s offer is really great here because you get everything the same as you would if you used a referral link or applied directly through American Express’ website, but you're getting $75 cash back on top of all that. Great deal!
The Marriott Bonvoy American Express and Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express cards are almost always worth applying for through GCR, except in one situation, self referral. I would much rather refer myself to one of these cards than apply through GCR because I can earn 10,000 Bonvoy points for the referral and 51,000 points instead of 50,000 points as a welcome bonus. Admittedly, the 1,000 is almost negligible, but the 10,000 Bonvoy points are significant and can be worth over $100 in value. Thus, if you are self-referring to one of these cards or using a partner’s referral link, go that route. If you’re just applying for the first time, go through GCR. This one depends on your individual situation.
The Scotiabank American Express cards are unable to earn referral bonuses as they’re issued by Scotiabank and not directly from American Express so it’s always a good idea to apply through GCR for those cards.
Other cards that aren’t worth applying for, not necessarily because GCR doesn’t have a good offer, but because alternative cards offer better bonuses are the SimplyCash and the AeroplanPlus. If cash back is your thing, look into the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite which has cash back up to 10% for the first 3 months up to $2,000 spend . If you’re looking for Aeroplan points, the AeroplanPlus isn’t the card for you. When comparing the annual fees to the Aeroplan bonus points, you are better off applying for the American Express Gold, Business Gold, Platinum, or Business Platinum and then transferring those points over to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio.
Great Canadian Rebates American Express Offers Bottom Line
For the most part, the new GCR offers aren’t that great. It’s hard for GCR to compete with point collectors when the bonuses are 5 figures or more because it’s not financially smart of them to offer 3 figure cashback bonuses. The American Express Cobalt offer, however, is really good for those just starting with the card and those looking to get it again. The Marriott Bonvoy offers are okay for certain people, but not for others. Personally, I always self-refer and keep one Marriott Bonvoy card open consistently for the annual free night perk. The Scotiabank offers are really good and if those cards are attractive to you it’s a no brainer. While we’re happy to see GCR increase their bonuses, most of them don’t make sense for us points collectors.
Kyle took his first flight at the age of 7 and that feeling of taking off captured his love of flying instantly. Now that he has a wife and three sons, he wants to share that same feeling with his kids as much as possible. His award travel experience is slowly changing from luxury travel with the wife to getting his family travelling as much as possible.