GreedyRates http://www.greedyrates.ca/ en-us GreedyRates http://www.greedyrates.ca/ http://www.greedyrates.ca/images/logo.png 5 Tips On Travel Hacking - What You Need to Know to Hack it http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/5-tips-travel-hacking-what-you-need-to-know-to-hack-it Tue, 28 Mar 2017 15:54:21 -0400
What is travel hacking anyway? It’s a modern term for getting the most out of your travels, be it through finding online discounts, coupons for cheaper flights, or using miles to make purchases while you’re abroad.
Travel Hack #1: Look for Bonus Points Packages That Count
Some credit cards offer fabulous deals for purchases, anniversaries, and other occasions throughout the year. The more benefits that come with the package, the more you’ll save when traveling. A great example of this is the Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card. This credit card offers 30,000 bonus points after your first purchase on the card. These points can be traded for travel benefits such as four free nights in a hotel abroad, no foreign currency exchange fees, and 5 points for every dollar spent at Marriott locations. That’s a good deal!

Finally, look for cards that are specifically travel-friendly. The Rogers™ Platinum MasterCard® has a unique 4% unlimited cashback rewards policy for any purchases made in a foreign currency, so this is the ideal card for traveling. Now that you know how to hack a credit card, it’s time to make use of that knowledge. Enjoy your spring as a smarter, more hack-savvy traveler thanks to these simple travel hacks.
Travel Hack #2: Get Your Flight Paid For
Flights can be a large portion of your travel expenses, so finding a travel hack for this high-ticket item can save you a lot on your overall holiday. Many companies will allow you to transfer your credit card reward points into frequent flyer miles and pay for your flights via this method.  The American Express® Gold Rewards Card allows this in programs such as Avios and Aeroplan®. Oh, and be sure to find those No Annual Fee cards (looking at you, TD Aeorplan Visa Infinite), just to sweeten your deal even more by saving approx. $100 a year.
Travel Hack #3: Pay Attention
The number one lesson in travel hacking 101 is keep your eye on the ball. Credit card companies, airlines, gas stations, etc. want to make money off of you. They’ll offer incentives to reel you in, but those deals won’t last long. You need to pay attention to what deals are being offered, end dates, redemption expiration dates, and the fine print to know when to stay put and when it’s time to move on to another credit card with better fringe benefits.
Travel Hack #4: Don’t Skip Insurance
Not having travel insurance can actually cost you a lot more in the event that something goes wrong. Fortunately, lots of great credit cards have travel insurance benefits tied into their packages. TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card, for example, includes a variety of travel insurance packages so you can really sit back, relax, and just enjoy the ride.
Travel Hack #5: Go for the Points
While nearly all cards today will offer some sort of points system each time you make a purchase, not all credit cards were created equal, and some are significantly more lucrative than others. Look for a card that will simply reward you for spending handsomely. MBNA Rewards World Elite® will reward travelers with 2 points for every dollar they spend, making your purchases twice as sweet.
Bonus Tip: Rinse, Wash, Repeat
A major contributor to a successful travel hack is your ability to own more than one credit card at a time, and earn more points redeemable for miles and other perks. Did you know you can sign up for the American Express Gold Rewards card, get a 25,000 welcome bonus points, and convert them to Aeroplan® Miles? That’s right! Your next step should be signing up for the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card and getting their 30,000 Aeroplan points. Now you have 55,000 points that are equivalent to two round-trips to the States! Don’t forget: the more travel reward cards you own - the more free flights and hotel nights you earn.

Now that you know how to hack a credit card, it’s time to make use of that knowledge. Enjoy your spring as a smarter, more hack-savvy traveler thanks to these simple travel hacks. For more on travel hacking, see our complete list of the best travel credit cards for 2017.]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Canada is Maxed Out, But Credit Cards are Decreasing http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/canada-maxed-credit-cards-decreasing Wed, 15 Mar 2017 14:35:10 -0400
Reward Programs to Foster Loyalty
According to the analysts, higher debt with fewer cards in circulation translates to people signing up for fewer credit cards, but actually using the ones they already have more frequently. This closing in of financial outlets could be seen as a positive turn for consumers. With customers signing up for fewer cards, companies will need to increase incentives to keep their customers from switching to a competitor with better benefits.

With higher spending producing greater balances on fewer cards, credit limits are breaking new heights as well. TransUnion a credit card monitoring agency in Canada, suspects that limits will continue to rise as brand loyalty increases.
Are Demographics Painting a Skewed Picture?
Before credit card companies start reorganizing their entire business model, however, a few things should be noted: The data is slightly unbalanced due to the difference in demographics. Millennials, for example, have a tendency to use debit cards more often than credit. The older generation, on the other hand, appreciates the benefits of card loyalty schemes, and therefore utilizes these plans more often. Still, more benefits such as air miles or vouchers are helpful for the industry and an obvious incentive for people to sign up or use those cards.
Maintaining Financial Responsibilities Throughout This Flux
Of course, just because you can spend more doesn’t mean you should. As always, consumers should keep their spending habits within a reasonable budget and not exceed their means simply because the credit limit allows it.

This is particularly true considering the fact that the studies have shown that consumers who pay at least the minimum monthly payment (if not more) have a greater likelihood of staying away from delinquency (like late fees). Overall delinquency rates had a slight increase, while non-mortgage rates actually decreased. Generally speaking, this was a good year for consumer credit according to the Insider Insights report.

Still carrying debt you would like erased for practically nothing? Check out Canada's best balance transfer credit card!]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Credit Card Review http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/td-aeroplan-visa-infinite-credit-card-review Mon, 06 Mar 2017 01:30:34 -0500 TD's Aeroplan Visa Infinite credit card is still Canada's most popular travel card with one of the hottest sign-up offers in Canada today - 30,000 miles (15,000 miles with your first purchase, 10,000 miles when you keep your Account open, active and in good standing for 90 days, 5,000 miles when you add an authorized user) all with no minimum spend requirement and no annual fee in the first year - the promotion you've been waiting for!
25,000 Aeroplan miles alone will get you a return economy class flight anywhere within North America, (taxes and fees not included). The savings from the first year annual fee rebate are worth an additional $120. The only cost to getting the free flight is putting one purchase on the card to meet the activation requirement - it could be a pack of gum. TD's paying you a whole bunch of money to apply for the card - take advantage.
This offer expires May 4, 2017 (not available in branches or TD's website). Get it while you can.
[button color="red" size="medium" link="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=Sb6l9Ey/juUofferid=467887.140type=3subid=0u1=tdaeroinfreview" ]Apply Now![/button]

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Benefits
Aeroplan miles are worth between 1.27 cents and 2.19 cents (based on a sampling of 15 flights that GreedyRates performed). You will get 1.5 points per dollar spent on gas, grocery, drugstore and Air Canada.com purchases and 1 point everywhere else, giving you between 1.27% and 3.28% in value per dollar spent on your credit card.  
When looking at the Aeroplan flight redemption chart, the 25,000 point sign-up bonus offer (plus 5,000 if you add an authorized user) is enough to get a return fare ticket that will take you to destinations anywhere within continental North America on an economy fare. 15,000 points is good enough for a return short-haul flight to anywhere in North America.
Here are some of the additional perks that help this card stand-out from the pack:
1) Free checked bag when travelling on an Aeroplan flight rewards operated by Air Canada
2) Priority Check-in when travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated by Air Canada
3) Priority Boarding when travelling on an Aeroplan flight reward operated by Air Canada
4) Annual Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge One-Time Guest Pass when travelling on an Aeroplan flight operated by Air Canada
5) Miles will not expire as long as you are a TD Aeroplan Cardholder
6) Comprehensive travel insurances including travel medical, trip cancellation interruption, auto rental collision loss, purchase security and extended warranty
7) 1.5 points per $1 spent on gas, grocery and drugstore purchases
8) 1.5 points per $1 spent on AirCanada.com purchases  1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
9) Earn miles twice when you pay with your TD AeroplanVisa Infinite Card and use your Aeroplan Membership Card at over 150 retail partners
Worth It?
With the sign-up bonus now at up to 30,000 points with no annual fee in the first year, the sign-up bonus alone is worth it. All you have to do is take the time to apply and you're getting a free ticket. With no annual fee, and no minimum spend requirement, the sign-up bonus is essentially free. You'll receive a Welcome Bonus of 15,000 Aeroplan Miles with your first purchase and 10,000 Aeroplan Miles if keep your Account open and in good standing 90 days after account approval. Plus, you'll get an additional 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card's perks can add up to a lot more than the $120 fee (which isn't charged in the first year of this offer), making the card a worthy travelling companion in its own right. For example, the first free checked bag is worth $25 (each way), the free Maple Leaf Lounge access pass is worth $50, and the complimentary insurances alone can be worth over $400 per year and more.
Eligibility
You will need to either have a minimum personal income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 to be eligible for the card. If you don't, TD will make the Aeroplan Platinum card available to you.
Better Offers?
To our knowledge, this is the best Aeroplan credit card offer in Canada right now. In fact, this offer isn't even available inside TD branches right now or on its website. With this offer, available at GreedyRates.ca only, you can essentially fly free, just for getting approved, and spending what you would have spent otherwise - there is no minimum spend requirement!
If you have a better offer, feel free to share, but as for now, we think this is the best Aeroplan credit card offer in the Canadian marketplace today.
[button color="red" size="medium" link="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=Sb6l9Ey/juUofferid=467887.140type=3subid=0u1=tdaeroinfreview" ]Apply Now![/button]]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
The Best Aeroplan Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses - Fly Free now! http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-aeroplan-credit-card-bonuses Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:05:42 -0500
We've assembled the Best Aeroplan credit card sign-up bonuses currently available in the Canadian marketplace. Getting a new Aeroplan credit card with a juicy sign-up bonus offer is the best and cheapest way to add to your collection of Aeroplan points. Even if you already have an Aeroplan credit card, why spend $25,000 over 1-2 years to get 25,000 points, when all you have to do is sign-up for a new card from a different issuer!
Best Aeroplan Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses
Credit Cards          Sign-Up  Bonus           Minimum Spend           Annual Fee            Min Income       

 50,000 Miles                     $3,000 in 3 Months                 $499                          $40K                   Get This Offer              Note: Offer expires March 29th, 2017

 25,000 Miles                    $1,500 in 3 Months            No fee 1 Yr/$150 after    $20K               Get This Offer              Note: Transfer Amex Gold points to Aeroplan 1:1 for free
 15,000 Miles                     $1,500 in 3 Months                   $120                             $20K                  Get This Offer

 65,000 Miles                       First Purchase                         $399                            $200K               Get This Offer

 30,000 Miles                      First Purchase             No fee 1 Yr/$120 after       $60K                 Get This Offer               Note: Offer expires May 4, 2017

From our perspective, the best Aeroplan credit card sign-up bonuses right now are the American Express Gold Rewards Credit Card (transfer points to Aeroplan miles 1:1 for free) and the TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa. Both have no annual fee in the first year and a 25,000 to 30,000 Aeroplan Mile sign-up bonus (the TD Aeroplan Infinite offer is a limited time promotion available at GreedyRates.ca only until May 4, 2017)

You get Amex's 25,000 miles if you spend $1,500 in the first 3 months. TD's 30,000 miles has no minimum spend requirement (15,000 miles on activation, plus another 10,000 miles when you keep your account open and in good standing for 90 days, plus an additional 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user).

