Hidden Credit Card Perks That Most Canadians Don’t Know About
When hunting around for credit cards, consumers tend to focus on the cards’ most conspicuous features: sign-up bonuses, annual fees, interest rates, rewards/cash back rates, etc. But some issuers offer lower-key but equally valuable benefits to cardholders—benefits that go unnoticed because the details are buried in the card’s documentation.
May I take this opportunity to remind you that sometimes it’s what’s inside (the fine print) that counts?
Oenophiles will appreciate Visa Infinite’s Wine Wonders program, which offers free wine tastings and private tours at over 60 wineries across Ontario and British Columbia (just be sure to book ahead at the winery). Some wineries also offer discounts of 10% on wine or merchandise purchases.
Foodies will also love the Infinite Dining Series, which makes a variety of out-of-this-world dining opportunities available for cardholders to purchase. Recent extravaganzas include a meal with wine pairings created by master sommeliers at Canada’s famed Auberge du Pommier or the chance to indulge in French and Italian cuisine with chef Riccardo Bertolino at Montreal’s Maison Boulud restaurant. You can find current offers at Visainfinite.ca.
The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite also comes with an array of luxury hotel privileges at over 900 bespoke hotels across the globe, like Peninsula, Park Hyatt and Shangri-La. Booking a hotel stay with your card at www.visainfiniteluxuryhotels.ca entitles you to numerous benefits, including a best rate guarantee, free WiFi, room upgrades and free breakfast. Hotels will occasionally even offer room discounts or a third night free bonus.
You can learn more details about the card by reading our complete Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite review.
As an Amex card, SPG comes with the Front of the Line program, which offers guests presale tickets to shows, concerts and theatre productions. Access to early tickets is especially useful for popular musicals or concerts (e.g. Lorde or The Eagles), where tickets for the general public sell out almost immediately.
Front of the Line also lets cardmembers enjoy additional special offers ranging from advance movie screenings to weekend travel packages and shopping deals. You can find upcoming offers here.
Less well-known than Front of the Line but just as enticing is SPG’s Moments program. It offers special events that cardholders can either buy or bid on with SPG points. Events span a wide spectrum of exclusive experiences like a private dinner with a Michelin-starred chef, VIP seating at concerts and sporting events or special travel packages. You can even bid on the chance to get special seating at a Toronto Maple Leafs hockey game (which often sell out) and a visit to the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto. Check out the latest SPG Moments offerings here.
You can learn more details about the card by reading our complete Starwood Preferred Guest Card review.
The insurance offerings of the BMO World Elite Mastercard are generally considered to be top-of-class among premium cards in Canada. The card’s most notable insurance coverage is its Total Travel and Medical Protection, which provides travellers with up to 2 million dollars worth of out-of-province / out-of-country emergency medical protection. It covers trips up to 21 days long—among the longest timespans offered for Canadian credit cards—for unlimited trips a year.
The card also features highly impressive baggage and personal effects coverage. While most credit cards’ insurance benefits only cover loss of items that occurs while on your flight to and from your destination, BMO’s World Elite Mastercard goes above and beyond this standard by covering the loss of items during the entire trip.
You can learn more details about the card by reading our complete BMO World Elite Mastercard review.
Much like BMO’s World Elite Mastercard, the Scotia Gold Amex has a stellar package of travel, rental and insurance perks. I’ll start by looking at its hotel/motel burglary insurance: it covers travellers ‘only’ up to only $1 million in emergency medical coverage (as compared to BMO World Elite Mastercard’s $2 million), but it does offer one of the longest periods of uninterrupted coverage: a whopping 25 days!
Its second standout feature? Price protection (and no, I don’t mean purchase protection, which comes standard on premium Canadian credit cards). Whereas purchase protection reimburses you for a lost or stolen item, price protection actually protects you against price drops within a two-month period for items you charge to the card. For example, if you buy a laptop for $500 and you see the same item offered for $400 within a 60-day period after your purchase, the Scotiabank Gold American Express will refund you the difference up to $100 per item to a max of $500 per calendar year. It should be noted that this is a common bonus with premium US credit cards but is quite rare in the Canadian market.
You can learn more details about the card by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express Card review.
Cardholders receive a Deluxe TD Auto Club membership at no extra cost. The membership includes 24-hour, 7-day-a-week roadside assistance anywhere in Canada and the continental US. It covers issues like a service call to replace a tire, gas delivery or recharging a dead battery. The auto club also features lock-out service and towing up to 200 kilometres.
Additional automotive benefits include auto rental collision/loss damage insurance for rental cars and 10% off (in Canada and the US) and 5% off (internationally) the base rate of qualifying car rentals at Avis and Budget.
You can learn more details about the card by reading our complete TD Cash Back Visa Infinite review.
The SimplyCash has a referral program that gives cardholders a cashback bonus of $100 for each approved applicant referral—up to an annual maximum of 15 referrals/$1,500.
Another notable feature is the card’s balance transfer option, which has an introductory interest rate of 1.99% for the first 6 months. You’re allowed to transfer 50% of your credit limit to a max of $7,500, and better yet, the card doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee for the offer (unusual among balance transfer cards).
You can learn more details about the card by reading our complete SimplyCash Card from American Express review.