GreedyRates en-us GreedyRates Has Chase Completely Withdrawn Its Credit Cards from Canada? Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:59:40 -0400
We contacted Chase’s American media rep to see if she could clarify the situation for Chase’s existing Canadian cardholders, but she seemed unaware that Chase rewards had ever had operations in Canada of any kind.

Official statement or no, it seems we can safely assume that Chase is shutting down its Canadian credit card portfolio. So, will there be fallbacks for current cardholders?

What Does This Mean for Recent Applicants Existing Cardholders?

For those of you who don’t remember or aren’t aware of the Chase Marriott Rewards card (R.I.P.), here’s a quick rundown of what it was all about and why Canadians are up in arms over losing out on its benefits:

The Marriott credit card came with a tremendous welcome bonus. New members got 30,000 points just for using their cards once without any minimum spending. That’s about equal to a four-night stay in a tier 1 hotel!
Absolutely no foreign transaction fees; a major boost for travelers and international shoppers.
Yearly free night anniversary present
Annual fee waived for the first year
Elite status
5 points for every $1 spent at Marriott locations, 2 points at select locations, and 1 point everywhere else

As you can see, that was a pretty juicy offer, and if Chase does end up abruptly cancelling all of its Canadian accounts, card swipers everywhere will be anxious to fill the void. Here are some alternatives to the Chase credit card that offer similar benefits:

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card (SPG)

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card is a good starting replacement for the Marriott Rewards card. It offers great incentives for travelers including:

25,000 points as a welcome bonus for new members upon purchase. This gives you two free nights in a category 5 hotel.
2 points received for every $1 spent at participating locations and 1 point for everything else
An annual free night upon hitting the $40,000 spend mark
Upgrade to the Gold status when you hit the $30,000 annual spending mark
10,000 points for referring a friend

Some of these benefits aren’t as exciting as the Marriott card, while others outshine it by a lot.

MBNA’s Best Western Rewards Mastercard

MBNA’s Best Western Rewards Mastercard also has some great benefits that make it a hot pick for Canadians. Sign up and receive:

No annual fee, ever!
5 points for every $1 spent at Best Westerns and 1 point everywhere else
20,000 in welcome bonus points just for signing up and making any purchase. We’re talking a package of Rolos. A package of Rolos is enough to stay totally free overnight at the tier 3 hotel of your choice (or longer for lower tier accommodations).
Upgrade to Gold status

These perks, in addition to a super-low balance transfer rate of 1.99% for the first 10 months, will make a transition over to the MBNA card very profitable.

Rogers Platinum Mastercard

The Rogers Platinum Mastercard is a no-fee card with a 1.75% flat cash back rate. That’s a tremendous acceleration from the rest of the competition that averages around the 0.25% range. Foreign transaction fees are subsidized via a 4% cash back rate on purchases made abroad, and new cardholders are greeted with a $25 welcome bonus.

FIDO Mastercard

Rogers FIDO Mastercard provides a slight twist on its Platinum card:

$50 cash back welcome bonus (rather than $25)
5% cash back (rather than 1.75%)
No annual fee
4% cash back on foreign purchases
No caps or limitations on how much cash back you can earn

Will Amex Scoop Its Own Marriott Partnership?

We can’t help but wonder if American Express will capitalize on this opportunity to grab many of Chase’s forsaken Canadian cardholders, who rely on the hotel-credit card partnership for major savings on travel expenses. This is more than a random guess given Amex’s latest business dealings, which appointed the credit card company as the sole distributor of Hilton cards starting in January.

And let’s not forget that last year American Express launched the Starwood Preferred Guest card after Starwood was bought by Marriott. So it’s a seemingly natural move for Amex to scoop up the vacant Marriott partnership in Canada.

Even if Chase decides to pull the plug on Canadian account holders, Canadians aren’t up the creek without a paddle. There are plenty of great card options out there.]]>
The BMO SPC Cash Back Mastercard Review Thu, 14 Sep 2017 11:00:41 -0400
A solid 1% comes from everything charged to the BMO SPC Cash Back Mastercard, quickly amounting to significant savings for any cardholder.
At a Glance:

No annual fee
Card intended primarily for students
Chance to win a year of free tuition and books (seriously)
$60 cash bonus promotion
1% cash back on all purchases, no limits
Student discount of 10% - 15% at eligible stores
Extended warranty and protection for purchases
Access to BMO Extra Deals catalogue

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]

Aside from the flexibility, there are a lot of other reasons to love the SPC Cash Back card. For no annual fee, new applicants also get access to a promotion that puts $60 directly into their account with a single initial purchase. This can be as small as a pack of gum or as large as a new television, and cardholders will appreciate that the latter variety of major purchases are covered by the card’s thorough insurance. New items are protected with 90 days of coverage for damage and theft, and purchases can have their warranties extended by up to one additional year.

Finally, because this card is primarily for students, BMO has gathered a wide range of partners who will grant a discount of 10% to 15% for those cardholders who show their BMO SPC Cash Back Mastercard at the register. These locations include many places that students will appreciate, such as Applebee’s, Burger King, Church’s Chicken, Bath Body Works, Clinique, GNC and more.
Why We Like It:

Limited-Time Tuition and Books Contest: It’s easy to rack up a lot of debt while studying, the bulk of which often comes from tuition. BMO SPC Cash Back cardholders are eligible to win one year of tuition and books (up to C$10,000!), which can take a major burden off your shoulders. Students can enter the contest until October 31st, 2017.

No-Fee Card: The lack of an annual fee makes this card even more accessible to students, who usually need to save every extra cent they can. While cash back cards with similar bonuses sometimes cost as much as $50 per year, BMO’s decision to eliminate the annual fee reflects a strong understanding of their customer base.

Introductory Promotion: For a limited time, new cardholders have access to a cash back promotion from BMO that puts money directly into the cardholder’s account. With just a single initial purchase, cardholders earn a $60 credit. This purchase can be as negligible as a piece of candy, and earns as much cash back as would come from $6,000 of regular spending.

No-Limit Cash Back: There are no restrictions on which purchases earn cash back, or where cash back purchases can be applied. Cash accumulates quickly and easily for cardholders wherever they go, representing an effortless way to save over time.

Student Discounts: Many of Canada’s most frequented stores, shops, outfitters and restaurants greet individuals holding the BMO SPC Cash Back Mastercard with open arms – and a significant discount. Places that students can appreciate, such as cheap eats, makeup shops, fashion brands and more, offer 10% to 15% off at the register.

Purchase Protections: There is nothing worse than buying a new computer or other kind of electronic and damaging it right after purchasing. Thankfully, the card extends existing product warranties by up to another year. What’s more, new items bought with the card enjoy 90 days of complete protection against damage and theft.

BMO Deals: Being a BMO cardholder grants some extra privileges, such as discounts on items in the BMO Extra Deals catalogue. These include fun events and activities,, and more.

Is It Worth It?
For any student that wants to increase their options when it comes to purchasing and saving, the BMO SPC Cash Back Mastercard is a great choice. Its freedom from fees, extra protection for new purchases and substantial student discounts are just a bonus alongside an impressive cash back ecosystem, which has no limits whatsoever. For a credit card newcomer interested in utilizing rewards credit cards, there are few reasons not to add this excellent option to one’s wallet or purse.

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]]]>
My Search for the Best 0% Balance Transfer Credit Cards in Canada Thu, 14 Sep 2017 10:51:42 -0400
Anyone struggling under the weight of high credit card interest rates needs to learn about balance transfer credit cards. A balance transfer card allows you to transfer the full or partial balance from one card to another card. Why would anyone do this? Simple. If you have a high balance on a high-interest rate credit card, you'll want to switch that balance over to a more forgiving card with lower interest rates.

The catch is finding a card that offers really good balance transfer terms. Some Canadian credit cards charge a hefty transfer fee, eliminating the benefit of switching to the other card. So, that’s where my search began for the best 0% balance transfer credit cards that Canada has to offer. Here’s some quick data on three cards that I narrowed the list down to:

MBNA Platinum Plus® MasterCard® - Click to Apply 

Rating: 5/5

12 months, longest 0% APR in Canada
No annual fee
Cash transfers at 0%

[button color="red" size="medium" link="{{traffic_source}}adid={{adid}}adtitle={{adtitle}}publishername={{publishername}}sid={{sid}}sourcename={{sourcename}}vurtid={{vurtid}}linkindex=MSFT-PP-ApplyNowclick_id={{click_id}}externalid={{externalid}}" ]Apply Now[/button]
Best Western MasterCard® - Click to Apply 
Rating: 4.5/5

1.99% APR for 10 months
No annual fee
20,000 points signup bonus

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Scotiabank Value Visa Card - Click to Apply 
Rating: 4/5

1.99% APR for 6 months
Low rates after 6 months
Convenient payWave feature

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What I Was Really Searching For
Since I had substantial debt to transfer, I was really in the market for a card that offered me the longest 0% introductory APR period I could find. This way, I could avoid interest for as long as possible, saving me a lot of money. Additionally, I needed a card that wouldn’t pull my 0% APR rate if I was late on a payment.