If you already have an Aeroplan credit card, signing-up for another Aeroplan credit card is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to get an additional 25,000 miles free! You also keep your Aeroplan miles, even if you cancel your credit card. Why wouldn't you go through the minimal effort to apply for another card?

With either card, you juice your Aeroplan account with free miles, plus there's an annual fee rebate for the first year! It's a risk free way to get 25,000 miles, enough for free return airfare to anywhere in North America, including travelling from Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver or Calgary to New York, Miami, Arizona or California!

Aside from the high sign-up bonus, the Amex Gold Rewards card also offers 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, pharmacy travel, and 1 point everywhere else, making it the best way to accumulate Aeroplan points in Canada. By comparison, both the TD and CIBC Aeroplan Visa Infinite cards only offer 1.5 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, pharmacy and 1 point everywhere else (including travel). The Amex Gold Rewards card has the added advantage that you can keep your points within Amex and use them to fly any airline, with no seat restrictions, any time, or transfer them to Aeroplan - cost-free - at your convenience.

Several factors will help you identify the best Aeroplan credit card sign-up bonus offer for you:

1. Size of the bonus: There are plenty of Aeroplan sign-up bonuses for 15,000 points, but you should always wait until you get at least 25,000. That may mean you have to wait for a special offer. Just be patient it's worth it. Think about it, the difference between 25,000 and 15,000 bonus points is around $10,000 in credit card spend...for most that's a lot of time and money.

2. Attainable welcome bonus: Some bonus offers give 15,000 points with no minimum spend required. Others offer a 25,000 point bonus with a minimum spend of $500 within the first 3 months. Whatever it is, make sure the minimum spend and the time-frame required to achieve the threshold are easily attainable given your budget.

3. Annual fee waiver: Many of the best Aeroplan credit card bonus offers also have a first year annual fee waiver. With no annual fee in the first year, the issuer is begging you to try out their card risk free. The good news is, with no annual fee in the first year, the sign-up bonus is absolutely free - at the end of the year you can decide to cancel your card or not, but the Aeroplan points will remain yours.

4. Transferability: Many Canadians only look at Aeroplan branded credit cards and miss out on a number of other rewards cards that exchange points with Aeroplan 1:1. We love those hybrid cards because they give cardholders the flexibility to take advantage of other huge sign-up bonuses, sometimes 25,000 points or more, and then transfer those points to their Aeroplan account free. Applying for multiple Aeroplan sign-up bonuses from different issuers is a great strategy to quickly ramp up your point balance.
Summary of Best Aeroplan Credit Card Offers:




Credit Card


Welcome Bonus


Annual Fee


Min Income


Apply Online




American Express Aeroplan Platinum


50,000 miles


$499


$40K


Get This Offer




American Express Gold Rewards


25,000 miles


1st year free, $150 thereafter


$20K


Get This Offer




TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa


30,000 miles


1st year free, $120 thereafter


$60K


Get This Offer




TD Aeroplan Privilege


65,000 miles


$399


$200K


Get This Offer




American Express Aeroplan


25,000 miles


$120


$20K

Get This Offer



Regardless of your choice, it's never been easier to milk Aeroplan rewards out of the system than it is right now. Take advantage while the good times last. You can compare Aeroplan credit cards in even greater depth with our travel rewards comparison tool, if you want even more detail.]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Best Travel Credit Card Rankings in Canada For 2017 http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-travel-credit-card-canada Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:03:58 -0500
To help us derive our rankings for the best travel credit card, we first measured the value per point of each rewards program. We checked how many points were required to fly on 15 different flights for each credit card and compared it to the lowest price of each flight, giving us the true cost per point of each rewards program. We did a similar exercise for hotels.

We then evaluated earn rates, credit card bonuses, annual fees, perks, insurance coverage, foreign transaction fees, ease of redemption, and travel opportunities to determine the best travel credit card in Canada for each travel card category.

Here's the summary of the top ranked travel credit cards in Canada, full credit card reviews are below:
Best Travel Credit Card Rankings for Canada 2017

Best Flexible Travel Credit Card Winner:

Winner: The American Express® Gold Rewards Card
Runner-Up: RBC Visa Infinite Avion


Best Airline Travel Credit Card Winner:

Winner: TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite* Card
Runner-Up: WestJet World Elite MasterCard




Best "Book Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" Travel Credit Card Winner:

Winner: MBNA Rewards World Elite® 
Runner-Up: Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard®




Best Foreign Transaction Travel Credit Card Winner: 

Winner: Rogers™ Platinum MasterCard®
Runner-Up: The Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Credit Card From Chase




Best Insurance Travel Credit Card Winner:

Winner: Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold
Runner-Up: National Bank World Elite MasterCard


Best Hotel Travel Credit Card Winner: 

Winner: Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card
Runner-Up: Starwood Preferred Guest Card



A description of each travel card category and a full review of each of the top ranked Canadian travel credit cards are as follows:
Best Flexible Travel Credit Card In Canada:
The American Express® Gold Rewards Card
[caption id="attachment_303" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

A flexible travel credit card allows you to make any travel related purchase on your card, then call or go online to pay for it with your points, allowing you to benefit from the best deals or options you can find. Some even allow you to convert your points into an alternative frequent flyer program.




Why It's a Winner: The American Express Gold Rewards card is special because of its phenomenal rewards value and its unparalleled flexibility.  Earn a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points (redeem for $250 against any travel or transfer to Aeroplan 1:1 for 25,000 Aeroplan miles) and get the first year annual fee waived - a value of $150 - making the card virtually free to try for a year and the welcome bonus free as well.
Ongoing value is strong. Earn double points on gas, grocery, drugstore all travel related expenses (air, water, rail and road transport, lodging and tour operator sales). Each Amex point is worth 1 cent. As a result, the base rewards rate is worth 1% and the bonus rewards rate is worth 2%. If you transfer your points to Aeroplan, the base rewards rate is worth 1.28% and 2.56% on bonus categories, which is stellar. The insurance package is phenomenal.
What makes this card the gold standard of flexibility in Canada however, is that you can book any travel related purchase (flight, cruise, train, hotel, or rental car) on the card, and then use your points to pay ANY of the travel expenses that show up on your statement, including taxes fees. You can ALSO choose to transfer your Membership Rewards points to Aeroplan or British Airways AVIOS points 1:1 with no additional charges - secretly making this the most valuable Aeroplan card on the market. Pair this card with the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card below and you'll have 50,000 bonus points to start - without even paying an annual fee!
The Amex Gold Rewards card beats RBC's Visa Infinite Avion card for four reasons. First, it has a higher sign-up bonus. Second, Amex waives the first year annual fee. Third, you can earn double points on travel expenses (in addition to gas groceries). Fourth, Amex allows you to redeem for any travel expense on your statement at full value, while if you redeem with RBC's Payback with Points feature, you'll get closer to half a penny per point.
In the end, Amex gives the cardholder additional flexibility to take advantage of promotions and cost saving opportunities in both the Aeroplan and Avios programs, without sacrificing any value if you decide to redeem for any travel purchase.




Runner Up: RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card








Best Airline Travel Credit Card In Canada:
TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite Card
[caption id="attachment_1940" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

An airline travel card puts miles directly into your airline frequent flyer account. Airline credit cards have their perks – waived bag fees, lounge access, priority boarding check-in, and so on – while a more general travel credit card might offer higher earning potential and greater flexibility.





Why It's a Winner: If you're looking to top-up, or start-off your Aeroplan mile bank, this is a great opportunity. There's currently an excellent welcome bonus of up to 30,000 miles, with no annual fee in the first year, and no minimum spend required! Earn 15,000 Aeroplan miles with your first purchase, 10,000 miles when you keep your account open and in good standing for 90 days, and an additional 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user  (exclusive online offer available through GreedyRates, until May 4, 2017).  25,000 points will allow you to fly return to any city in North America from any Canadian city.  15,000 points allows you to fly return to any short-haul destination in North America. To top it off, TD is offering a first year annual fee rebate, a value of $120, making the card free to try and the welcome bonus a hefty bargain.
Our study found each Aeroplan mile to be valued between 1.28 cents per mile when redeeming for economy fare to 2.2 cents for business class - a strong rewards rate, despite the recent devaluation when redeeming for business and first class fares on certain routes. We like the point acceleration opportunities offered by the card, including 1.5 points per dollar spent at gas, grocery drug stores (at 1.28-2.2 cents per mile, it give you a 1.92% to 3.3% earn rate) and the additional opportunities to double dip at Aeroplan partners to further accelerate point accumulation.
TD offers a very rich set of perks on the card. It has a robust set of insurance protection, including travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage and auto rental. Other perks we like include priority check-in and boarding, free lounge access, and one-free checked bag on Aeroplan redemption flights, which can save you $52.50 per return ticket.
The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card beats the West Jet World Elite MasterCard for four reasons. First, it's welcome bonus has no annual fee in the first year. Second, you can redeem your points to fly to more destinations with Air Canada and Star Alliance than with West Jet. Third, there are more opportunities to earn points and to double dip at Aeroplan partners. Fourth, you can use your points to upgrade to business and first class.


Runner Up: WestJet World Elite MasterCard






Best "Book Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" Travel Credit Card In Canada:
MBNA Rewards World Elite® 
[caption id="attachment_5087" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here To Apply[/caption]

A "Book Anything, Anytime, Anywhere" travel credit card allows you to redeem for any travel related expense on your credit card. You purchase travel on your card from any travel provider (airline, hotel, cruise, resort, theme park, car rental, etc...) then call or go online to redeem your points for the travel purchase.






