Rightly or wrongly, credit cards have taken their lumps as the Midas of consumerism (the story of Midas getting too close to the sun, not the auto parts retailer). Credit cards are tempting, but get too close and you may get burnt.
But for all the temptations and dangers credit cards present, more of us are using them than ever before, because of their convenience and rewards.
Here’s a few good reasons we think credit cards are being used by more Canadian than ever before, and rightfully so.
1. Zero liability protection
Visa, MasterCard and Amex all offer zero liability for any unauthorized purchases on your credit cards. So if there’s a purchase on your card you did not make, a merchant overcharges you, or does not ship what you paid for, your credit card provider will be responsible, not you. According to Mastercard “zero liability extends to any purchase you make using your credit card, be it in a store, by mail, phone, or on the web.” Why ever use cash again?
2. Interest free lending
The right credit cards offer the cheapest way to borrow money. You can use credit cards to consolidate and pay down existing credit card debt with a 0% balance transfer, or to borrow a little more for a new purchase with a low interest credit card. Either way, find the right low interest credit card for you with our advanced credit card matching and ranking engine.
3. Earn free money
Canada is flush full of rewards credit cards. You can earn everything from cash, points or miles and redeem for anything from a trip to Florida to a CD from Flo Rida. Why even consider shopping with debit or cash, when for the same effort you could earn cash back, rewards or miles free?
4. Free protection
So many of us pay for out-of-country medial insurance, trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage, accidental death, car rental and extended warranty insurance, costing us $100’s every year. Many credit cards have negotiated robust and free insurance packages on your behalf that come included with your credit card. These insurance benefits are worth more than the rewards many earn on their credit cards!
5. Build a strong credit history
A good credit score is essential to access cheap credit to purchase a home, car or other items you don’t pay up front for. Even some employers will now check your credit history as a measure of your responsibility and or risk. Using a credit card responsibly and making your payments on time are the best ways to establish, build and maintain an excellent credit score, especially when you’re just starting out.
6. Cheap foreign exchange
Don’t get stuck buying U.S. dollars at your retail bank branch or at the foreign exchange booth in airports and hotels.Use the right credit card for non-Canadian purchases or abroad and you may get the cheapest possible foreign exchange rate with absolutely no commission! Besides, why risk bringing cash with you when you travel, when you cant get the cheapest exchange rate and the zero liability protection for all your foreign purchases!
7. No other payment options
Sometimes you simply can’t make a purchase with cash, like online. Other times, debit just won’t work, like when renting a car, which requires a deposit larger than the maximum purchase allowable on your debit card. Regardless of the reasons, it’s important to have a credit card on hand in the event cash or debit is not accepted. In fact, we would even suggest having two credit cards on hand (they can both be no fee, if they’re back-up cards) in case one is declined.
How do you choose the best credit card?
You can save or earn $100’s, even $1,000’s with the right credit card. To find the best Canadian credit card for you, find the one that either maximizes your rewards or provides you with the lowest interest rate, given your credit card usage. Just make sure you meet the credit criteria and minimum income requirements of the card.
That’s what makes our credit card comparison tool unique in Canada. For the first time you have a resource to help you determine how much money you can save or earn from any given credit card in seconds and it’s completely free and impartial!