It’s important to note that some credit cards offer no balance transfer fees, but only for a limited amount of time. If you don’t make the transfer in that time frame, you get charged a transfer fee. This wasn’t acceptable.
My Search Process - the Hunt Begins
I started my process online, combing the internet for the greatest balance transfer cards on the market. Once I had a list of possibilities, I carefully cross-examined each of their benefits and drawbacks. A neat spreadsheet was helpful for this stage. I had a column for each of these and plugged in the information as I got it for each credit card I researched.

Then, it was time to do a little math. While most balance transfer fees run anywhere between 3-5%, I had to consider if the lower interest a card was offering outweighed the initial balance transfer fee. Sometimes it did, and that’s where the calculator came in handy. If the balance transfer fee amount was significantly lower than the interest over time, it was a good balance transfer option. Remember, the balance transfer fee is a one-time payment, while interest comes out every month. Finally, I didn’t want a credit card that was going to tie my hands in terms of purchases. So, for example, a card with high foreign transaction fees was out.
Key Features I Looked At
While ongoing benefits such as cashback returns are great incentives, the most important features for me were:

Length of 0% Rate—As I mentioned, the main feature I considered was how long the cards were offering a 0% APR rate. The longer that period extended for, the higher a ranking the credit card got in my scoring.

Balance Transfer Fee—Additionally, I gave more serious attention to the credit cards that offered low or no balance transfer fees because I didn’t want a hefty fee cutting into my savings.

Ease of Use—Ease of use was another factor I considered. How easy is it to make the transfer? Is there an online form or automated system to make the process fast and easy? Or, is it going to be a drawn-out procedure getting my balance from my old card to the new one? This weighed in as well.

Annual Fees—The last feature I looked for was a low or no annual fee. Once again, if fees are eating up my savings margin, this card isn’t accomplishing my goal (to save money).
What’s on the Market?
Before I disclose my choice for the best 0% balance transfer card for my needs, I’ll share a couple horror stories I had to endure during my search:

One card was very forthcoming with customer service and information. I was about to sign up when I found out that the deal wasn’t applicable to Canadian residents.
Another one nearly cost me $5,000. I found out just in time that the balance transfer fee (a whopping 7%) would be applied if the transfer wasn’t made within the first 10 days of opening an account. It takes longer than that to get the paperwork cleared!

 Fortunately, I ultimately did find a few fantastic balance transfer cards that really made the hunt worthwhile. MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard was the most solid 0% offer I found in Canada, even with the comparatively low 1% transfer fee. There were also some other good options including the Scotiabank Value Visa, and, while not a 0% APR, I liked the free night’s stay in a hotel that comes with the Best Western MasterCard.
My Final Choice
In the end, I went with MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard for one simple reason: it had the features I was looking for without any of the drawbacks.

Of course, needs vary from user to user, and what’s important to me may not be as significant to you. Other factors—such as your interest in frequent flyer miles, need for travel insurance, or strength of your credit score—may factor in more heavily for you than my own criteria. So, anyone in search of their own ideal card should ask themselves before making a choice: ‘What qualities are most important to me personally in a balance transfer card?’ Your answers to that question will help you decide which is the top balance transfer card for you.]]>
The Home Trust Preferred Visa Review Tue, 12 Sep 2017 14:32:29 -0400 At a Glance:

Virtually all applicants are approved
0% foreign transaction fee
$0 annual fee
1% cash back with no limits on maximum rewards or where one can earn
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 conversion fee when making purchases in a foreign currency, while other credit cards charge an average 2.5%. This benefit makes it a unique contender among 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 efforts to enroll them in a roadside assistance program for free.
Why We Like It

Easy Approval: Home Trust does not ask much of its applicants, only that they be at least the age of majority and free from bankruptcy. The specific wording indicates that they will likely approve those who were previously discharged from bankruptcy and there is no minimum household income or credit score requirement listed either.

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.

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.

No Caps on Cash: Although 1% is not a comparatively enormous cash back rate, the benefit does apply to purchases made anywhere on anything. Cardholders will also be able to accumulate as much cash back as they like with no ceiling.

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.

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

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?
Those without the high household income or stellar credit score required for the best rewards cards will find excellent value in the Home Trust Preferred Visa. It provides a solid amount of purchasing and savings power while only asking cardholders to pay their monthly statement.

The card has few downsides and imposes no unwarranted charges on its owners at all, either annually or in foreign conversion/transaction fees.]]>
The American Express Essential Credit Card Review Tue, 12 Sep 2017 11:54:56 -0400
Fortunately, those who have had issues with this in the past can get a head start on their obligations with the American Express Essential credit card. Cardholders who transfer their balance from another card or account enjoy 6 months of paying just 1.99%, providing relief from high rates and the peace of mind to erase outstanding debts.
At a Glance

1.99% APR on balance transfers for the first 6 months
8.99% regular APR
No annual fee
Free supplementary cards
Buyer’s purchase protections
Easy eligibility
World-class service from American Express
Front of the Line event access

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]

A large outstanding balance on a credit card can be a stressful weight to carry, and after bearing this debt for a long time, high interest rates may make it difficult to finally pay off. Fortunately, those who have had issues with this in the past can get a head start on their obligations with the American Express Essential credit card. Cardholders who transfer their balance from another card or account enjoy 6 months of paying just 1.99%, providing relief from high rates and the peace of mind to erase outstanding debts.

While this benefit certainly is not unique among other issuers, competing cards rarely offer cardholders a low interest rate after this introductory period as well.
Why We Like It:

No Annual Fee: The lack of any annual fee on primary and supplementary cards represents savings of hundreds of dollars over time, as many similar cards charge up to $70 per year just for being a member. This benefit aligns well with the other money-saving functions inherent in the Essential card, providing a great solution for those individuals who want to put every dollar they save towards reducing their debt.

Dual-Rate Deal: The Essential card offers a special balance transfer rate of 1.99% for 6 months, but those who are not successful in reducing their balance to zero at the end of this introductory period can also access competitive rates after the promotion expires. After the promotion period, cardholders can enjoy a rate of 8.99% on their balance. Competing cards typically offer an APR around 20% after the promo period ends.

Purchase Protections: Buyers can rest assured that their expensive purchases made with the card receive extra protection. All warranties on items bought with the American Express Essential card receive an extension of up to a year, and new items are insured against damage or theft for 90 days after purchase.

Easy Eligibility: Often a low credit score or smaller household income will hold back the neediest individuals from gaining access to the tools that can help them most. But entry barriers to the American Express Essential card are relatively minimal. In order to qualify, applicants must be Canadian residents with an existing credit file, which indicates some history of taking out a loan or using a credit card. They also must be at or above their provincial or territorial age of majority, along with a minimum income of $15,000 per year.

AmEx Services: Members of American Express have an added advantage wherever they happen to be, in that many potentially lifesaving services are at their beck and call. Emergency card replacement, 24/7 customer service, fraud protection and prevention tools, along with $100,000 worth of travel accident insurance, help cardholders keep their cool in urgent circumstances.

Front of the Line: Receive priority status at the most exclusive events with American Express’ Front of the Line service, which grants cardholders access to a dashboard that lets them reserve spots and buy tickets for the year’s hottest upcoming events. Concerts, movies, restaurants and more apply.

Is It Worth It?
For those who are having difficulty paying off their remaining balance and want to take advantage of a worthwhile balance transfer deal, there are few better options than the one offered by American Express with their Essential credit card. A low promotional APR rate of 1.99% is followed by a low regular rate of 8.99%, giving cardholders a break from the high rates that are keeping them from resolving their debts. Alongside some valuable features from American Express, like extended warranties and other purchase assurances, a lack of any annual fee helps bolster the benefits for this card.

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5 Necessary Steps to Repair Your Credit After Bankruptcy Sun, 10 Sep 2017 11:25:00 -0400

1. Open a New Chequing and Savings Account
Opening new chequing and savings accounts can help recently-bankrupted individuals start off on the right foot, and begin sound, long-term financial planning. The right account(s) should minimize monthly banking fees and generate meaningful levels of interest on earnings.

A simple, practical chequing account that GreedyRates recommends is Scotiabank’s Basic Banking. It gives customers with nominal banking needs a way to pay bills automatically and engage in up to 12 teller transactions a month. Its monthly fee of $3.95 is low compared to other chequing account options.

Scotia has a practical savings account for post-bankruptcy customers, as well. The Momentum Plus Savings account incentivizes financial discipline while simultaneously building up savings. Interest rates between 0.7-1.6% are awarded to account-holders that refrain from withdrawals for 90, 180, 270 and 360-day periods.
2. Make a Habit of Paying All Bills on Time
Erasing debt through bankruptcy unfortunately won’t permanently stop bills from coming your way, and after filing for bankruptcy it becomes even more important to pay incoming bills promptly. By organizing and tracking all regular expenses like utilities, internet, and phone bills, customers can pay their obligations on time and rebuild credit. This will not reflect on a credit score immediately, but will gradually build a healthy credit history.
3. Get a Secured Credit Card
It’s estimated that bankruptcy can rip up to 240 points off credit scores, making it unrealistic to be approved for most regular, unsecured credit cards. But those who have recently filed for bankruptcy need to use credit cards in some form in order to rebuild credit, seemingly creating a Catch-22. Secured credit cards can be a godsend in this situation.