Why It's a Winner: The MBNA Rewards World Elite card is simple, convenient and rich. Get a $100 welcome bonus, upon your first purchase (no minimum spend required) and a 2% earn rate on everything. Best of all, you can redeem your cash credit for anything on your credit card bill - including travel.
The MBNA Rewards World Elite card offers 2 points per dollar spent on ALL purchases, which translates to a 2% earn rate on all spend (earn $2 in rewards for every $100 in purchases). There are no caps or limits to how much you can earn. That matches the richest flat earn rate in Canada. Nothing beats 2%.
Here's where the MBNA Rewards World Elite is unique. You can apply your points against ANY purchase on your credit card statement, not just travel purchases - at full value - including taxes and fees. For example, if you spent $10,000 on your travel card, you will earn $200 in rewards. You can then apply that $200 credit against any item on your statement any time, OR you can have MBNA send you a check or direct deposit the $200 into your checking account (cashback). Pretty nifty.
You can also use your points to redeem for travel in MBNA's travel centre or rewards catalogue, but why would you? We recommend you get the best deal you can find on your own (websavers, Expedia, discount travel, etc...). Use your MBNA Rewards World Elite card to purchase your travel, and then redeem your MBNA cash equivalent points against the purchase. You'll get the cheapest travel deal you can find, booked when you want, with one of the richest redemption rates!
The MBNA Rewards World Elite beat the Capital One Aspire World Elite because, while both offer a 2% earn rate, the Aspire devalues points to a 1.5% earn rate when redeeming for cash or non-travel purchases. MBNA is 2% all the time. Moreover, while the Aspire World Elite has the higher sign-up bonus, it comes with a $150 annual fee (versus $89) and requires $1,000 spend in the first 3 months.














Runner Up: Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard®







Best Foreign Transaction Travel Credit Card In Canada:
Rogers™ Platinum MasterCard® 
[caption id="attachment_4387" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here To Apply[/caption]
Most banks charge a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on top of the near spot market currency conversion rate charged by Visa or MasterCard. A foreign transaction card charges no fees above the conversion rate, or provides extra rewards to subsidize the rate, meaning you're getting pretty close to the spot rate when using the card to make a purchase in a foreign currency!







Why It's a Winner: While not a travel card per se, the Rogers Platinum MasterCard is one of only 3 credit cards in Canada that subsidize foreign transaction fees. It won the category because it offers 4% cashback on ALL foreign purchases, comes with no annual fee, a 1.75% rewards rate on all other spend you can redeem against any expense - not just Rogers.Although Rogers subsidizes foreign transactions a little differently, it remains the best way to make purchases in a foreign currency. Most credit cards offer 2% or less rewards per dollar spent and charge 2.5% in foreign transaction fees, for a net loss of .5%. Others offer 1% cashback and no foreign transaction fees, for a net gain of 1%. Rogers offers 4% cashback on foreign purchases, with a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, for a net cashback gain of 1.5% - the highest of all. You're making money on each dollar you spend in a foreign currency!
You can redeem your cash rewards as a statement credit once per year, for any balance owing on your credit card, including travel expenses. Alternatively, you can redeem your cash back any time for Rogers, FIDO, or Chatr services or products.
Rogers offers a $25 welcome bonus, no annual fee in the first year (savings of $29), and no annual fee ever if you set up your Rogers bill as a pre-authorized payment. This card does not have a very strong travel insurance package. It's best to use abroad or for foreign internet purchases, but not to book your flight, if you want trip cancellation coverage.
The Rogers Platinum Mastercard beats out the Marriott Rewards Visa card for three reasons. First, Rogers comes with a higher net rewards rate on foreign transaction of 1.5% versus 1% for the Marriott card. Second, it comes with a richer rewards rate of 1.75% on all spend, compared to about 1% for Marriott. Third, you can redeem your points as cashback against any expense, including travel, not just Marriott hotels - making it more flexible.














Runner Up: Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card







Best Insurance Travel Credit Card In Canada:
Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold
[caption id="" align="alignright" width="128"] Click Here To Apply[/caption]

Whether you're a snowbird, jaunt across the border, or go away for the annual family holiday, you can save big money and protect yourself and your savings with free travel insurance included on your credit card. It's convenient, free, and exceptionally valuable.






Why It's a Winner: The Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold is available to every Canadian. Its inclusive credit card travel insurance is a tour de force that stands head and shoulders above the competition.
First, its travel medical insurance covers you and your family for 60 consecutive days, while out of province or country. Most other travel cards cover you for 15-25 days. Second, it offers travel medical coverage up to the age of 75 ( 60 days for ages up to 59, 31 days for ages between 60-64, and 15 days for ages 65-75)! Third, it covers you for up to $5 million in claims, most cover you between $1M to $2M.
Lastly, while the Odyssey covers you for trip cancellation up to $2,500 per person, if you have an unexpected return home it offers unlimited trip interruption insurance!
Desjardins' Odyssey Gold comes with every major travel insurance coverage you'll need, including out-of-province / out-of-country travel medical insurance, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, baggage, car rental, travel accident, purchase protection, extended warranty mobile device insurance.
Unfortunately, it comes with a $110 annual fee (pretty reasonable given the coverage), and only gets you a 1% earn rate on your spend. A great card for the coverage itself, but we'd probably recommend using another card to accumulate your rewards.
The Desjardins Odyssey Gold Visa card beats National Bank's World Elite travel card for a few reasons. It offers more coverage to older ages. It offers unlimited trip interruption coverage and it has mobile device insurance, which National Bank does not.














Runner Up: National Bank World Elite MasterCard







Best Hotel Travel Credit Card In Canada:
Marriott Rewards® Premier Visa® Card
[caption id="attachment_1049" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]
Hotel travel cards put your points directly into your frequent guest program accounts. Cardholders will discover benefits that both cut your travel costs and add another dimension of luxury and convenience to your hotel experience. 







Why It's a Winner: Earn 30,000 bonus points with your first purchase! That's up to 4 free nights, with no minimum spend requirements - and it comes with no annual fee in the first year. Plus, get an additional free nights stay on your account anniversary date EVERY year at a category 1-5 hotel! To top it off, it doesn't charge any foreign transactions fees on purchases outside of Canada. That's a savings of 2.5% on non-Canadian purchases alone.
Not to be overlooked, Marriott Rewards ranks highest among hotel loyalty/rewards programs as ranked by J.D. Powers. Also Marriott Hotel's has recently acquired Delta Hotels Starwood. Their hotels can now be found worldwide with a brand for every price point - Delta, Sheraton, W, AC Hotels by Marriott, Autograph Collection Hotels, Courtyard, Edition, Fairfield Inn, Gaylord Hotels, JW Marriott, Marriott Executive Apartments, Marriott Hotels Resorts, Marriott Vacation Club, Renaissance Hotels, Residence Inn, SpringHill Suites, The Ritz-Carlton and TownePlace Suites.
Marriott has indicated it has no plans to merge the Marriott and SPG credit card programs until at least 2018. However, members can now link their loyalty accounts and transfer points between each program freely. We think that's a great opportunity for Canadians to get both credit cards and merge the bonus points from each. You could end up with 90,000 Marriott Rewards or 30,000 SPG Starpoints by doing so!

Runner Up: Starwood Preferred Guest Card From American Express







Summary of Best Travel Credit Card Rankings in Canada




Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Min Income


TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
30,000
1st Yr Free, $120 thereafter
$60K


American Express Gold Rewards
25,000
1st Yr Free, $150 thereafter
$20K


MBNA Rewards World Elite
$100
$89
$60K


Marriott Rewards Visa
30,000
1st Yr Free, $120 thereafter
$30K


Rogers Platinum MasterCard
$25
$0
$15K


Desjardins Visa Odyssey Gold
$0
$110
$15K



Last Leg of The Journey
The best travel credit card for you will depend on your travel needs and spending habits. You'll get the most from your card if you start-off with a great bonus offer, like the rewards program offered by the card, pay your balance in full each month, and consider which fees can best be balanced with bonuses, perks, and rewards.

Canadians are in a great position to try new travel cards that earn them more points, provide more benefits and better flexibility than the card in their wallet today. Take advantage and get more bang for your buck starting now.]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Comparing Aeroplan Credit Cards - TD, CIBC, American Express - Which is Best? http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/aeroplan-credit-card-comparison-2014 Mon, 06 Mar 2017 00:01:11 -0500
Below is a quick comparison of the sign-up bonus, annual fee, point accumulation and insurance coverages offered by each Aeroplan credit card currently in the market. Although not officially an Aeroplan credit card, we included the Amex Gold rewards card because you're able to transfer its Amex points 1:1 to Aeroplan, giving cardholders significant flexiblity to book through Aeroplan or Amex at their option.




TD Aeroplan Visa Platinum
American Express Aeroplan Plus
CIBC Aero
Platinum
CIBC Aerogold Infinite
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold
American Express Gold Rewards
(Hybrid)
TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum


Annual Fee
$89
$60
$39
$120
$0 1st Yr $120 After
$120
$0 1st Yr   $150 After
$399
$499


Supplementary Card
$35
$20
$50
$50
$50
$0
$0
$99
$99-$199


Signing Bonus Points
10,000
5,000
5,000
15,000
30,000
15,000
25,000
65,000
50,000


Basic Rewards
.66 pt : $1
1 pt : $1
1 pt : $1.5
1 pt : $1
1 pt : $1
1 pt : $1
1 pt : $1
1.25 pt : $1
1.25 pt : $1


Accelerated Rewards
1 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore)
1 pt : $1
1 pt : $1.5
1.5 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore)
1.5 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore Air Canada)
1.25 pt : $1 on spend > $10K
2 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore travel)
1.5 pt : $1 (gas, grocery, drugstore)
1.5 pt : $1 on spend > $25K


Insurance
Auto Rental
Travel Accident
Auto Rental,
Travel Accident
Auto Rental, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Trip Interruption, Out of Province Travel Medical
Auto Rental,
Travel Accident,
Flight Delay,
Baggage,
Trip Interruption
Out of Province Travel Medical
Trip Cancellation



Auto Rental, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Hotel/Motel Burglary
Auto Rental, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Trip Interruption, Out of Province Travel Medical, Hotel/Motel Burglary
Auto Rental, Trip Cancellation, Travel Accident,
Flight Delay,
Trip Interruption,
Out of Province Travel Medical

Auto Rental, Trip Cancellation, Travel Accident, Flight Delay, Baggage, Trip Interruption, Out of Province Travel Medical, Hotel Motel Burglary



 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now
 Apply Now



What the above chart clearly shows, is that the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card and the Amex Gold Rewards card (transfer Amex points to Aeroplan 1:1 for free) have the heftiest up-front bonuses of 30,000 and 25,000 Aeroplan points respectively among the infinite cards, and are the only two to offer attractive first year annual fee waivers.

