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The Home Trust Preferred Visa Review

home trust preferred visaHome Trust credit cards are known for providing financial flexibility for potential cardholders. The Preferred Visa is no exception, providing limitless cash back at a 1% rate. The Visa is also inexpensive to own, as cardholders pay no annual fee.

 

At a Glance:

  • Easy application process
  • 0% foreign transaction fee
  • $0 annual fee
  • 1% cash back with no limits on maximum rewards
  • Free roadside assistance membership program
  • Purchase protection
  • Rental car collision and damage insurance

The Preferred Visa hides a perk that is not heavily advertised: cardholders are not charged any transaction fees when making purchases in a foreign currency, while other credit cards charge an average 2.5%. This puts it in exclusive company with few other Canadian cards, including the Rogers MasterCard. Customers will also receive protection for their new purchases as well as their rental vehicles. Should a cardholder experience car trouble, they will appreciate Home Trust’s Preferred Visa roadside assistance program for free.

Why We Like It

  1. No Foreign Fees: Many cards charge a 2.5% fee for every purchase made in a foreign currency, making purchases abroad very expensive. There are few issuers who exempt cardholders from these fees, but the Home Trust Preferred Visa terms and conditions make this benefit explicitly clear.
  2. No Annual Fee: With similar benefits, there are some competitors who might charge customers up to $30 per year just for the privilege of using their card. Not Home Trust, which makes their Preferred Visa available for free.
  3. No Caps on Cash: Cardholders are able to accumulate as much cash back as they like with no ceiling.
  4. Roadside Assistance: Whether in your own car or a rental car, Home Trust’s roadside assistance program will help you out of a bind like a flat tire or an engine problem. This is a great value, as similar memberships to plans like those from CAA cost upwards of $75 per year.
  5. Protect Your Purchases: Any product, even big-ticket items like expensive electronics are covered against damage if they were purchased with the Home Trust Preferred card. This will be a readily appreciated benefit in unlucky circumstances.
  6. Rental Car Protection: It’s important to protect the car that you rent while on a vacation or business trip. In the case of an accident or damage to the vehicle, it quickly gets expensive, and having a card like the Home Trust Preferred Visa will help avoid those costs with collision and damage insurance.

Is It Worth It?

It is not difficult to determine if the Home Trust Preferred card is worth it, and prompts us to ask, “worth what?” The card has few downsides and imposes no unwarranted charges on its owners at all, either annually or in foreign conversion fees. Assuming one pays their bill on time, the single benefit of 1% cash back outweighs all else.

7 comments

  1. I found a downside to this card. As with many things in life The Home Trust Preferred Visa is not available to residents in Quebec.

  2. The devil may be in the details.

    How does Visa International set its exchange rate?

    For instance, if the “wholesale rate” is C$1.00 = US$0.80 a bank might charge C$1.012 to sell you US$1.00 and buy US$1.00 from you for C$0.99.

    I wonder how big the spread is between Visa International’s buy and sell rate.

    • Hi Gordon, thanks for getting in touch.

      You’re right, the lack of transparency in how issuers determine rates could mean that they profit slightly from the exchange of different currencies. However, we cannot confirm this, as our relationship with Visa is far removed from those with this kind of insider knowledge. If you’re curious, you could try calling customer service and asking about it.

      GreedyRates Staff

  3. You say:

    “The Preferred Visa is no exception, approving applicants as long as they meet their provincial age of majority and are not in bankruptcy.”

    It should noted that HomeTrust DOES have underwriting criteria and some folks online report being denied due to too many cards or previous delinquency.

    The big deal with HomeTrust (who are traditionally a sub-prime lender) is that they adjudicate the underwriting of everything they do manually. This prevents gaming the system and ‘looks beyond the score’.

    Although I use it very little – I’m happy to carry it and grateful to HomeTrust for their products and their customer service.

    Some cons:

    -No way to change PIN (literally needs a new card being issued)
    -While statements are available online in pdf (better than Chase!) – you can’t turn off the snail mail copy of the statement.

    • Thats what is holding me back from applying to this card, the paper statements!

      i hate paper statements especially because i am usually gone for 3-4 months a year away. At the moment I have a Fido Mastercard which gives me 1.5% and no FX trasacation fee but it doesn’t come with added benefits like Car Damage Insurance and Purchase protection as Home Trust preferred Visa. Its still a decent card to have… I might get it or not depending on how bad i need the damage insurance and roadside assist.

  4. Home Trust Visa Card

    “Purchases or Cash Advances in a foreign currency will be converted into Canadian dollars at the exchange rate set by Visa International in effect on the day the transaction is posted to the Account, plus a 2% currency conversion charge.”

    Is this not the same as the foreign transaction fee?

    • Hey Amalia! Thanks for posting your comment. Unfortunately, you may be looking at the wrong page or link. Try navigating to this page: http://go.hometrust.ca/preferred-visa-ca

      Click on the Apply Now button and read the box entitled ‘Foreign Currency Conversion’, you’ll see this: “Purchases or Cash Advances in a foreign currency will be converted into Canadian dollars at the exchange rate set by Visa International in effect on the day the transaction is posted to the Account, plus a 0% currency conversion charge.”

      We’re not sure where you see 2%, but we assure you that the Home Trust Preferred does not charge foreign transaction fees. Thanks for coming to us to double check!

      GreedyRates Staff

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