For a secured card issuer like Home Trust, weaker credit does not affect chances of approval. With the Secured Mastercard, cardholders can make a small deposit (min. $500) and obtain an equivalent credit limit. Responsible use (and repayment) within that credit limit is reported promptly to credit bureaus, repairing credit scores. The Home Trust Secured Visa Low-Rate card comes with a reasonable $59 annual fee and a 14.9% interest rate on purchases.
4. Make Affordable Purchases Only, No Exceptions
With access to credit cards and bank accounts, it might be tempting to fall into old habits. Splitting unnecessary or large purchases into multiple payments, using payday loans, or waiting until credit is maxed out before seeking help are risky financial practices. Use this fresh start as an opportunity to develop new, more responsible habits and to always keep them in mind when shopping.
5. Apply for New Credit Cards
After using a secured credit card, demonstrating new financial habits, and building up your credit score, the next step is to begin researching options for an unsecured card. When considering card options, keep in mind that the card issuers might have strict bankruptcy eligibility conditions, requiring card applicants to be bankruptcy-free for a certain number of years before approval. Not reading the fine print before applying for an unsecured card risks a denied application, which further hurts credit. However, take note that many modern lenders are surprisingly lenient with previous bankruptcies. American Express, for instance, previously required applicants to be bankruptcy-free for seven years prior to application. This policy has now been reduced to two years.

When applying for unsecured cards, focus on cards with low interest rates and annual fees, as well as flexibility for applicants on their road to financial recovery. We recommend the MBNA TrueLine MasterCard, which offers rates ranging from 5.99-14.99% (depending on your credit score) and no annual fee at all. Another excellent option is the Essential card from AmEx, with 8.99% interest and a balance transfer promotion for 1.99% over the first six months.
Surviving Bankruptcy
Those with a rocky financial history can wipe the slate clean by developing new financial habits, seeking out beneficial bank accounts, and accessing helpful tools like secured credit cards. While it may take years to erase a bankruptcy, it should never be considered a curse, but rather a fresh start.]]>
Best Credit Card Offers & Promotions This Fall Thu, 07 Sep 2017 15:15:57 -0400

Best Promotion: BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
BMO regularly sends us juicy offers, and they’re not disappointing this month, either. The new welcome offer has been pumped up from 2,000 AIR MILES to 3,000, plus a Companion Flight rebate. As summer turns to fall and temperatures drop, you can combine your 3,000 free miles with about $2,000 of monthly spending to fly for FREE from:

Quebec to the Caribbean
British Columbia to sunny California
Ontario to Florida

Additionally, there’s a limited-time waiver on the $120 annual fee for the first year. Add in that savings and you can live a little larger on your next vacation.

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]
Featured Cards: the MBNA Rewards Rewards World Elite Cards
MBNA has fantastic offers for every type of income. Their Rewards World Elite card is called the All-In-Wonder, and for good reason: it might be the easiest way for Canadians to accrue and redeem rewards. Here are some of the benefits:

10,000 bonus points ($100 value) awarded upon first eligible purchase
2 points earned for every $1 spent
Redeem points for major ticket items like the Health Smart Steamer, 4-person inflatable boat, an iPad Mini, or Coleman 4-person tent, or for flights and gift cards.
No limit on points earned

Note that MBNA Rewards World Elite is only available for individuals with an annual income of at least $80,000, or household income of $150,000. Lower-income Canadians should look toward the MBNA Rewards Card instead. It’s a great option for those of less financial means, as it has no minimum income requirement whatsoever. Here’s what it offers:

1 MBNA point for every dollar you spend 
5,000 bonus points after first eligible purchase, worth $50 if you trade it in for cash back or travel perks
No annual fees
Points can be redeemed for all the things you love, like travel, merchandise, gift cards from some of the best retailers in Canada, making charitable donations to causes you believe in, and even just getting some cash back for yourself
Interest-free grace period of 21 days

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply for MBNA Rewards[/button]

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply for MBNA World Elite[/button]
New Card on the Block: RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard
RBC is offering a new cash back card with some highly attractive features to take note of. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the card is its cash back offer during a 6-month intro period: 1.75% cash back on EVERYTHING. It doesn’t get much more flexible than that. And the cash back rate only drops to 1.5% after the intro period ends. And again, on everything.

The card also gives new members other benefits such as:

Receive unlimited cash back, no matter how often you make purchases 
Enjoy unlimited WiFi with a Boingo connection (they have one million hotspots around the world)
Get advanced purchase protection for up to four months after a purchase

Plus, cardholders will receive an extended warranty package that triples the manufacturer’s original Canadian warranty. That’s huge. Cardholders can also protect their rental car with Auto Rental collision/Loss Damage Insurance via the new RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite MasterCard. A juicy cash back policy + all those other perks? RBC is pulling ahead in August.

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*ANOTHER* New Card on the Block: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite
TD’s Visa Infinite is also making waves fast with features like:

For the first three months, you get a colossal welcome bonus of 6% cash back for every dollar spent on gas, gas station services/products, grocery purchases, and PAP rebates (regular purchases like monthly subscriptions, memberships, and other recurring payments)
A post-promotional 3% cash back rate on all of the above
First year annual fee waiver
1% on all other purchases throughout the promotional period and afterward

Another impressive feature is that the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite rewards never expire as long as your account is open and remains in good standing. That's almost unheard of in Canadian credit card offerings.]]>
The RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard Review Thu, 07 Sep 2017 14:38:27 -0400
There is no ceiling on how much cash can be collected, making it an ideal tool for those cardholders who spend consistently with their credit cards.
At a Glance:

Earn UNLIMITED cash back from purchases
Complimentary Boingo Wi-Fi account
Up to 1.75% cash back for the first 6 months
1.5% cash back after promotion period expires
Premium rental car and purchase insurance
Enjoy World Elite membership

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]

On top of the ability to earn large cash rewards over time, the card also extends an array of above-average benefits to its members. These include the unusual, yet welcome perk of a free account with Boingo: the Wi-Fi terminal company with over a million hotspots around the world. Cardholders are eligible to access free internet in airports and public areas, whereas non-cardholders must pay for the privilege. Additionally, while many similar cards offer some level of purchase protection and extended warranty, the Cash Back Preferred World Elite boosts coverage for up to 120 days after purchase and will triple the original manufacturer warranty period.  As an auxiliary bonus, cardholders will also get their rental car covered with collision and damage insurance.

For a reasonable $99 annual fee, qualified cardholders are welcomed into the World Elite club, granting a range of experiences and offers that go above and beyond other choices. To be eligible, prospective cardholders must be able to show an annual income of $70,000 individually or $120,000 for the entire household.
Why We Like It:

Big Introductory Cash Back Bonus:

The 1.75% cash back bonus is a great introduction to this credit card. New cardholders are given a comfortable span of time during which they can take advantage of the elevated cash back level, making it possible to plan large purchases (and therefore large cash back accruals) ahead of time.

Unlimited Cash

One of the biggest complaints about cash back cards is usually that there is no incentive for cardholders to continue using them once the cap has been reached. With this card, years of consistent spending can generate thousands of dollars in savings.

Tiered Cash Back

The earnings don’t stop once the bonus window ends. The 1.75% promo rate is reduced by a relatively minimal 0.25% after six months, and then again by 0.5% once the cardholder spends $25,000 during the year. It resets each year, but the relatively shallow decline keeps earnings positive irrespective of the amount spent.

Boingo Account

In most airports across the globe, Boingo charges upwards of $5.00 for an hour of strong Wi-Fi service—a blessing when a frequent flyer has a long layover before their next flight. The Boingo membership that comes with the Cash Back Preferred World Elite card makes it easy for travelers to find great internet service for free, regardless of where the cardholder is located.

Premium Insurance Benefits

Though it does not include any kind of medical insurance, the card significantly boosts the purchase protection and warranty extension features that most cards already offer. Most of its competitors offer 90 days of protection and doubled warranty terms, but the Preferred World Elite protects new purchases for 120 days and triples existing manufacturer warranties.
Is It Worth It?
Aptly named, this card will serve the world’s elite travelers better than the competition. The straightforward power of an unlimited cash back deal is an enticing offer to begin with, even without the  inclusion of worldwide Wi-Fi access and insurance benefits. All told, this card is well worth its $99 annual fee, and will prove a handy companion for savvy cardholders that travel and spend consistently.

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The RBC Cash Back Mastercard with No Annual Fee Review Mon, 28 Aug 2017 11:01:17 -0400
$0 annual fee
Earn 2% cash back on groceries, no limits
Earn up to 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Purchase security and extended warranties
Added insurance protection
Zero liability for fraud

The RBC Cash Back Mastercard offers customers 2% cash back on something we all buy—groceries. The network of stores that participate in this rewards program is large, with Quality Foods, Loblaw, Walmart Superstores, Foodland and many more among the eligible retailers.

Cardholders gain access to this simple and convenient rewards system at no cost, and enjoy a variety of other benefits that RBC chose to attach to the card. These include purchase protection on new items, and extended warranties that increase the time an item is covered by up to a year. Identity theft monitoring, credit monitoring, RBC roadside assistance and more are also available through the card for an added cost.