TD's current Aeroplan Infinite offer gives you 15,000 miles on activation, another 10,000 miles if you keep your card open and in good standing for 90 days with no minimum spend is required and an additional 5,000 miles if you add an authorized user. That's a total of 25,000 Aeroplan miles! The offer is available exclusively on GreedyRates.ca for a limited time until May 4, 2017.

We think the combination of a high welcome bonus with no minimum spend requirement and no cost in the first year make great opportunities to jump start your Aeroplan miles at virtually no cost. You're getting a round-trip, coach class ticket to anywhere within North America for free. That's a great opportunity. Get both cards and you have two free tickets, with no annual fee.

The American Express Gold Rewards card is the richest Aeroplan credit card in Canada. Here's why: Because the American Express Gold Rewards card allows users to transfer its points 1:1 to Aeroplan miles, it effectively offers 2 Aeroplan miles per $1 spent on gas, groceries, drugstore and travel, and 1 point per $1 spent everywhere else. CIBC only offers 1.5 points on gas, groceries and drugstore, which is 25% less than the Gold Rewards earn rate, and they only offer 1 point per $1 spent on travel (TD offers 1.5 points on online Air Canada bookings). The Gold Rewards card gives 2 points per $1 spent on all travel expenses (flights, hotels, cruises, car rental, taxis, etc...), which not only makes it a great travel redemption card, but also a great travel earn card!

The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and Amex Gold Rewards cards also offer the highest welcome bonuses of 25,000 points to start, while the CIBC card only offers 15,000 points currently. The TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and Amex Gold Rewards card also waive the first year annual fee, a value of $120-$150, making it virtually risk free to try-out. It also makes the 25,000 point sign-up bonuses free. CIBC is now charging the first year annual fee, although they have been making annual fee waiver offers to select applicants. Lastly, with an insurance package that is as good or better than the competition, we think the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite and Amex Gold Rewards Card have the best value among any Aeroplan credit cards currently being offered in Canada.

Aside from the economic value of the Gold Rewards card, what really distinguishes it from the other Aeroplan cards, is that if you can't find the flight you're looking for with Air Canada, you can transfer your Amex points to Avios 1:1, or use them as Amex points for ANY travel expense, making it the most flexible option among the Aeroplan credit cards. CIBC used to allow cardholders to transfer points from Aventura to Aeroplan, but has discontinued that point exchange program unfortunately. We love the flexibility, and with Aeroplan's black-out dates, we think it's a very valuable one.

There are several nice value added features on the TD Aeroplan cards as well: free checked bag, priority check-in, priority boarding and 1 free Maple Lounge pass per year on Aeroplan flights operated by Air Canada. Plus, up to 35% fewer miles needed for Market Fare Flight Rewards as an Aeroplan Distinction member. Also, get faster access to Distinction status, Aeroplan’s recognition program that offers a range of Distinction benefits such as exclusive flight rewards, bonus mile offers and privileges.
Summary of Best Aeroplan Credit Card Offers in Canada



Aeroplan Credit Card
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Min Income


CIBC Aerogold Infinite
15,000 miles
$120
$60K


TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
30,000 miles
1st year free, $120 thereafter
$60K


American Express AeroplanPlus Gold
15,000 miles
$120
$20K


American Express Gold Rewards
25,000 miles
1st year free, $150 thereafter
$20K


American Express Aeroplan Platinum
50,000 miles
$499
$40K


TD Aeroplan Privilege
65,000 miles
$399
$200K



All in all, we think the American Express Gold Rewards Card and the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Cards are the two best Aeroplan credit card offers in Canada right now. They come with 25,000 and 30,000 mile sign-up bonuses respectively and no annual fee in the first year. Given the no annual fee promo, we would even recommend getting both cards, and jump starting your Aeroplan Miles with up to 50,000-55,000 points - enough for two round-trip tickets to anywhere in North America!

Brought to you by GreedyRates.ca





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marc@greedyrates.ca
Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada 2017 http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-low-interest-rate-credit-cards-canada Thu, 02 Mar 2017 01:50:34 -0500
We compared all the low interest credit cards in the Canadian market. Some credit cards might offer the same or lower interest rates for a shorter-term promotional period, others for an annual fee, others with risk based APR's, and still others with a variable interest rate that can rise at any point in time.

None beat no annual fee 5.99% fixed rates for new purchases, none beat 0% for 12 month balance transfers, and none beat 0% for 12 month cash advances deposited into your checking account - for everyone who gets approved. None.

With no annual fee and Canada's best interest rates conveniently available in your wallet when you need them, these credit cards are must haves. None of the cards on our list come with an annual fee, so there's no cost to carrying them as sound back-up credit cards as well.
Top Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada
Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada For Balance Transfers
MBNA Platinum Plus® MasterCard®

If you already have credit card, store card, or line of credit debt, the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard will help you cut, consolidate and reduce your debt with Canada's best standing balance transfer offer of 0% for 12 months, with no annual fee.

You can consolidate all of your store cards or credit cards to the MBNA Platinum Plus at 0% for 12 months - one payment, no interest. There is no annual fee on the card, however each transfer comes with a 1% transfer fee, which is low compared to some at 3%.

Alternatively, MBNA will also allow you to transfer cash into your bank account at 0% for 12 months as well. You can then use that 0% money for ANY purpose – same as cash, only MBNA calls it a “transfer of funds to a bank account”. It's essentially a 0% cash advance by another name.
Click here to apply for the MBNA Platinum Plus® MasterCard®  
Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada For Cash Advances
RBC Cash Back MasterCard

The RBC Cash Back Mastercard comes with no annual fee and has a superb 1.9% interest rate for 10 months on cash advances and balance transfers! That's Canada's lowest rate for cash advances, with the longest term. With no annual fee, it's a no brainer.

Most Canadian credit card cash advances start charging interest from the moment you withdraw funds at rates of 24% or more, plus charge an initial cash advance fee of $5 or more. With the RBC Cash Back MasterCard promotional rate you get cash advances at only 1.9% for the first 10 months of the card, a massive savings.

You can also decide to use the card for balance transfers, at 1.9% for 10 months, with a 0% balance transfer fee. Most other Canadian cards charge a balance transfer fee of 1%-3% up front!

The other nice thing about this card is that if you want to use it for new purchases, you'll get 2% on groceries and 1% on everything else. That said, we'd recommend only using the card for new purchases AFTER you've paid down your cash advance loan.
Click here to apply for the RBC Cash Back MasterCard
Best Low Interest Fixed Rate Credit Card In Canada
American Express EssentialTM Credit Card

This new offer from American Express is the low interest card you want to make new purchases or take out a cash advance with. With no annual fee and an 8.99% fixed interest rate on new purchases cash advances, this card stands out. It’s simple, clean and transparent, the 8.99% rate is what you see and what you get upon approval, regardless of your credit.

No other cards from the big banks offer such a low fixed rate, and it comes with no annual fee. Not RBC, TD, Scotia, CIBC or BMO. Most have low rate cards at 11.99% for purchases and cash advances, with a $29 fee. Many have cards with cash advance rates as high as 24.99%!

With no annual fee, you can keep the American Express Essential credit card in your wallet as a back-up to your rewards card, cost free. It's great if you need to finance a new purchase, access cash or if you want to transfer a balance without having to worry about promotional periods.

The 8.99% interest rate, is the lowest fixed rate in the country. Because it's not a variable rate, there's no risk it will increase on you. Also, if you get approved for the card, you'll get the advertised 8.99% rate - there's no "as low as" trickery, where you apply for one rate, but end up with a higher one.

When you apply, you can also get a 1.99% balance transfer rate for the first 6 months, with a 0% balance transfer fee. Upon expiry of the 6 month promo rate your APR will go to and stay at 8.99% for your transferred balances.
Click here to apply for the American Express EssentialTM Credit Card
Best Low Interest Credit Card in Canada For Purchases
The MBNA TrueLine Credit Card

The MBNA TrueLine credit card, issued by TD, is likely the best low interest credit card in Canada. No credit cards offer the ability to get a lower fixed rate interest than 5.99%, with no annual fee. It's transparent, simple and free. Your rate will be applied to all purchases, balance transfers and access checks!

You'll get a rate between 5.99% 14.99% depending on the strength of your credit - but you'll see your rate before you actually apply - without any impact on your credit. Just fill out the quick form, MBNA will tell you your rate, and then you decide whether you want to continue with the application - it takes two minutes and does not count as a credit inquiry to get your rate.

We’ve reviewed low fixed interest rate offers from RBC, BMO, Scotia, CIBC, TD, VanCity, National Bank and none beat MBNA Trueline's as low as 5.99% fixed annual interest rate with no annual fee, making it our number one ranked fixed low interest credit card in Canada right now. Great no fee, low interest card to keep in your wallet in case you ever have to access a low rate. It's like having a 5.99% unsecured credit line at your disposal.
Click here to apply for the MBNA TrueLine Credit Card
Summary of the Best Low Interest Credit Cards in Canada 2017



Credit Card
Interest Rate
Annual Fee
Category


MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard
0% for 12 months
$0
Balance Deposit Transfers


RBC Cash Back MasterCard
1.9% for 10 months
$0
Cash Advances Balance Transfers


American Express Essential Card
8.99%
$0
Fixed Interest Rate Cash Advances


MBNA Trueline
5.99%-14.99%
$0
Interest on New Purchases



Summary
If you do carry a balance, it makes no sense to chase rewards. You'll be spending close to 20% a year in interest, to save maybe 2% in rewards. Even if you carry the balance for 2 statement periods, it will cost you over 3.5% in compounded interest. The math doesn't work. You're best option, if you know you occasionally don't pay down your entire credit card bill, is to get yourself a no fee, low interest credit card. Just keep it in your wallet for those rainy days, unexpected expenses or need to haves - it costs you nothing, but will save you tons.

For whatever reason, most banks don't offer fixed rates as low as 5.99% to 9.99% with no annual fee. RBC, BMO, CIBC and Scotia offer low interest rate credit cards with rates as low as 11.99%, but they come with $20-$29 annual fees. RBC and TD have low variable rate credit cards of prime plus 4.99% to 8.99% or 1.25% to 12.75%. You don't know if you're going to get a rate of 7.69% or 15.45% before you apply. The problem is, even if you're unhappy with the rate you get, if you were approved, you still have to pay the annual fee!

With many of the new personal loans on the marketplace, while they advertise rates as low as 5.9%, they average more in the 12% range. Furthermore, they require you to send in proof of income and identity verification. Perhaps it's better than going into the branch to apply for a line of credit, but it's certainly not easier than applying for a credit card online.

