Let me guess…
One of your favourite things about credit cards these days are the perks.
If I guessed correctly, you’re not alone. And as most credit cards now offer either low rates or juicy rewards, competition has become fierce, putting a higher expectation on issuers to offer killer bonuses and perks with their cards.
1% cash back won’t cut it anymore. Neither will an annual fee waiver. Gone are the days where credit card companies were the only ones benefiting from their relationship with the consumer.
Now, the consumer gets to cash in too, and if you use your card wisely by paying it back each month and avoiding incurring interest, you can get some amazing perks completely free.
So what are some of the most surprising perks on the Canadian credit card market right now? Here are six:
1. Get Killer Deals on Flights
Perhaps one of the best credit card perks for those of us who love to travel is the annual companion ticket.
As more and more travel cards came on the scene, the market became saturated with cards that offered points that could be used for flights and hotels.
However, a couple of credit card companies paired up with airlines to blow the competition out of the water with a bonus that the asipiring traveller just can’t refuse:
An annual companion ticket at a rock bottom price.
This means that if you book a flight with these carriers and are a cardholder of the program, you can get a second ticket for super cheap.
As cheap as $99.
Westjet RBC World Elite Mastercard offers the companion fare on the same itinerary as the traveller for just $99, saving you hundreds of dollars on your next vacation anywhere Westjet flies. The first year as a cardholder is the most lucrative, as they currently offer a sign-up bonus of $250 Westjet dollars. Pair that with the companion fare and you can both fly for next to nothing.
Alaska Airlines also offers a great companion fare deal for any flight operated by Alaska Airlines if you are a cardholder of any of their programs. The companion fare, is a very low $121 USD, but it can fly you anywhere in North America, rount-trip, including Hawaii and Alaska!
Companion fares may just be the next big perk of the travel credit card industry as competition heats up for wallet share.
2. Protect Yourself with Price Protection
Have you ever purchased something at a store and then just a few weeks later saw the product at a different store for far cheaper?
It’s enough to make your blood boil, especially when the store doesn’t have a price-matching guarantee after the fact.
That’s why one of the best credit card perks right now is price protection.
If you’re ever in that situation where you make a qualifying purchase with either of these cards and within 60 days discover the same product advertised in Canada for less money you’ll get a refund on the difference. Not only that, but the limit on the price protection is high – you can get a refund for up to $500 per purchase with a maximum of $1,000 per card account per year.
This takes the risk out of shopping – especially around the holidays when the prices increase only to drop after Boxing Day.
3. Be Treated like Royalty at Some of the Country’s Top Events
Canada hosts some fun events.
The Calgary Stampede, Major League Soccer, CHL games, marathons and races…
But the problem with some of these events which scares people away from attending is the long lines, high cost of attendance and being overlooked for the fun bonuses and upgrades that are exclusive only to VIPs members and performers.
Enter BMO Power of Blue.
With BMO Power of Blue, any BMO customer is treated like royalty at BMO sponsored events, taking the downside of the events right out of the equation.
Here are some of the coolest perks you get as a BMO customer at BMO sponsored events:
- VIP entry to the Grandstand at the Calgary Stampede for all rodeo events
- Discounts at the Stampede Stores at the Calgary Stampede
- A free chair massage at the BMO Vancouver Marathon – perfect for those sore muscles
- A discount on trolley rides at the BMO Vancouver Marathon
- Entries to vacation sweepstakes and contests to win gift cards
- Exclusive entrance to the Montreal Impact, Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps FC
These are just some of the perks enjoyed by BMO cardholders at BMO sponsored events.
You’re dreaming about that chair massage right now, aren’t you?
4. Being Entered to Win Exclusive Sweepstakes
I don’t know about you, but I love giveaways.
Except I don’t love that I rarely win them. And the problem with most giveaways seems to be that you don’t have enough chances to enter.
The Harley-Davidson Quarterly Sweepstakes that comes with the Harley-Davidson MasterCard fixes that problem, entering you to win a brand new Harley-Davidson motorcycle with each and every purchase you make with your H-D MasterCard.
If you use your credit card for every small purchase you make, that means that you could be entered to win multiple times per day, greatly increasing your odds.
Think about it: let’s say you made an average of 3 purchases per day on your MasterCard. Over the length of the sweepstakes (3 months), that means you’d have entered the sweepstakes 270 times!
Over the course of a year, that’s 1080 entries into the sweepstakes to win a brand new motorcycle.
Since you’re only competing against other cardholders, that bumps your chances up significantly. Can you picture yourself on a new Harley?
5. Nurture Your Super-Fan Side
Whether you love football or prefer hockey, there’s a Canadian credit card with an awesome perk for you.
If you prefer the colder of the two and are a Maple Leafs fan, the Leafs MBNA Rewards Platinum-Plus MasterCard provides you with some great perks, including the ability to use your points to get a spot in the annual Maple Leaf Golf Tournament.
You can also redeem your points for official signed jerseys, and other official Leafs merchandise.
If hockey isn’t your cup of tea and you prefer football, there’s a card with a great perk for you, too:
This card allows you not only to redeem your points to attend the Grey Cup, including travel and accommodation, but you also score VIP access to the CFL Stadium, a guided tour of the CFL stadium, access to the sidelines during the pre-game warm up, and tickets to the game.
See? Credit card perks extend to sports fans, too.
6. Protect That One Thing You Can’t Go Without
If you’re a student, you know what I mean.
There’s one thing you can’t live without. When you are away from it, something feels wrong. And it helps you organize your entire life…
Of course, that one thing is your phone.
That’s why mobile device insurance, offered by the Visa Desjardins Student Card made it on this list of top perks.
Next time your device is lost or stolen and you feel as if a piece of you is missing, you’re covered if you have this card.
Another cool bonus about this card is that you can personalize it by choosing whichever picture you want to go on the front of the card.
The phone coverage really makes this perk unique (and gives you peace of mind).
Cash In on The Best Perks Offered by Canadian Credit Cards
Credit card companies offer some cool perks, and as a consumer, there’s no better time to cash in.
With so many options on the market, there’s no reason for you to settle for a card that doesn’t serve you as the consumer.
So find that perfect card for you – whether you’re a sports fan, an event junkie, a travel buff, or just like an extra layer of protection – and start reaping the benefits.