[button color="red" size="small" link=";142602715;k" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]

While missing the super-high earning rates of premium credit cards, cardholders will enjoy regular cash back flowing into their account, and all for free.
Why We Like It:

Freedom from Fees: There are cash back cards out there with similar benefit levels, but they usually impose an annual fee of up to $40 on cardholders.

Earn Rewards Fast: Cash back is earned consistently when shopping for items at the Mastercard network of grocery stores and supermarkets – a group with well over 60 participants. Most Canadians will find their favorite place to shop on this list.

Earn on Everything: When making non-grocery store purchases, the card earns up to 1.00% cash back, depending on how much was spent during the annual year. For those who have spent under $6,000 annually, non-grocery purchases earn cash back at 0.50%, and after this milestone, at 1.00%.

Protecting Purchases: Purchases are covered with insurance against damage and theft for 90 days after purchase, and those products that already come with a manufacturer’s warranty can get the warranty period doubled (for up to a year).

Zero Liability: No cardholder is liable for erroneous or fraudulent charges. This makes the card safe to use and carry everywhere, with no fear that identity theft will result in debts.

Extra Features: Cardholders who want more protective features on their RBC Cash Back Mastercard can access them for an extra fee. Security packages for credit monitoring and identity theft deterrence, travel insurance, RBC roadside-assistance to help stranded drivers, and more are available at an additional cost.

Is It Worth It?
Given its 2% earnings level for grocery purchases, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard might be best-suited for families with large monthly food purchases. The lack of an annual fee and the inclusion of extra features, such as purchase protections and zero liability, give it added value.

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Pairing Credit Cards for Advanced Rewards Power Sun, 27 Aug 2017 14:49:31 -0400 The Travel Point Combo
The Starwood Preferred Guest credit card and the Marriott Rewards Premier VISAare two peas in the same pod. For those who love saving money while they travel, the combination of these two cards can decrease trip expenses across the board, including on flights, hotels, foreign purchases and more.

Now that Marriott has acquired Starwood hotels, the introductory bonuses of each respective card can be combined. The Marriott Rewards card grants new cardholders 30,000 points and the Starwood Preferred Guest card grants 20,000 points. This massive 50,000 point total rewards new members with around a week (!) of combined complimentary hotel stays.

Also notable are the ways in which the cards play off each other’s strengths. While the Marriott card can be used to avoid foreign transaction fees, the Starwood earns points at a steady rate on all purchases and allows point redemption for airfare on over 150 partner airlines.
Extend a Low Rate Promotion
The best way to pay off a credit card or other source of debt is by transferring the debt to a card that offers temporary relief from high interest rates. The MBNA Platinum Plus credit card  offers new cardholders the ability to transfer their outstanding balances and pay 0% interest for an entire year – but for some, a year is not enough to pay the debt off.

For those who need an extended window of time against high rates, the RBC Cash Back Mastercard is an ideal companion to the Platinum Plus. If time runs out on MBNA’s promotion, smart cardholders can simply transfer their remaining balance (again) to RBC and enjoy a low 1.9% interest rate for an additional ten months, with no annual fee. The combination of these two cards, used consecutively for their balance transfer promotions, nets the cardholder 22 months of near rock-bottom interest on their balance.
Earn While Treating Your Date
Some of the biggest expenses likely to show up on any cardholder’s statement are from entertainment. Going out to nice restaurants, seeing a show and other exciting and satisfying ventures can cost a fortune, but not for the well-prepared cardholder. Using a pair of Scotiabank cards, namely the SCENE Visa card and the Gold Amex, makes it simple to save even while taking out a special someone.

One of the best Canadian credit cards, the Scotiabank Gold AmEx earns 4x Rewards points on every $1 spent on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment. The two latter categories set it apart from the pack, while a signup bonus of $300 puts it in an entirely different league. Alongside the SCENE Visa, which grants 5,000 points immediately (the equivalent of 5 free movies) and allows one to earn while at the theatre, dinner and a movie becomes an exercise in frugality rather than wallet-gouging.
While there are many more powerful credit card pairing out there for the creative cardholder, the duos above should get you started on the right track. A person with multiple cards and a comprehensive, or complementary, array of benefits will likely save hundreds more per year than a peer with a single, no-frills card.

Do you practice any 1-2 credit card punches that didn’t make our list? If so, give us a shout and let us know what pairings are helping you maximize your benefits.]]>
The BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard Review Thu, 24 Aug 2017 07:00:17 -0400 A generous bonus of 3,000 AIR MILES, while impressive, is just an introduction to the heap of rewards offered by the BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*. Cardholders will truly feel ‘elite’, with priority status at airport lounges worldwide, up to 25% off on car rentals and flights that are redeemed with AIR MILES, plus a comprehensive insurance package.
At a Glance:

3,000 AIR MILES introductory bonus + Companion Flight Rebate
$120 annual fee waived in the first year (limited time offer)
Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent
Get 25% off AIR MILES flights in North America
Earn miles at double the rate at AIR MILES sponsors
Receive up to 25% off AIamo and National car rentals
2x Reward Miles at Alamo and National Car Rentals chains
VIP Airport Lounge access

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Apply Now![/button]

With a World Elite Mastercard, AIR MILES build quickly from most purchases, given a blanket 1 mile for every $10 spent, plus double the rate when shopping at eligible stores. Fortunately, many of the most popular stores in Canada are participating in the program, including Ace Hardware, Foodland, Hilton Hotels, IGA, Jean Coutu pharmacies and more. Spend just $2,500 a year on the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard, and the cardholder will earn over 5,000 AIR MILES – enough to redeem a trip from Canada to Maui.
Why We Like It:

3,000 AIR MILE Bonus: As a gift to new members, BMO credits 1,000 AIR MILES with a single purchase on their World Elite Mastercard. The miles will hit the cardholder’s account within 45 days, and immediately represents enough to redeem for a short-haul flight. Then, reaching a total spend of $3,000 on your card will earn you another 2,000 bonus miles, that will be found on a cardholder's account within 60 days following the qualifying $3,000 spend. These bonus miles can also be saved for later: the high-pace accrual of AIR MILES with this card makes it easy to fund a long-distance vacation every year.

Earn Miles Fast: One AIR MILE is a welcomed reward for spending $10 with the BMO World Elite Mastercard, as most short-haul flights within Canada cost around 1,000 AIR MILES. The broad mileage accrual rate of 1 per $10 spent on everything is faster than many competing credit cards, and lets cardholders earn without discriminating on the basis of where they shop or what they buy.

Discount on Redemption: When redeeming AIR MILES for airfare, cardholders get an additional 25% off the total miles required. This directly increases the value of rewards, and helps to make vacations more frequent and inexpensive for those with the privilege of being a World Elite member.

Rental Discounts: Whether a journey is domestic or international, you need to figure out a way to get around once the plane has landed. Thankfully, an extra 25% off the price of a car rental awaits for cardholders that go to Alamo and Budget to rent their vehicles.

Surplus of Sponsors: Those spending at a wide range of AIR MILES partners get double the miles when using their World Elite card, meaning 1 AIR MILE for every $5 spent. The requirement to shop at these stores is not at all restrictive, because an enormous number of sponsors include many of the most popular Canadian Stores.

Vast Protection: Travelers are covered with some of the finest insurance plans that credit cards can offer, including protection against trip cancellation, damage or collision in a rental car, out-of-province or country emergency medical assistance and more. Items bought with the card are also protected, with 90 days of coverage after a new purchase and warranty extensions as well.

VIP Lounge Access: Each cardholder gets 2 annual passes to a luxurious airport lounge, among those in a network of hundreds worldwide at the most popular international terminals. They also receive priority access to these lounges when not using their pass, but will be charged a small fee for each entry.

Is It Worth It?
For travelers that find themselves in the air often, whether on a business trip or having an adventure, the BMO AIR MILES World Elite credit card makes a big difference. Cardholders earn AIR MILES quickly with a big introductory bonus and fast accrual from most purchases, which they can redeem to cut their bills by hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year, all while traveling in style. Moreover, Mastercard and BMO protect customers and their purchases with a competitive package of insurance features.

The only downside to the card is that its elite benefits come with strict application requirements. Applicants must have an $80K per year income (or 150K combined household income), as well as a very high credit score. But if you qualify, you’ll enjoy all the most exclusive benefits of a travel rewards system at the top of its field.

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Amex — Back of the Line? Sun, 20 Aug 2017 14:25:37 -0400 In Ancient Rome, centurions were elite military commanders who led their troops from the front-of-the-line. Known for their courage and fighting skills, they suffered many casualties in battles. The centurion is also the symbol for American Express (its most exclusive invitation-only “Black Card” with unlimited spending power is called the Centurion Card), and, like the proverbial warrior, the company has been taking its licks. Increased competition and changes in the social climate have left it bruised, but it’s not going down without a fight.

The past few years have been unkind to Amex. It started with Costco Canada’s decision in 2014 to abandon its long-standing relationship with Amex and to instead co-brand with Mastercard for transactional exclusivity in its stores. This was a heavy blow for Amex, as the co-branded Costco card represented 10-percent of its total membership. Other highly public losses followed: JetBlue cancelled its co-branded Amex card and Amex lost an anti-trust lawsuit with the U.S. Justice Department.