That's why we love the new American Express Essential credit card. There's no annual fee, making it free to have whether you need it right away or not, and it has an 8.99% fixed rate. You know what you're getting before you apply, and it will never change.

MBNA's 0% for 12 month rate is also unparalleled in the Canadian marketplace. Whether you're looking to transfer your high interest credit card debt or you're looking to access cash at 0%, no other issuers currently offer the same published rate.

Just remember, don't make any new purchases on your balance transfer card - use it for balance transfers exclusively. You'll be paying 22% interest on new purchases, and when you try to pay the higher interest balance down, only a portion of your repayment will go towards your new purchase. The other portion will go towards your existing balance - you don't choose. As a result, you're new higher interest balance will stick until your lower interest balance is completely paid down.

So why use a credit line or personal loan to pay off credit card debt, when you can access 0% rates? It just doesn't make sense. We continue to recommend balance transfers as the optimal strategy to pay off high interest credit cards, store cards or fixed payment loans you may have. No other products offer interest rates as low.

Brought to you by GreedyRates.ca – Compare The Best Credit Cards In Canada]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Top Credit Card Cash Advances in Canada http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/top-credit-card-cash-advances-canada Thu, 02 Mar 2017 00:01:39 -0500
A cash advance is a very convenient way to access funds. Instead of using your credit card to make a purchase, if you need actual cash, you simply withdraw money from your credit card at a bank or an ATM - it's like a line of credit but with the convenience of a credit card.

Credit card cash advances usually get a bad rap because most come with high interest charges of 22% or more and start charging interest from the moment they get funded - there's no interest free grace period, like there is with credit card purchases.

However, not all credit card cash advances come with high interest rates. In fact some will offer cash at cheaper interest rates than your home equity line of credit, some don't charge interest at all! We've scoured the market to reveal the cash advance credit cards with the lowest interest rates in the market.
Top Credit Card Cash Advance Promotions in Canada
1. RBC Cash Back MasterCard

This card offers a special promotional cash advance rate of 1.9% for 10 months, and a charge of $3.50 for each withdrawal. There is no annual fee on the credit card. That means you will only be charged 1.9% interest on cash advances during the first 10 months after your account has been approved.

It is the best pure credit card cash advance promotional offer in Canada right now. It also happens to be a pretty good cash back card (although not the best cash back credit card), offering 2% on groceries and up to 1% everywhere else. But we're here to evaluate it as a cash advance card, and at 1.9% for 10 months, with no annual fee it's a great deal.

Apply Here for the RBC Cash Back MasterCard

2. American Express Essential Credit Card

The American Express Essential Credit Card offers an 8.99% cash advance rate at ALL times with no annual fee. Aside from the best low fixed rate in Canada, what we love about this card is that there is no promotional rate - the 8.99% is always available for new purchases and cash advances.

With no annual fee you can keep the card in your wallet, and then use the card for an unexpected cash advance need whenever required, whether it's a year or two down the line. At 8.99%, the American Express Essential's cash advance is better than most unsecured credit lines!

In fact, the American Express Essential Credit Card  is a low rate card that offers 8.99% on all purchases, cash advances and balance transfers even after the promotional period ends.

Apply Here for the American Express Essential Credit Card

3. MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard

This is another great opportunity to access cash, offering 0% for 12 months and no annual fee. However, it's not a pure cash advance product. With this offer, once you've been approved for the card, you can ask for a "deposit transfer" and cash will be deposited into your bank account, from your credit card, at the 0% for 12 month promotional rate, with a one time 1% transfer fee.

While not a pure cash advance, it's more like a money transfer into your bank account, it has the same effect. At 0% for 12 months, it comes with the best rate, but it can be a little less convenient than a pure cash advance because it can take 2-5 business days to get funded into your bank account.

Apply Here for the MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard
Credit Card Cash Advance Rates




Credit Card
Cash Advance Rate
Cash Advance Term
Annual Fee


#1
RBC Cash Back MasterCard
1.9%
10 months
$0


#2
Amex Essential Card
8.99%
At all times
$0


#3
MBNA Platinum Plus
0%
12 months
$0



Credit Card Cash Advance Summary
Many financial advisers and money bloggers suggest people stay away from credit card cash advances. The fact is, sometimes we can all find ourselves in a short-term money crunch. The cards above provide the best short-term, low rate cash advance options in Canada.

In fact, we'd argue they're some of the cheapest ways to access cash period. The rates above (0%-1.9%) are certainly better than any unsecured installment loans and are even better than any secured line of credit, let alone unsecured line of credit. The trick is, they're meant to be short term and used sparingly. Keep that in mind and you just found yourself some cheap money.





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marc@greedyrates.ca
How Do Canadian Credit Card Offers Compare To Their U.S. Cousins? http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/canadian-credit-card-offers-compare-u-s-cousins Mon, 27 Feb 2017 18:50:52 -0500
We compared 4 credit cards, that had both a Canadian and U.S. version. In each case, the U.S. version offered more value to the cardholder.

We're not entirely sure why American credit cards offer more value than their Canadian counterparts. More competition, different banking regulatory environments and different revenue landscapes may be just a few of the reasons we'll explore. But regardless of the reason, it's clear Canadians are getting the short-end of the stick.
How Canadian and American Credit Cards Compare
When comparing Canadian to American credit cards, we thought it made most sense to compare credit cards that had both U.S. and Canadian counterparts. As such, we took a look at the U.S. and Canadian versions of the Costco, Amazon, Marriott and Starwood credit cards. Our comparison found the following:

Costco




Canadian Costco (Capital One)
U.S. Costco (Citi)


Costco cashback
Up to 1%
2%


Bonus cashback
2% Gas

3% Restaurants
4% Gas

3% Restaurants Travel


Cashback elsewhere
Up to 1%
1%



The side by side comparison of the Capital One credit card programs in Canada and the U.S. quickly show how much richer the U.S. Costco deal is for Americans. They get more than double the cash back on Costco purchases, double the cash back on gas purchases and they get cashback on travel purchases as well! America takes Gold, Canada Silver.

Amazon




Canadian Amazon (Chase)
U.S. Amazon (Chase)


Amazon cashback
2%
3%


Bonus cashback
None
2% Gas, Restaurants, Drugstores


Cashback elsewhere
1%
1%


Special Perk
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Foreign Transaction Fees


Welcome Bonus
$20 Gift Card
$50 Gift Card



Here we have the same retail partner and the same issuing bank, and the American version blows the Canadian credit card out of the water. Not only are you earning 50% more cashback at Amazon, and getting more than double the welcome bonus, you're also getting 2% cashback in 3 bonus categories!

To add insult to injury, Chase also offers an Amazon Prime credit card to U.S. citizens that gives 5% cash back on Amazon purchases and a $70 gift card!

Starwood




Canadian Starwood Hotels (American Express)
U.S. Starwood Hotels (American Express)


Welcome Bonus
20,000
35,000


Annual Fees
$120
1st Year Free, $95 thereafter


Special Perk
N/A
No Foreign Transaction Fees

Free In-Room Internet



Here again we have a great apples to apples comparison with the same co-brand partner and credit card issuer in each country. Once again, the U.S. offer beats the Canadian offer hands down. The American welcome bonus is almost double the size, and it comes with a first year annual fee waiver. While the minimum spend requirements are a little larger in the U.S., it should be noted that their welcome bonus, during promotional months can get even higher!

Perhaps the biggest difference of all is in the perks. The American SPG card has no foreign transaction fees, while the Canadian SPG credit card charges 2.5% on foreign transaction fees. Only a handful of Canadian credit cards, offer no foreign transaction fees.

Marriott




Canadian Marriott Hotels (Chase)
U.S. Marriott Hotels (Chase)


Welcome Bonus
30,000
80,000


Annual Fees
Free first year, $120 thereafter
$80



This one is actually a little less clear cut. While Chase offers nearly triple the amount of welcome bonus points in the U.S., the Canadian Marriott Rewards credit card waive the first year annual fee. The American version used to do the same, but too many gamers took advantage of the offer. Other than those two differences, both cards seem to be exactly the same.

Conclusion

From our sampling, it seems clear that U.S. credit cards tend to offer cardholders more value than their Canadian counterparts. There could be several reasons that account for the difference.

First, economies of scale. Each U.S. credit card program is significantly larger than their Canadian alternative. As a result, operating expenses per active account tend to be lower, giving U.S. issuers more room to allocate those savings to cardholders.

Second, regulatory environment. U.S. banks may have more lenient capital requirements than their Canadian counterparts, allowing them to lend more profitably. We're not sure this is the case, but it could account for the difference.

Moreover, while many American credit card practices have been curtailed in the last few years, American banks are still able to charge some fees, such as late fees, Canadian banks simply aren't allowed to.

Third, competition. With the size of the prize so much larger in the United States, banks may be willing to outbid one another on lower margin. Although lower margin deals are riskier, the sheer size of the absolute dollars make the deals exceptionally appealing in the U.S.

Conclusion

All said, Canadians should feel especially happy when comparing themselves to the rest of the world. The U.K, European Union and Australia have all but watched their credit card rewards programs vanish, as regulators capped credit card merchant fees. Canadians still enjoy some of the most outstanding credit card products and offers worldwide!



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marc@greedyrates.ca
Best Family Travel Credit Cards in Canada http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-family-travel-credit-cards Mon, 20 Feb 2017 22:37:16 -0500
The good news is, there are several Canadian credit cards that can make family travel far more affordable and fun!

In selecting our list, we looked for cards that accomplished one or more things. First they reduced the cost of flights or hotel nights. Second, they helped protect the family with the right insurance coverage. Third, they had some type of perk or benefit that made travel more fun for everyone!

1. The RBC WestJet World Elite MasterCard

This is our favourite family travel credit card. It comes with a $250 WestJet Dollar welcome bonus, an annual companion voucher, free checked bags for the primary cardholder and up to 8 travelling companions and travel medical insurance amongst other coverages.

The key to getting the most from this card is for both husband and wife to get the card. Doing so will give each parent a $250 WestJet Dollar welcome bonus, and a return airfare companion voucher for each child. Both the WestJet Dollar welcome bonus and the companion vouchers can be used on the same flights with no black-out dates or travelling restrictions.

If a family of four were to be flying from Toronto to Ft. Lauderdale in peak season, let's say December 26th to January 2, they could save $1,245 in airfare, $200 in checked bags and $75 in travel medical insurance for a total of $1,502 in savings!
Click Here To Apply For The RBC WestJet World Elite MasterCard
2. Aeroplan Credit Cards

The advantage of the Aeroplan program for the travelling family, is that there are multiple Aeroplan credit cards with hefty welcome bonuses both husband and wife can apply for.