But the company is fighting back on several fronts—and, despite its tiny market share of 5-percent in Canada compared to behemoths Visa at 41-percent and Mastercard at 22-percent, the market is starting to take notice.

To counter accusations that it has lost its cool, especially among millennials who represent decades of future spending, Amex is taking a mobile-first approach. It’s updated its Amex Pay Mobile App, adding “Use Points for Purchase”, push notifications, and touch ID to enable shopping on-the-go. Amex scored a coup by becoming the first Canadian partner of Apple Pay in 2015, and it recently added Android Pay, both of which allow consumers to pay with their smartphones.

“We’ve made it a priority at American Express to evolve alongside the modern consumer to meet their changing needs,” says Chris Gibson, Amex’s Director of Member Engagement. “Whether our Cardmembers want to pay their bills directly through the Amex App, or make a purchase from their mobile device, we offer a range of best-in-class services that enable us to be wherever our customers are – helping us stay competitive in a mobile-driven world.”

Mobile pay forfeits the once-relished opportunity to flash an Amex card, which might be too ostentatious a move for Gen Y. To play to millennials’ “stealth-wealth” approach to status display, the company is now focusing on helping its customers acquire “experiences”, not things. “American Express prides itself by being so much more than a payment card,” says Gibson. “We provide experiential value that fits the different lifestyles and needs of our Cardmembers.”

Eligibility requirements for becoming a cardmember have been considerably relaxed. Amex Canada has, without fanfare, dropped the minimum income requirement on all their cards. For Amex Platinum they formerly declined any applicant who had filed for bankruptcy within the past 7 years. That restriction has now been lowered to filing within the past 2 years.

According to the Canadian Bankers Association, only 58-percent of Canadians pay their balance in full every month. New Amex offerings, like the no-fee, low-interest Essential Card, cater to customers who float a balance, a big departure for a credit card that required balances be paid off. Other offerings include re-loadable pre-paid cards (not yet available in Canada), gift cards, as well as a “newly refreshed” SimplyCash Preferred credit card, which now sports a 2% cashback earn rate (5% for the first 6 months up to $300), a competitive welcome offer, and insurance benefits. It was awarded best cash back credit card for 2017 by Rewards Canada.

High-rollers like Chinese mogul Liu Yiquian, who slapped $140.7 million USD on his Centurion card last year for a Modigliani oil painting, still generate the headlines. But American Express is quietly working hard to diversify its image away from the “I shop, therefore I am” ethos that turns many consumers off.

And investors have apparently paid attention to these efforts. An underperformer for several years, Amex’s stock price has surged 20-percent in the past 2 quarters. Though Amex is not out of the woods yet, and its focus on technology and marketing will take a bite out of profits, there appears to be a lot of fight left in this centurion. Being American Express, apparently, still has its privileges..

[author image="" ]Rita Silvan is the former editor-in-chief of ELLE Canada magazine. After a successful career in women’s consumer publishing, Rita has pursued her interest in finance, especially in the areas of personal finance and investing for women. She obtained the Chartered Investment Manager (CIM) designation from the Canadian Securities Institute. Rita is the editor-in-chief of and a finance writer for Tier-1 Canadian banks and bespoke wealth management firms.[/author]]]>
Multiply Your Credit Card's Cash Back Rewards with Drop Mon, 14 Aug 2017 13:29:45 -0400
Let’s be honest. We’re not exactly loyal when it comes to loyalty rewards programs. Smart consumers are always on the lookout for newer, bigger — and most importantly, easier — ways to be rewarded for our spending habits.

Enter Drop. Launched in Canada in 2016, Drop is a free mobile app that lets users earn points from select partners for everyday spending. All you have to do is link your credit and debit card to the app and, voila, Drop works seamlessly in the background to give you points as you shop. When you reach the benchmark point count (which can be as little as 2,000 points for a $2 gift card at Amazon), the points can then be redeemed instantly for rewards at major retailers like Starbucks and the Gap.

Am I advising you to ditch your Starbucks Reward or Cineplex Scene card? Not at all (after all I’m Canadian and too nice for that sort of thing). Rather, Drop works in conjunction with your favourite reward programs, so in many cases you essentially get rewarded twice for each purchase.

Another thing that makes Drop especially appealing: it also offers rewards for debit card spending, a market that was all but ignored by loyalty programs until now.

Ready to give it a try? I was seriously impressed by how fast the sign-up process was.

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]Click here for the app[/button]
How to Sign Up
First, watch this one-minute summary of what Drop is all about:


Click here to get the app.

The app will then open and ask you to link up your credit and/or debit card (the app uses bank-level security and encryption to guard your data).

After entering your financial data, choose five retailers from whom you wish to receive points. Choices include Starbucks, Tim Hortons, Uber, the LCBO and more. Be very careful! You can only choose five retailers and once you select them you can’t change your selection. The points you earn vary by retailer too. For example, I chose LCBO (2 points per dollar spent), McDonalds (5 points), Tim’s (5 points), Uber (2 points) and Walmart (2 points).

One thing I found interesting is that the retailers where you amass points are sometimes different than where you can use your gift certificate rewards. For example, though you can’t earn points for spending on Amazon, you can choose to redeem points for a gift certificate at Amazon.

Once your choices are locked in, Drop gives you the option to sign up for emails to get special offers to earn additional points. Even if you don’t sign up for emails, you’ll still be eligible to receive promotions via the app. I got several offers, including 200 extra points at Tim Hortons, immediately after I signed up.

Spend and earn points. You can check your point count and redeem points for a gift certificate on the app at any time.

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]GET THE APP[/button]
My Drop Usage
Right now I have my Amazon credit card connected with Drop (where I get 2 points per dollar on Amazon purchases and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases). The value of each Drop point is $0.001 (1,000 points = $1). To make the most of my Drop points, I started grocery shopping at Walmart to increase my point count and I also took advantage of a one-time, 500-point bonus offer for Tim Hortons. In July, I earned 960 points from my Amazon card but I earned 2096 points (the equivalent of $2.10) from having my credit card connected to Drop.

$ Spent
Drop Points Earned
Amazon Credit Card Points




Tim Hortons

Tim Hortons Bonus





Value of Drop points earned in one month: $2.10

Value of credit card points earned in one month: $9.60

Total value earned in one month: $11.7

The app is available for download in Canada on both iOS and Google Play and it’s expected to arrive shortly in the US. It’s a wonderful way for GreedyRates readers to maximize reward earnings without getting another credit card. We can all appreciate the rare value of getting something for nothing.

[button color="red" size="small" link="" target="blank" ]CLICK HERE TO APPLY[/button]

About the author:

Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites]]>
See the Hottest Summer Blockbusters for FREE with the Scotiabank SCENE Visa Card Thu, 03 Aug 2017 14:32:30 -0400


[caption id="attachment_8043" align="alignright" width="300"] Gene (T.J. Miller) and Hi-5 (James Corden) in Columbia Pictures and Sony Pictures Animation’s THE EMOJI MOVIE.[/caption]

This family-friendly film takes everyone’s favourite way to communicate sans words – the emoji – and somehow manages to make an animated feature out of it. Inside our smartphone lies the bustling city Textopolis, where the emojis live. All the emojis have just one facial expression, except Gene, who is determined to lose his ability to make multiple facial expressions and learn to be just like the rest of his emoji friends. You never thought you’d hear Patrick Stewart voice the poop emoji, but this movie is here to bring you exactly that.

DETROIT (August 4th) 

Based on the true story of the Detroit riots in the summer of 1967, the immensely talented Katherine Bigelow (Zero Dark Thirty) brings this historic drama to the big screen. Released to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the racially charged event, it covers the Algiers Motel incident--where three black men were beaten to death by police, and seven more ended up in the hospital, along with two white women. It won’t be an easy watch, but it will be the film everyone is talking about this summer.

THE DARK TOWER (August 4th) 

Stephen King’s epic best-selling series comes to the big screen in The Dark Tower, staring Idris Elba as the famed last Gunslinger, and Matthew McConaughey as the Man in Black. The two are locked in an eternal battle, in which the Gunslinger must prevent the Man in Black from destroying the Dark Tower—the one thing holding the entire universe together. This is the sci-fi fantasy film King fans have been waiting a long time for, and it will likely be the first in a long line of films based on this series of novels.


Horror fans will be happy to spend more time with Annabelle, the bone-chillingly creepy doll we first learned about in The Conjuring. The first Annabelle film was so successful that they came back with this one, telling her origin story. If you always wanted to know how a little girl’s spirit became trapped in a doll, and why that doll turned evil, this is your opportunity. It’s also filled with plenty of jump scares, if that’s your thing.

LOGAN LUCKY (August 18th) 

If comedy is more up your alley, you’ll be happy to know that Steven Soderbergh has returned to the big screen after spending time on the small screen with The Knick. He directs Adam Driver and Channing Tatum as brothers in this classic heist flick, where they are determined to change their family’s 90 years of bad luck by robbing $14 million from the legendary Coca-Cola 600 race at the Charlotte Motor Speedway. No biggie.

So there you have it. Free movies for the rest of the summer if you want them. The SCENE Visa card has other perks as well, including 1 SCENE point for every $1 you spend on the card, 5 SCENE points for every $1 you spend at Cineplex theatres, no annual fee, discounts at Sport Chek and participating restaurants when you redeem your SCENE points, and 20 percent off AVIS car rentals.

Apply for the SCENE Visa today and take in all the free flicks your eyes can handle.]]>
Why a Good Credit Score Pays Off. Literally. Mon, 31 Jul 2017 11:22:30 -0400
Hello. My name is Sean Cooper. I’m the millennial who bought a house in Toronto at age 27 and managed to pay it off in only three years. To celebrate, I threw a mortgage burning party where I literally lit my mortgage papers on fire (in a totally safe and non-pyromaniac way).

Hard work and an extremely frugal lifestyle were two driving factors that allowed me to burn through my mortgage at such an abnormally fast speed. But there was another major and comparatively painless contributor to my success:

I had good credit.

By taking the steps necessary to build up a good credit score, I shortened and simplified what can be a very long and stressful path toward becoming a homeowner.
How My Credit Score Affected My Mortgage
When I applied for my mortgage, my down payment of $170,000 was a financial strength, while my relatively low income was a weakness. The tipping point in qualifying me for the loan, and getting a great interest rate, was that I’d been unintentionally building up good credit for years prior.

I was a bit of an anomaly in University. Unlike a lot of my peers, who were always carrying balances on their credit cards, I followed one Golden Rule: I treated my credit cards the way I treated my cash, only making purchases I could pay off in full once my credit card statement came due. That way when I applied for a mortgage, I had no problem being approved (my parents didn’t even have to co-sign).

And that semi-accidental credit score paid off – literally. It widened the scope of lenders willing to work with me, and allowed me to shop around for the lowest interest rate I could possibly find.
Just How Much Can You Save with a Good Credit Score?
A 1% difference in interest may seem minimal, but don’t be fooled. If I’d paid off my mortgage over 25 years like most people, that 1% would have saved me an estimated $40,000 (seriously) in interest. That’s enough to buy two compact cars. Or 26,000 double-doubles from Timmy’s. Or a hyacinth macaw + 25 years of upkeep. However you spend it, it’s a nice little bundle of cash for simply using credit cards in a responsible manner.

Or if, like me, you don’t relish the idea of spending 1/3 of your life with a mortgage weighing down on you, you can take the loonies that you would have spent on interest and instead use them to pay your base mortgage off faster. Three years is a bit freakish, I know, but your mortgage needn’t last a quarter century.

A lower interest rate also means that more of the cash you toil for can be spent on getting a nicer house in a better neighborhood, rather than throwing it away on your bank’s exorbitant mortgage rates. My credit score pushed my home budget to $550,000, enough for a two-story house east of the Beach. I ultimately chose to spend less than that – $425,000 – and ended up with a nice, newly-renovated bungalow. Different people value different aspects of a home, but having a good credit score gives you more options to pick and choose what’s right for you.
How Can You Build Up Your Credit Score?
Some millennials have been spooked by the financial crisis and are choosing to steer clear of credit cards entirely. I understand that reluctance, but this is actually a colossal mistake, and can seriously impact millennials’ financial prospects. Lenders want to see that borrowers can handle credit cards before taking on bigger debts, like a mortgage or auto loan. And building a good credit score takes time. For that reason, it’s a good idea to start working on it long before you’re ready to buy a home.

The actual formula for coming up with your 3-digit credit score is a little complicated, but you don’t need to worry about how it’s calculated. The most important thing to know is how to maintain and improve it. Here are a few tips that most people are unaware of:

It’s better to pay the full balance on a credit card rather than the minimum balance. Why? Your credit utilization will be higher if you only pay the minimum, and high utilization can adversely affect your credit score.
Don’t exceed the credit limit on your card. Aim to stay below 35% utilization.
Get in the habit of regularly reviewing your credit report. You’re entitled to a free copy annually from the credit reporting agencies. So use it.
Review your credit report at least six months before applying for a major loan, such as a mortgage, to avoid any surprises. That way you’ll have plenty of time to fix any errors that you may come across. I requested my credit report when I was preparing to apply for a mortgage, and I noticed that it listed an old cellphone contract that I had already closed and paid in full. I had the error corrected and it improved my score.
Keep older credit cards open. I still keep my very first credit card from University, the SmartCash MasterCard from MBNA, even though I don’t use it that often. Although you may prefer to close out older accounts, contrary to popular belief, keeping them open can actually help your credit score.

How My Credit Score Continues to Impact My Life Now That I’m Mortgage-Free
My mortgage is now paid off, but I’m an ambitious dreamer by nature. And my credit score continues to impact my ambitions.

Right now I live in the home I bought, and I’m considering buying an investment property. Unless I win the lottery (never a good fallback plan in my experience), I’ll need to borrow money from the bank in order to make this happen. By having a decent credit score, I can take out a home equity line of credit (HELOC) at a low interest rate. And a low interest rate makes a big difference in the carrying costs of my rental property.

It can mean the difference between my property being cash flow positive and cash flow negative.

And today, credit scores are checked for more than just big loans:

In cities with tight rental markets, like Toronto and Vancouver, many landlords will now check your credit score if you merely want to rent an apartment.
Some insurance companies are now asking for permission to view your credit score. You’re under no obligation to share it, but if you refuse, you could face higher premiums or be denied coverage.
Even employers are checking credit history to evaluate how responsible a prospective employee might be.

Basically, your credit score follows you throughout your life, and ignoring it won’t make it go away. But by taking the steps necessary to build it up, it can be a financial boost and not a burden. Just don’t forget these key Do’s and Don’ts:

Don’t shun credit cards. You need them to open up your financial prospects for the future.
Don’t forget the Golden Rule of credit cards: try not to carry a balance from month to month.
Don’t rush into applying for a mortgage before you’ve whipped your credit score into shape.
Even if it seems unrealistic, do keep the dream of home ownership in mind. It’s achievable. Trust me.

About the author:
Sean Cooper bought his first house when he was just 27 and paid off his mortgage in only three years. An in-demand personal finance journalist, money coach and speaker, his articles have been featured in publications such as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, MoneySense and Tangerine’s Forward Thinking blog. He makes regular appearances on national radio and television shows to discuss personal finance, real estate and mortgages, and is also the author of the new book, Burn Your Mortgage. Follow him on Twitter @SeanCooperWrite and request his services on his website.]]>
TD vs. AmEx Aeroplan Cards Face-Off Wed, 26 Jul 2017 14:27:55 -0400
Some of the most lucrative Aeroplan cards are offered by TD and American Express. How are you to choose between them? We’ve done the hard work of laying out the important features, benefits, and costs of each Aeroplan charge card.

*Note: We've included the American Express Gold card detailed below even though it's not a dedicated Amex Aeroplan card, because its points can be transferred to Aeroplan on a 1:1 basis.

So here we go...
The Best Rewards Tier: Amex Gold Rewards vs. TD Aeroplan Platinum


American Express® Gold Rewards Card

TD® Aeroplan® Visa Platinum* Credit Card

Annual Fee

1st year FREE, $150 after


Signup Bonus Points



Basic Rewards

1 point per $1

1 mile per $1.5

Accelerated Rewards

2 points per $1 spent at selected gas stations, drugstores, and grocery stores

1 mile per $1 spent in eligible grocery stores, drugstores, and gas stations; double miles on presenting Aeroplan membership card at participating retailers


Emergency medical, car rental theft and damage, trip interruption, lost/stolen baggage, flight delay, hotel/motel burglary, travel accident

Delayed and lost baggage, flight/trip delay, common carrier travel accident, car rental collision/loss damage

Annual Income Requirement



Credit Limit

No pre-set credit limit


Extra Benefits

Transfer your points to frequent flyer programs, or one-to-one to Aeroplan® and Avios

10% off Avis and Budget rent-a-car in the US and Canada

The Premium Cards: Amex Platinum vs. TD Privilege


American Express® AeroplanPlus® Platinum Card

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege* Card

Annual Fee

Signup Bonus Points

Basic Rewards
1.25 miles per $1
1.25 miles per $1

Accelerated Rewards
1.5 points per $1 spent annually over $25k
1.5 miles per $1 in eligible grocery stores, drugstores, and gas stations and on; double miles on presenting Aeroplan membership card at participating retailers

Trip interruption, travel accident, travel emergency, trip cancellation, flight delay, baggage delay, lost/stolen baggage, hotel/motel burglary
Travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight/trip delay, common carrier travel accident, car rental collision/loss damage, delayed/lost baggage

Annual Income Requirement
$200,000 household

Credit Limit
No pre-set credit limit

Extra Benefits
Referral bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles for each approved referral.
10% off Avis and Budget rent-a-car in the US and Canada

The 2nd Tier Cards: Amex Aeroplan Gold vs. TD Aeroplan Infinite


American Express® AeroplanPlus® Gold Card

TD® Aeroplan®Visa Infinite* Credit Card

Annual Fee



Signup Bonus Points



Basic Rewards

1 mile per $1

1 mile per $1

Accelerated Rewards

1.25 points per $1 spent annually over $10

1.5 miles per $1 in eligible grocery stores, drugstores, and gas stations and on; double miles on presenting Aeroplan membership card at participating retailers