25,000 Aeroplan miles will get you free round-trip airfare to anywhere in North America. There are two cards in the marketplace with no annual fee in the first year, the TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa card and the American Express Gold card which allows you to transfer your Amex points to Aeroplan miles 1:1 with no fee. If you and your wife apply for both cards, you'll get 4 round-trip flights for free!

One of the huge benefits of Aeroplan (despite the drawback of its infamous blackout dates), is the ability to book up to 2 stopovers on the same trip! So if you're planning on going on the summer vacation of a lifetime, you can do something like Toronto to Chicago, Chicago to Colorado and Colorado to Los Angeles and back to Toronto, all for the same 25,000 miles per person!
Click Here To Apply For The TD Aeroplan Infinite Visa Card
Click Here To apply For the American Express Gold Rewards Card
3. Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card

The advantage of the Marriott Rewards Visa card for travelling families is that it comes with 4 free hotel nights, no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee in the first year.

The card's welcome bonus is actually 30,000 Marriott points. Staying at a category 3 Marriott hotel will cost you 15,000 points per night, and on Point Saver nights, it would cost you 10,000 points per night. For example, you could get 2 free nights at the Marriott Courtyard in Orlando Florida.

Again, if you and your spouse both apply for the card, that's 4 free hotel nights in Orlando, with no annual fee!

The other huge benefit of the Marriott Rewards Visa Card, is that it doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees. So you can use the card while travelling outside of Canada and all you'll be charged is Visa's exchange rate, which is pretty close to the spot rate. You won't be charged the typical 2.5% foreign transaction fee most Canadian credit cards charge or the 3% most banks charge when exchanging money at the branch!
Click Here To Apply For The Marriott Rewards Premier Visa Card
Conclusion

There are plenty of credit card options to help reduce the cost of family travel and make the whole experience better for you and the entire family!

When considering the right family travel credit card, don't just look at how many points you need to earn for a free flight. See what other benefits the card offers, because as you can see from the above, perks like companion vouchers, free checked bags and robust insurance can add serious value.

Moreover, take advantage of being married! For most people, you'll never get as much value from a credit card as you will from its sign-up bonus. Why spend $25,000 to earn 25,000 miles, when you can do it just by signing up for a new credit card. If you and your spouse each apply for new cards you can effectively double your points for each rewards program, and get to your destination of choice twice as fast!

Remember, credit card application minimum income requirements usually give you the option to use your personal or household income. That means that even if you're not working, you can use your spouses income to qualify for the minimum spend on your own credit card application. In fact, you can use the income of ANYONE that's living in your household, including parents and children. So get a little creative and start really piling on those miles now!

If you have any additional tips or tricks, share them with the rest of us!









]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Best Western Rewards MasterCard Review http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-western-rewards-mastercard-review Mon, 06 Feb 2017 20:59:04 -0500 The Best Western Rewards MasterCard comes with a strong 20,000 point welcome bonus and no minimum spend requirement. There are no black-out dates and points never expire.  Not only that, when you get the card, you automatically get bumped to Gold Member status. As a Gold member you earn an extra 10% in rewards. But you also get free room upgrades when available!
To top it all off, the Best Western MasterCard also has a super compelling balance transfer offer of 1.99% for 10 months. It's the only balance transfer card offering a free hotel night welcome bonus!
With no annual fee and a free nights stay welcome bonus, why wouldn't you get the card? It truly is a free nights stay. All you have to do is activate the card with a purchase and the hotel night is yours.

[button color="red" size="medium" link="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=Sb6l9Ey/juUofferid=393750.240type=3subid=0u1=bestwesternreview" ]Apply Now![/button]
Best Western Rewards MasterCard Benefits
One Best Western Rewards point equals about .90%, when you redeem for hotel stays. Redeem for cash or other merchandise and the value could be half.

You earn 5 points per dollar spent on Best Western stays, giving you approximately 4.5% per dollar spent on the credit card alone, when redeeming for hotel nights, which is our recommendation to maximize value. For non-Best Western spend you earn 1 point per dollar spent, which comes out to .90% - not exactly great value, but not terrible either.

The real value in the Best Western MasterCard is in the welcome bonus, which gives you 20,000 points.

The 20,000 point welcome bonus is yours just for activating the card with a purchase - it could even be a pack of gum. With no annual fee, that makes the bonus hotel night truly free.

Best Western Hotels are ranked from Tier 1 to Tier 4, with Tier 1 hotels only requiring 8,000 points per night and tier 4 hotels requiring up to 36,000 points. There are plenty of great options available at the 20,000 point range. As an example, we found the Best Western Toronto North York Hotel Suites available mid-week for 16,000 points.

The Best Western MasterCard also gives you automatic upgrade to Gold status. Gold status will get you an additional 10% in Best Western Rewards when you stay at a Best Western Hotel, and it will get you free room upgrades - which we love. Now not all hotel will have an upgrade available, but it's free to ask, and if available, why not?

Here's a summary of the perks that help the Best Western MasterCard stand-out from the pack:

1) Annual Fee: There is no annual fee for this travel card - not ever.
2) 5 points per dollar spent at Best Western Hotels
3) 1 point per dollar spent everywhere else
4) 20,000 bonus points: Get a free night's stay, just for activating the card!
5) Status upgrade: Get automatically enrolled in Gold status, and you can even get Platinum status if you spend $10,000 on your credit card.
6) Balance Transfer Promotion: Get a balance transfer at 1.99% for 10 months with a 1% transfer fee - one of the top promotions in the country! 
Eligibility
There is no specified minimum income requirement, since the card is not a World Elite MasterCard. That said, we'd recommend you have at least $15,000 in income.
Worth It?
This card offers tremendous value in three respects. First, with no annual fee you get a free nights welcome bonus. Why not get the card for that reason alone? Second, if you ever stay at a Best Western Hotel, you'll get 5 points per dollar spent, which is a rewards rate of 4.5% - unbeatable. Third, it comes with a great balance transfer promotion of 1.99% for 10 months - one of the most competitive offers in Canada.

You could also think of it as the only no annual fee balance transfer card offering a free hotel night welcome bonus!

[button color="red" size="medium" link="http://click.linksynergy.com/fs-bin/click?id=Sb6l9Ey/juUofferid=393750.240type=3subid=0u1=bestwesternreview" ]Apply Now![/button]]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
WestJet Rewards Changes Tier Structure To Loyalty Program http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/westjet-rewards-changes-tier-structure-loyalty-program Fri, 03 Feb 2017 16:03:14 -0500
Overall WestJet will make it easier for Rewards members to maintain status, and will make the program more rewarding for frequent flyers. Infrequent flyers will see a little drop in value. Here's a summary of the changes to the program:

1. Earning WestJet Dollars Will Be Tied To Status: WestJet has made it easier for members to understand how many WestJet Dollars they'll earn on their flights. Instead of tying your rewards rate to how much you've spent on WestJet flights in your qualifying year, your earn rate will be determined by your status at time of flight.

If you're a Gold member at time of flight, you'll earn 5% back on all WestJet flights. Simple.

2. Maintaining Status Will Be Easier: In the past, until you achieved your higher status, you would earn the lower tiered earn rate for each qualifying bucket, as you climbed the spend latter. Now you will maintain your status for the current year and the entire next qualifying year - and your ability to keep your Silver or Gold status is based on your qualifying flight spend in each successive year.

So let's say you achieve Silver status in year 1. You will have Silver status and its benefits for all of the remainder of year 1 and all of year 2. If you maintain Silver status spend levels in year 2, you'll have Silver status for all of year 3, etc. No more resetting at 1% at the beginning of each year, and then working your way from 1% to 3% to 5% during the year.

3. Spend Thresholds Have Changed To Qualify For Tiers: WestJet has made it easier for more people to earn status sooner. Specifically, flyers need to spend $1,000 less to earn Silver status.



Status
Old Spend Threshold
New Spend Threshold


Teal
$0-$3,999
$0-$2,999


Silver
$3,999-$5,999
$2,999-$5,999


Gold
$6,000+
$6,000+



4. Earn Rates Have Improved For Some, Declined For Others: While Silver and Gold members will not have to ladder their way up to their full earn rate any longer, there's no disputing that Silver members took an earnings hit.



Status
Old Earn Rate
New Earn Rate


Teal
1% < $1,499 - 3% $1,500-$3,999
1%<$2,999


Silver
5%>$3,999
3%, $2,999-$5,999


Gold
5%>$6,000
5%>$6,000



Teal members definitely got the short end of the stick here. In addition to losing out on 2% on spend between $1,500 and $2,999, they will also no longer get the 35 WestJet Dollar Bonus at $1,500 of spend.

That said, Silver status members will earn more WestJet Rewards. Despite the drop in rewards from 5% to 3%, Silver members end-up earning more WestJet Dollars because they earn 3% from dollar one. In the previous program, they would earn 1% on the first $1,499 of spend.

For example, in the past if you would have spent $4,500 on WestJet flights, you would have earned a total of 115 WestJet Dollars, an average earn rate of 2.5%. Spend the same $4,500 in the new program and you'll earn 135 WestJet Dollars, an average earn rate of 3%!
Conclusion
In the end WestJet has made their program more rewarding for frequent flyers and a little less so for the infrequent flyer. Of course another way to help you earn additional WestJet Dollars is to get the WestJet World Elite MasterCard. You'll earn an additional 2% on WestJet spend, bringing Teal members to 3% earnings on WestJet spend, Silver to 5% and Gold to 7%!

Of course the other advantage of using the WestJet World Elite MasterCard, is that you'll automatically get an annual companion voucher each and every year (otherwise requiring $6,000 of WestJet spend), free first checked bag for you and up to 8 travelling companions and of course you'll earn 1.5% on all your non-WestJet credit card spend!

]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Best AIR MILES Rewards Credit Cards http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-air-miles-rewards-credit-cards Thu, 02 Feb 2017 03:12:58 -0500
While Air Miles members can earn super value through their collector cards alone, they can earn even more by double dipping with one of the many Air Miles credit cards offered by BMO and Amex.

Perhaps best of all, Air Miles members can now take advantage of huge credit card sign-up bonuses for a limited time - 2,000 Air Miles for a first year annual fee waiver from Amex and 500 Air Miles for the BMO no-fee Air Miles MasterCard - to really kick start and supplement their Air Miles earnings!

For those willing to get even more aggressive, you can sign-up for multiple Air Miles credit cards and combine your welcome bonuses to really kick start your Air Miles collector account! Why spend $30,000 to get 1,500 Air Miles, when you can simply apply for 3 different no fee credit cards offering 500 Air Miles bonuses each?
Best No Annual Fee AIR MILES Credit Cards
[caption id="attachment_2498" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

BMO AIR MILES No-Fee MasterCard
The BMO AIR MILES MasterCard has no annual fee, and is now offering a special 500 Air Miles Welcome Bonus, for a limited time, available online only!

That's 500 Air Miles rewards that you receive just for making a first purchase - no minimum spend required. With no annual fee, it's a risk free way to accumulate 500 Air Miles Rewards, which would otherwise take you  more than $10,000 worth of spend to earn! 

Earn 1 AIR MILES reward for every $20 spent, 1.25X AIR MILES at Shell gas stations, free additional cards, and you can earn double rewards by using your credit card AND collector card at an AIR MILES sponsor like Sobeys, Staples, Old Navy or Amazon to earn miles from both.

Use your BMO Air Miles MasterCard and your purchases will automatically be insured against damage or theft for 90 days (great for electronics) and the manufacturers warranty will be doubled up to 12 months!

500 Bonus Air Miles Rewards Welcome Bonus
1 Air Miles Reward / $15 Spend (Shell)
1 Air Miles Rewards / $20 Spend Everywhere Else
No Annual Fee

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="128"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

American Express AIR MILES Credit Card
This is a no-frills American Express AIR MILES credit card with a risk free 500 AIR MILES sign-up bonus and no annual fee. You'll get your 500 AIR MILES after $500 spend in the first three months and earn 1 AIR MILES reward for every $15 spent at Partners and 1 AIR MILES reward for every $20 spent everywhere else - strong no fee value given the large number of AIR MILES partners.

Don't forget, refer a friend and you'll get an additional 200 Air Miles rewards free! You will also get extended warranty and insurance protection against damage and theft for purchases made on the card.

500 AIR MILES Sign-up Bonus
1 Air Miles Reward / $15 Spend (AIR MILES Partners)
1 Air Miles Rewards / $20 Spend Everywhere Else
No Annual Fee
0% interest on balance transfers for 6 months

[caption id="attachment_3016" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

BMO Sobeys No Fee AIR MILES MasterCard
Shopping at Sobeys, Foodland and IGA just got a whole lot more rewarding! Not only will you be collecting rewards through your Air Miles collector card, you'll also be able to get and ADITTIONAL 2 Air Miles per $20 spent when using the no-fee Sobeys Air Miles MasterCard. That gives you a total of 3 Air Miles per $20 spent, plus additional Air Miles for store items on promotion. Wow!

A neat little trick - redeem for travel as opposed to cash and you can get up to a 1.75% earn rate when double dipping with your Air Miles collector card and Sobeys Air MilesMasterCard! That's a whopping no-fee earn rate.

Not to be forgotten, you'll also get 500 Air Miles just to sign-up for the card - with no annual fee, why say no?

500 AIR MILES Sign-up Bonus (after first use)
3X the miles for the first 3 months
2 Air Miles Reward / $20 Spend (Sobeys, Foodland, IGA)
1 Air Miles Rewards / $20 Spend Everywhere Else
No Annual Fee

Best Student Air Miles Credit Card Offers
[caption id="attachment_3188" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

BMO SPC AIR MILES Student MasterCard
The BMO SPC Air Miles student MasterCard is one of Canada's best student credit cards available. It has no annual fee, is currently offering a sign-up bonus of 500 Air Miles for a limited time (value of $75), gives students 10%-15% discounts at SPC merchants, and automatically enters students into a draw for a chance to win FREE tuition and books!

You'll also get 1 Air Miles for every $20 in spend. When using your BMO SPC Air Miles MasterCard you're purchases will also be insured against damage or theft for the first 90 days and the manufactures warranty will automatically be doubled up to 12 months!

Of equal importance, unlike some other Canadian student credit cards, the BMO SPC Air Miles student MasterCard requires no part-time income, or co-signor. It's a great first credit card for students looking to establish a credit history, while earning rewards at the same time.

500 AIR MILES Sign-up Bonus (after first purchase)
1 Air Miles Reward / $20 Spend
10%-15% SPC Discount
Draw to Win Free Tuition Books
No Annual Fee

Best First Year Free AIR MILES Credit Cards
[caption id="attachment_2495" align="alignright" width="125"] Click here to Apply[/caption]

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
The Amex Air Miles Platinum credit card offers a 2,000 Air Miles rewards sign-up bonus after only spending $1,500 in the first three months, (enough for 2 short haul return flights!), and comes with a small $65 annual fee. But it also offers some of the best Air Miles earn rates of any credit card, with 1 Air Miles reward for every $10 spent on gas, grocery and pharmacies, as well as at partners, then 1 Air Miles reward for every $15 spent elsewhere.

Remember, refer a friend and you'll get an additional 500 Air Miles compliments of American Express - up to 7,500 Air Miles annually! The card also comes with the basic protections, for such a small fee including car rental insurance, doubling of the manufacturers warranty, protection against damage and theft and $100,000 travel accident insurance.

2,000 AIR MILES Sign-up Bonus
1 Air Miles Reward / $10 Spend (gas, groceries, pharmacies and Partners)
1 Air Miles Rewards / $15 Spend Everywhere Else
$65 annual fee
0% on balance transfer for 6 months

Best Premium AIR MILES Credit Cards
[caption id="attachment_3121" align="alignright" width="125"] Click Here to Apply[/caption]

BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
If you're looking for premium travel rewards, check out BMO's Air Miles World Elite MasterCard offer, with a limited time 2,000 Air Miles reward sign-up bonus offer - that's enough for a free flight! All you have to do is activate your card and the miles are yours, there's no minimum spend requirement.
But what makes this card an absolutely amazing Air Miles card, is that it gives you 1 Air Miles reward for every $10 spent on ALL purchases (the highest Air Miles earn rate in Canada), a 25% flight discount when redeeming your Air Miles for flights in North America with no black out dates and 2 FREE lounge passes every year. We redeemed a flight from Toronto to Vancouver that came out to a 2.2% earn rate per dollar spent - fantastic value when compared to most other cards.
Moreover, this card comes with a torrent of travel protections you'd expect from a World Elite MasterCard including out of province/country travel medical coverage up to $2,000,000, trip cancellation, and car rental insurance. Also, supplementary cards are FREE. Just remember, there is a $70,000 minimum personal income requirement for this card.


2,000 AIR MILES Sign-up Bonus
1 Air Miles Reward / $10 Spend
$120 Annual Fee

Start Accelerating your Air Miles earning power now!
Air Miles members are in a great position to turbo boost their Air Miles earning power with Canada's largest sign-up bonus offers for no fee credit cards in the market today. With absolutely no cost, fee or risk, you can get the no-fee BMO Air Miles MasterCard, the American Express Air Miles credit card and the BMO Sobeys no fee Air Miles MasterCard, each offering a 500 miles welcome bonus! Get all three (space out your applications), and you'll have 1,500 Air Miles completely free!

With Canada's largest network of earning partners, no loyalty program has earning opportunities as rich as Air Miles. Double dipping with your collector card and Air Miles card can give you a 1.75% earn rate with a no fee credit card, and a 2.2% earn rate on premium cards - both earn rates are at the top for their card categories.

The best credit card for you will depend on where you shop, your personal goals and your credit and income situation. No matter which credit card you choose, we always recommend finding a card with a great sign-up bonus, weighing the annual fee with the benefits and perks of the card, and paying off the card in full each month.

Now get to it, and start milking these offers for all they're worth!]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Comparing AIR MILES Credit Cards: BMO Vs. American Express. Which Is Best? http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/comparing-air-miles-credit-cards-bmo-american-express-best Thu, 02 Feb 2017 01:03:49 -0500
Canadians now have the opportunity to milk the battle and benefit from the largest AIR MILES credit card sign-up bonuses EVER. That's correct - ever.

Below is a comprehensive comparison of the welcome bonus, annual fee, mile accumulation opportunities and insurance coverages offered for each AIR MILES credit card available in the Canadian marketplace today. Don't miss out. With a host of no annual fee cards with AIR MILES welcome bonus offers, there's no risk and tons of rewards - a bank beating strategy:



 
BMO SPC Student AIR MILES MasterCard
The American Express AIR MILES Credit Card
BMO No-Fee AIR MILES MasterCard
BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard
The American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card
BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard
The American Express AIR MILES Reserve Credit Card


Annual Fee
 $0
$0
$0
$0
$65
$120
$299


Supplementary Card
Free
Free
Free
Free
Free
$50
$50


Sign-Up Bonus AIR MILES
500
500
500
500
2,000
2,000
2,400


Interest Rate
19.9%
0% for 6 months on balance transfers 19.99% on purchases
19.9%
19.9%
0% for 6 months on balance transfers 19.99% on purchases
19.9%
19.99%


Base Earn Rate
1 mile : $20
1 mile : $20
1 mile : $20
PROMO, 3X the miles the first 3 months

1 mile :$20
1 mile : $15
1 mile : $10
 1 mile : $15


Earn Rate at AIR MILES PARTNERS

1 mile : $15
(all AIR MILES Partners)
1 mile : $12 (Shell)
2 miles : $20 @ Sobeys, 1.25X miles at Shell
1 mile : $10
(all AIR MILES Partners)
1 mile : $10
(all AIR MILES Partners)
 1 mile : $10 (all AIR MILES Partners)


Perks Bonuses!
10%-15% Student discounts at hundreds of stores
N/A
N/A
 N/A
1 mile : $10
(grocery, gas, drugstore)
2 Free airport lounge passes
Fly on any AIR MILES flight for 25% fewer miles when you book through airmiles.ca
Free companion flight ticket!
4 Free airport lounge access passes
FlexFly Redemptions
Redeem for flight taxes fees
AIR Miles flight admin fees are waived


Insurance
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident
Car Rental
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident
Car Rental
Emergency Medical
Flight Delay
Lost or stolen baggage
Baggage Delay
Trip Cancellation
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection
Trip Interruption
Travel Accident
Car Rental
Emergency Medical
Flight Delay
Lost or stolen baggage
Baggage Delay
Extended Warranty
Purchase Protection


 
Apply Now
Apply Now
Apply Now
Apply Now
Apply Now
Apply Now
Apply Now



The easiest way to accumulate additional Air Miles is by signing-up for new credit cards with Air Miles welcome bonuses. Why spend $10,000 on your credit card to earn 500 Air Miles, when you can simply apply for a no annual fee credit card and get 500 Air Miles - completely free?