Flight delay, baggage delay, lost/stolen baggage, hotel/motel burglary, travel accident, car rental theft and damage
Travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, delayed/lost baggage, flight/trip delay, common carrier travel accident, car rental collision/loss damage

Annual Income Requirement


$60,000 personal or $100,000 household

Credit Limit

No pre-set credit limit


Extra Benefits
Two free supplementary cards to earn points faster
Use Aeroplan miles to pay for flight fees, taxes, and surcharges

Which Card Wins?
From the TD Aeroplan cards and Amex cards listed above, which reigns supreme? We can’t help but lean towards the flexible American Express Gold Rewards card. Even though it’s not an Aeroplan card, its points can be exchanged on a like for like basis for Aeroplan miles. Also, its rewards rate of 2 miles per dollar at eligible stores and gas stations is the highest of the bunch. With 25,000 bonus miles just for signing up, no minimum income requirements, and no annual fee for the first year (plus a free supplementary card), this card can help you rack up several flights for free, just by making your regular purchases.]]>
Best Chequing and Savings Accounts at Scotiabank Mon, 24 Jul 2017 12:01:35 -0400
That said, we believe our readers can apply their bargain-hunting mindset to other aspects of their financial well-being, and we plan to expand our focus to include other opportunities where Canadians can save, starting with the chequing and savings accounts offered by various Canadian banks.

Too many of us perceive a bank as a place to merely put our money, rather than a place to watch it grow. Follow along as we show you which bank accounts offer the best deals to help your money work for you. First up, we will be looking at the various options you can find at Scotiabank.
Scotiabank Momentum Chequing Account
The Momentum Chequing Account is perfect for those looking to make money off their spending. For a monthly fee of $15.95 you receive 1% cash back on debit purchases ($300 yearly cap). Also included are unlimited self-serve transactions, 2 free monthly withdrawals from non-Scotiabank machines within Canada, 2 free Interac transactions each month, and 1 free teller transaction per month.
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Scotia One Chequing Account
The Scotia One account is great if you love movies and require unlimited transactions per month. The monthly $13.95 fee covers an unlimited amount of both self-serve and teller transactions, includes 2 free Interac transfers per month, and allows you to collect SCENE points which can be redeemed for free movies at Cineplex. Even better—the monthly fee is waived entirely if your daily closing balance exceeds $4,000.
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Basic Banking Plan
The Basic plan is perfect if your transaction needs are moderate. For $10.95 a month you are given 25 total transactions split between self-serve and teller. It also includes 2 free Interac transactions a month, and allows you to collect SCENE points. Also, if your daily balance stays above $3,000 they waive that annoying monthly fee.
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Basic Banking Account
While many of us have switched over to no-fee online banking, it is always a good idea to keep an account open with one of the brick-and-mortar banks just in case you run into a situation where you need to talk to a banker face to face. That’s what this account is perfect for. For just $3.95 a month, 12 transactions are included (with up to 4 of them being teller transactions). It also has the standard 2 free Interac transactions and the option to collect SCENE points. This account is also FREE for seniors. Keep in mind though—if you exceed those 12 transactions you will be charged $1.25 per transaction.
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Savings Accelerator Account
As the name implies, this tax-free savings account is great for those focused on increasing their savings. For no annual fee, it allows you to put away tax-free optional savings at a rate of 0.050 percent for $4,999 and under, 0.800 percent for savings of $5000 to $249,999, and 0.900 for $250,000 and up. It also includes unlimited no-fee self-serve transfers to your other Scotiabank accounts if and when you want to use those savings on a big purchase you’ve been saving up for. It is also eligible for CDIC Deposit Insurance. Keep in mind though, if you are moving that money to a non-Scotiabank account there will be a $5.00 fee per transaction.
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Money Master Savings Account
The Money Master savings account is best for those who are new to saving, and want to earn interest right away, even on a smaller amount. It gives 0.020 percent savings on any amount—but that means if you exceed $5,000 you are still only earning that 0.020 percent. It is also a free account, offering no-fee free self-serve transfers to your other Scotiabank accounts, along with the CDIC Deposit Insurance option. But beware, transfers to non-Scotia accounts will be charged a $5.00 fee.

If you liked this breakdown of the account offerings from Scotiabank, let us know so we can continue to bring you a more thorough understanding and comparison of the rest of the banking options in banks across Canada. There is money to be made in Canadian banks — you just have to know where to put it.
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Clear off your Credit Debt With 0% Balance Transfer Cards Fri, 21 Jul 2017 06:54:33 -0400 At the same time, you don’t want a short promotional period that won’t give you the time to pay off your debts, before the regular interest rate comes into effect.
This is an opportunity to anyone who has financial concerns of any kind to put an end to them, and save some money in the process.  Here's a list of the best zero percent balance transfer cards in Canada;

 1. MBNA Platinum Plus® MasterCard® - 
Click here to apply for the MBNA Platinum Plus® MasterCard®
MBNA Canada continues to lead the market by offering the country's lowest and longest 0% balance transfer credit card for a market-leading 12 months. There is no annual fee for this card. No other balance transfer credit card in Canada offers a 0% rate with a promotional term as long as 12 months.

Another unique feature of this card is that MBNA will transfer cash into your bank account at 0% for 12 months as well. You can then use that cash to pay down other debts or for ANY other purpose - just like a cash advance, only MBNA calls it a "deposit".

There is a $7.50 or 1% balance transfer fee (whichever is greater), which is also on the low end. We also like the Platinum perks the card offers, including car rental insurance, trip interruption, extended warranty protection and price protection. 
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2. Best Western MasterCard® -
Click here to apply for the Best Western MasterCard
This is another card from MBNA that offers a 1.99% APR for 10 months on balance transfers and no annual fee. After that, the interest rate (APR) on transferred balances will be 21.99%. Instead of a pure balance transfer credit card, the Best Western MasterCard is a hotel rewards card, with no annual fee and a 20,000 point sign-up bonus with your first purchase - enough for a free nights stay.  Might as well get a free hotel night while transferring your balance!

There is a $7.50 or 1% balance transfer fee. This is a good card for those looking for a very strong balance transfer offer - 10 months is the second longest one out their, but also value a free hotel night stay welcome bonus!
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3. Scotiabank Value Visa Card - 
Click here to apply for the Scotiabank Value Visa Card
This balance transfer credit card offers a 1.99 % interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months on accounts opened by July 31, 2017 . There is a $29 annual fee. The advantage of this card is that at the end of the 6 month introductory period, the go to interest rate will be 11.99% on your transferred balance and new purchases. We always recommend trying to pay down your balance during the promotional period. If you haven't, we would recommend transferring your balance to another low balance transfer credit card offer (balance surfing), 1 month prior to the promotional rate expiring. That way you will be sure to beat even a low rate of 11.99%.
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A 0% balance transfer credit card is not easy to come by in Canada. As you can see, there are only two 0% offers in the country right now. Regardless, a 0% balance transfer rate for 12 months is better than any line of credit rate available, so are some of the .99% and 1.99% offers.

While you can't transfer a balance from one MBNA/TD card to another, what you can do is balance surf from your MBNA card, to a Scotia card, back to an MBNA card, to an Amex card, back to an MBNA card, etc. Some folks even have multiple Platinum Plus cards, to cycle in and out of the 0% offer.

We continue to recommend balance transfers as the best strategy to pay off any high interest credit cards, store cards or fixed payment loans you may have. No other products offer interest rates as low. You could save hundreds if not thousands in one year alone. It's one of the best bank beating strategies out there - We recommend to apply for the MBNA Platinum Plus® MasterCard® - Good luck!

The Scotiabank American Express Card Review Mon, 17 Jul 2017 14:01:22 -0400 At a Glance

No Annual Fee!
Earn 5,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points with your first $500 in everyday purchases in the first three months†
Earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on all eligible purchases
Redeem points for travel arrangements without restrictions
Book trips with Scotia Rewards Travel Service
Feel secure when travelling with available travel insurance options

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Why We Like It

Save During First Year: As of August 1st, 2017 the Scotiabank American Express Card is yours for no annual fee at all! So you will get the most out of your travel rewards.

Earn Scotia Rewards: Customers can earn 5,000 Scotia Rewards bonus points with their first $500 in everyday purchases in the first three months†  and easily accumulate Scotia Rewards® points by using their card for routine purchases. Cardholders will earn 1 Scotia Rewards point for every $1 spent on most purchases.

Redeem Without Restrictions: Cardholders can redeem their Scotia Rewards points with the help of travel agents in the Scotia Rewards Travel Service. Customers can book trips anywhere with no restrictions or blackout periods that accompany many competing cards. Furthermore, members can rest assure knowing they are receiving the best available price for whatever they purchase. The company’s best price guarantee gives cardholders the ability to earn back the difference in price if they find a cheaper alternative for the same itinerary within 24 hours, adding to the advantages of booking travel with the service.

Enjoy Special Offers: American Express Members receive special privileges whether traveling or shopping at home. The company will notify cardholders of special offers and experiences available, including table booking at fine dining establishments, theatre engagements, film screenings and more. In addition, Scotia Rewards invites customers to take advantage of exclusive offers such as discounts and amenities when travelling.

Added Protections on Purchases: The Scotiabank American Express Card includes an automatic 90-day purchase protection on eligible items against theft, loss or damage. An automatic extended warranty also doubles the manufacturer’s warranty term by up to an extra year. While most cards stop their purchase protections here, the Scotiabank American Express Card includes Price Protection, reimbursing customers up to $100 in the case of a drop in an item’s price within the first 60 days of purchase.

Stay Covered: The Scotiabank American Express Card insures travelers with a variety of protections, including insurance for medical emergencies, accidents, trip interruptions, and rental car damage. These protections extend to the cardholder’s spouse and dependents as well.

Is It Worth It?
Those individuals who want to quickly redeem points on travel and save money on insurance and purchase protections will find this card particularly useful. However, annual interest rates charged for balance transfers, purchases and cash advances are comparable to industry standard rates, indicating the availability of better options if a potential member is considering transferring a balance.
In Conclusion
The Scotiabank American Express Card is a flexible and rewarding travel card, giving customers the ability to earn points per $1 spent on all eligible everyday purchases. Points can be redeemed flexibly without travel restrictions, and on a variety of brand name merchandise.  Customers who travel frequently will enjoy extra purchase protections and travel insurance coverage included with the card.

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Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017 Tue, 11 Jul 2017 07:18:52 -0400
You can stick with the card you have in your wallet, but do so at your own risk. Some of the biggest deals out there are only offered to new cardholders. Why pay 19.9% interest when you can pay 0%? Why collect 2 miles per dollar spent when you can get 25,000 miles just for switching cards?

With hundreds of the best credit cards in Canada reviewed, dissected, analyzed, and put to the test, this is a great starting point in your hunt for the best credit card deals and offers in the country.
GreedyRates' Best Credit Cards in Canada
Best Credit Card Offer For September 2017
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

This card doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves. But with it's limited time offer until October 31, 2017, which waives the first year annual fee, and gives a $300 travel credit, it's almost too good to pass up, especially when there's no cost to give it a try.

Here's what makes the card so special for the long run. You can get a 4% earn rate on gas, grocery, dining and entertainment spend, 1% everywhere else.

What makes this card so flexible is that you can then apply your travel rewards against any travel expenses on your credit card statement. Accumulate $200 worth of points, and simply apply them against your $300 hotel charge on your credit card statement.

There's no grid, chart, black-outs, travel centre, or availability issues. Book how and where you want, and simply redeem the dollar value of your points against any travel charge.

With no annual fee in the first year, there's zero risk to getting the card and a free $300 incentive. That's free money. Why wouldn't you get it?
Click Here To Apply For The Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Best Credit Card For People Looking For CashBack
MBNA Rewards World Elite

The MBNA Rewards World Elite is not only the best cashback credit card in Canada, it's also the best rewards card. It offers 2 points per $1 dollar spent, with each point worth 1 cent. As a result, you earn $2 for every $100 spent on your credit card, or 2% on ALL purchases with no limits, caps or tiers.

But this card sets itself apart with its flexibility and transparency. Spend $10,000, get $200 cash back. At any time, you can then request that the cash back be credited to your account as a statement credit or you can even request MBNA deposit the $200 into any Canadian checking account!

Many cash back credit cards only offer cash back as a statement credit at the end of each year. So if you wanted to use your cash back earlier you'd be out of luck. That's why MBNA's redemption policy is so refreshing - it's user friendly - a novel concept for many credit card issuers.

The MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard comes with a $100 welcome bonus, which off-sets the $89 annual fee in the first year. Essentially, you're getting to try a premium credit card, with premium rewards, on the house, for a full year.
Click Here To Apply For The MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard
Best Credit Card For People Looking For Free Travel
American Express Gold Rewards Card

This card is phenomenal if you're looking for a rich sign-up bonus,  redemption flexibility, insurance and a great rewards rate.

The card comes with a great welcome bonus. First, it comes with a 25,000 point welcome bonus. The great thing about the welcome bonus is that you can either use it as a $250 credit against any travel expense on your credit card statement. Or, you can convert it to Aeroplan miles 1:1 at no extra cost, meaning it effectively becomes a 25,000 bonus Aeroplan miles!

The Amex Gold Rewrds card also happens to be a great rewards earner, but more than that, the highest earning Aeroplan credit card in the country. You get 2 points per dollar spent in grocery, gas, pharmacy and all travel purchases and 1 point everywhere else. Remember, if you convert your points to Aeroplan that's 2 Aeroplan miles in gas, grocery, pharmacy and all travel! The best any other Aeroplan credit card does is offer 1.5 miles per dollar spent!

With 25,000 points that can be converted into a $250 travel credit or 25,000 Aeroplan miles, you can redeem for a return flight to anywhere in North America from any Canadian city!
Click Here To Apply For The American Express Gold Rewards Card
Best Credit Card For People With Credit Card Debt
MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard

If you have credit card debt and you're paying interest, there's hope. The truth is, if your credit is fine, you can avoid paying any interest. That's right, you can pay 0% interest for an entire year. It's cheaper than a home equity line of credit or a personal lone.

The MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard comes with no annual fee and offers a 0% interest rate for 12 months. The only cost is a 1% balance transfer fee.

The potential savings with this card are huge. If you owe $5,500 in credit card debt at an interest rate of 19.9% you'd save over $965 in interest costs in one year alone!!! All your monthly payments will go towards paying down your debt, not interest. It's also a great way to consolidate all of your credit card and store card debts, so that you end-up with one simple payment per month.
Click Here To Apply For The MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard
Best Credit Card For Insurance Coverage
The BMO® World Elite™ Mastercard®

The benefits of credit card membership are not limited to merchandise rewards or airfare; another advantage offered by select cards is protection during life’s unexpected and unfortunate incidents. The BMO World Elite Mastercard is ideal for those who value these perks, as the card comes with a broad variety of travel insurance features that keep cardholders safe while they are away from home.

The BMO World Elite card includes one of the most sought after travel features for Canadians: out-of-province emergency medical insurance. Those who experience a medical emergency during their travels have $2 million-worth of coverage at their disposal designed to defray hospital and other care costs.

But medical emergencies are just one of many complications that may arise during travel, and this Mastercard extends its protective advantages to other areas of necessity. Members will enjoy insurance for rental cars, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, and baggage. The card also comes with a wealth of additional trip assistance services including emergency cash advance, lost document replacement and more. Coverage is unlimited, meaning that each of these features applies to every trip, no matter how frequent.

For an extra fee, cardholders can access balance protection as well, an insurance feature which guarantees that their balance is paid in the event of disability, job loss, loss of life or limb, and critical or terminal illness. Considering that cardmembers are also exempt from the first year’s annual fee (limited time offer), receive a welcome bonus of 20,000 points, earn rewards at a lucrative 2% rate, and gain VIP access to airport lounges, the BMO World Elite has set the bar very high for travel cards.
Click Here To Apply For The BMO® World Elite™Mastercard®
Best Credit Card If You're A Student
BMO SPC MasterCard

Getting you're first credit card when you're a student should be a simple task. You want a card that offers easy approval, does not require income or proof of income and offers great rewards!

Unfortunately, not all Canadian student credit cards fit the bill. In fact, some require that you hold a part-time job and show proof of income. Not exactly friendly to the full-time student. Others require you pay an annual fee, which makes no sense.

That's why we love the BMO SPC Student MasterCard. It comes with no annual fee, no income required, and has 2 amazing rewards programs built into one card. First, you get automatic membership into the SPC Card student program - a savings of $10 on the membership fee each and every year you're in school. Second, you get 10-15% discounts at hundreds of retailers across Cananda through SPC.

Lastly, you can either get the cash back or Air Miles no fee student credit card. The BMO SPC Cash back card offers a welcome bonus of $60 and 1% cash back on all purchases, and the no fee Air Miles card comes with a 500 Air Miles welcome bonus!
Click Here To Apply For The BMO SPC MasterCard
Best Credit Card For Family Travel
WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard

If you're looking for a credit card that can help lighten the cost of travelling with your spouse and kids, there's no better card than the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard.

To start, the WestJet World Elite MasterCard comes with a $250 WestJet Dollar sign-up bonus travel credit, in addition to an annual companion voucher. Both the bonus and voucher can be used on the same itinerary. For example, you can use the $250 on your ticket, and for the same trip buy your spouses ticket (plus taxes and fees) for $99 to any destination in North America.

But what also makes this card really stand-out, is that it offers first checked bag free for the primary cardholder and up to 8 travelling companions! With checked baggage now costing up to $30 each way, for a family of 4 that could be equal to a savings of $240 return per trip! Not only that, you get your first checked bag free whether it's a rewards flight or not.

Lastly, the WestJet World Elite MasterCard offers solid protection, with Travel Medical Insurance for you and the entire family while your out of country or out of province. In fact, you don't even have to fly to get covered, you can drive down to the U.S. and your families still protected.

For more travel categories, visit our Best Travel Credit Card Rankings in Canada page.]]>