From that perspective, we think there's a nice opportunity for you to apply for a trio of no annual fee credit cards each coming with a 500 Air Miles welcome bonus, specifically the BMO Air Miles MasterCard (no fee, no minimum spend required - offer expires August 31, 2017), the American Express Air Miles credit card (no fee, $500 minimum spend) and the BMO Sobeys Air Miles MasterCard (no fee, no minimum spend). Space out your applications, and you'll end-up with 1,500 Air Miles without it costing you a penny!

if you're willing to pay an annual fee, we think BMO and Amex have hit it out of the park with their huge limited time offer sign-up bonuses. The Amex's Platinum Air Miles card  currently offers  a 2,000 Air Miles sign-up bonus (enough for a free flight!), and comes with a very reasonable $65 annual fee - that said, we're not fans of the $1,500 minimum spend requirement to get the bonus. We also like the BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard which comes with a 2,000 Air Miles bonus, a $120 annual fee and no minimum spend requirement!

The BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard also gets kudos for its fantastic earning power of 1 Air Miles reward for every $10 in spend, a 25% discount on North American flight redemptions, 2 free lounge passes per year and of course a roster of free travel coverages that would make your insurance broker blush.

Some cards certainly offer additional value worth considering. The American Express Reserve Card notably offers a free companion ticket every year, 4 free passes to lounges annually, and access to AIR MILES Flex Fly, which provides you with more airline flexibility and the ability to pay for taxes and fees with points.

The BMO Sobeys AIR MILES MasterCard comes in with a 500 AIR MILES sign-up bonus offer, 3X the miles the first 3 months and no annual fee. If you shop at Sobeys you'll get 2 AIR MILES per $20 spent, which is the fastest way to earn AIR MILES at Sobeys of any AIR MILES credit card in the country. With no annual fee, if you shop at Sobeys, you should get the card for your Sobeys shopping regardless. Combine the credit card with your AIR MILES collector card when shopping at Sobeys and you'll be double dipping, getting 3 AIR MILES per $20 spent the IGA AIR MILES program the most rewarding Grocery rewards program of any in Canada. Regardless, you're getting 400 Air Miles free - a great deal.
Summary of Best Air Miles Credit Card Offers in Canada



Air Miles Credit Card
Welcome Bonus
Annual Fee
Min Income


American Express Air Miles Reserve
2,400 miles
$299
$20K


American Express Platinum Air Miles Card
2,000 miles
$65
$15K


BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard
2,000 miles
$120
$70K


BMO Air Miles MasterCard
500 miles
No Fee
$15K


American Express Air Miles Credit Card
500 miles
No Fee
$15K


BMO Sobeys Air Miles MasterCard
500 miles
No Fee
$15K


BMO SPC Air Miles MasterCard (student)
500 miles
No Fee
$0K



All in all, we think BMO and Amex have hit home runs with their roster of Air Miles credit card welcome bonuses. Now it's up to you to decide which gives you the best sign-up bonus offer, lowest annual fee and highest earning potential and best insurance coverage. Frankly, if you collect AIR MILES, we'd recommend sign-up for multiple offers, spaced out over time to maximize your AIR MILES earnings. Especially with no fee offers, what's the risk?]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017 http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-credit-cards-canada-2017 Thu, 26 Jan 2017 22:18:52 -0500
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 March 2017
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

This card doesn't get nearly the credit it deserves. But with it's limited time offer until July 31, 2017, which waives the first year annual fee, and gives a $250 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 $250 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, the annual fee of $150 is waived for the first year. Second it comes with a 25,000 point welcome bonus. The annual fee waiver makes the 25,000 point bonus completely free. 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 no annual fee in the first year, and 25,000 points that can be converted into a $250 travel credit or 25,000 Aeroplan miles, you can redeem for a free 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 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.
Click Here To Apply For The WestJet RBC 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


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marc@greedyrates.ca
Canada's Best Student Credit Cards For 2017! http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/best-student-credit-cards-canada Thu, 26 Jan 2017 01:47:25 -0500
Credit cards are essential for many online transactions and reservations (hotel, car rental) and offer richer rewards than debit cards.

The best student credit cards will have no annual fee and give you the chance to earn great rewards that suit you. But even more importantly, every student credit card should provide easy approval for students with no credit history (sounds obvious, but not every bank makes it as easy as the next). That means not requiring part-time income, or your parents to co-sign your application.

To help you choose the right student credit card for you, we've put together a list of our 4 top rated Canadian student credit cards currently available, based on fees, rewards and ease of approval.
Top Canadian Student Credit Cards 
1. BMO SPC®** CashBack® Student MasterCard®*
BMO has elevated the student credit card game with the SPC CashBack MasterCard. It has no annual fee, 1% cash back on ALL purchases, a $60 cash back welcome bonus (limited time offer) and a FREE SPC membership - a value of $10 every year! Unlike RBC's cash back student visa card or Scotia's L'Earn Visa card, there are no tiers, caps or small print to worry about. You get 1% cashback on everything.

Through the SPC student loyalty program, you'll get an additional 10%-15% student discount at hundreds of merchants across Canada (McDonald's, Pizza Pizza, Gap, Old Navy, Thai Express, The Source, Petro Canada, Forever 21, Aldo, etc...).

The SPC MasterCard also automatically doubles your manufacturers warranty for up to 1 year and has purchase protection, which insures you against theft or damage for purchases made with the card for 90 days. Imagine buying an iPhone and within 90 days it drops and your screen cracks - you're covered.

But a student card only qualifies as such if it caters to students looking to establish credit. BMO does not require a reference letter, parent's signature or part-time income to be approved. Just be a student enrolled in college or university with no previous credit blemishes, and you'll get your first credit card with a $500 credit line with no problem. Within 6 months, you could be offered an increase in your credit line if you make all your payments on time. 

With a $60 sign-up bonus, no annual fee, 1% cash back, free SPC membership giving you 10%-15% student discounts and easy approval, this card is a no brainer.
Click here to apply for the BMO SPC CashBack Student MasterCard
2. Scotiabank Scene Visa Card
The Scene Visa card from Scotiabank is a great card for students. It's the fastest and simplest way to watch free movies. With just 1,000 points you can see a movie at any Cineplex, Scotia, Famous Players, Silver City or Galaxy Theatre. Scotia is offering a 2,000 point sign-up bonus - 2 FREE movies -  with no annual fee, when you make your first purchase (Limited time only). All you have to do is make one purchase, a pack of gum will do, and you get 2 free movies, with no annual fee, making it 4 free nights on the house, no strings attached.

Earning is simple. You get 1 Scene point for every dollar you spend on the card, plus 5 Scene points for every dollar you spend at Cineplex theatres. You can redeem for free movies, popcorn soda, combos, WWE events, music downloads and more. The only thing we don't love about the Scene Visa card for students is that it does require students to either have a part-time job earning a minimum of $251 before taxes per month, or you'll have to get a co-signor. Either way, you'll get a $500 line of credit to start, and 2 free movies of course!
Click here to apply for the Scotiabank Scene Visa Card
3. BMO SPC®** AIR MILES®† Student MasterCard®*
This is actually one of the most popular student credit cards in Canada, primarily because of the popularity of the Air Miles program. It has no annual fee, just increased its welcome bonus to a wild 500 AIR MILES (for a limited time only), earns students 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $20 in spend and gives students 10%-15% off through SPC at 100's of Canada's best retailers and restaurants (McDonald's, Burger King, GAP, Aldo, The Source, Petro Canada, etc...) autmatically applied to their purchase. With a 500 AIR MILES sign-up bonus , no annual fee, and a free SPC membership, it's a great rewards card for students who collect Air Miles.

The other nice feature of this card is that it automatically doubles your manufacturers warranty for up to 1 year and it insures you against theft or damage for purchases made with the card for 90 days. Imagine buying an iPad and within 90 days it drops and your screen cracks - you're covered.

But as with most of our student credit cards, it's designed to get students started on their road to a healthy credit history and credit score. Students don't need a credit history, part-time income, reference letter or parents signature to be approved - just be a student with no credit blemishes and with no annual fee you'll get your 500 AIR MILES welcome bonus and a minimum $500 credit line.
Click here to apply for the BMO SPC AIR MILES  MasterCard
There are some fantastic student credit card options available in Canada. First and foremost, find one you think you'll have a good chance getting approved for. Second, find one with a good offer - welcome bonus and ongoing rewards. Third, make sure to pay off your balance every month.

We do have one recommendation to ensure you use your credit card responsibly and build a healthy credit history. If you're not the most organized person, schedule pre-authorized automatic payments from your bank account to pay off your credit card - don't leave anything to chance. You can do this by either paying the monthly minimum payment (prevents you from being late), or by automatically paying off the entire credit card bill, every month (prevent you from accumulating debt or being late).
Summary of the Best Student Credit Cards in Canada 2017



Credit Card
Rewards
Annual Fee
Bonus


BMO SPC CashBack MasterCard
1% cashback
$0
$60 welcome bonus, plus free SPC membership


Scotiabank Scene Visa Card
1 Scene pt per $1
$0
2 free movie welcome bonus


BMO SPC Air Miles MasterCard
1 Air Mile per $20
$0
500 Air Miles welcome bonus, plus free SPC membership



Brought to you by GreedyRates.ca – Compare The Best Credit Card Offers In Canada]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card Review http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/american-express-aeroplanplus-platinum-card-review Wed, 18 Jan 2017 20:13:58 -0500 But sometimes, paying a lot, just means you're getting more. That's exactly what we believe is the case with the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card - you're getting more.
Until March 29, 2017 you can get 50,000 Aeroplan miles if you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. That's enough miles for 2 round-trip flights to anywhere within continental North America.
Despite the annual fee, this card gives out oodles of value. From a 50,000 mile welcome bonus, to a free companion ticket, to free unlimited airport lounge access, an upgrade to Fairmont's Platinum status, and a robust insurance package, we estimate this card spits out $1,350 in value in the first year before you've taking into account rewards from spend - a rare opportunity.
[button color="red" size="medium" link="https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/content/aeroplan-platinum-card/?CPID=100148674" ]Apply Now![/button]

American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Benefits
The American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum card offers 1.25 miles on your first $25,000 of spend and 1.5 miles per dollar spent on all other purchases over $25,000. The earn rate is ok, but frankly, you might be able to do better with the Amex Gold Rewards card which earns 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, pharmacy, and travel and 1 point everywhere else - and then convert those points to Aeroplan 1:1.
The 50,000 mile bonus is superb. What we like about the Amex bonus structure, is that as soon as you meet the minimum spend requirement of $3,000 in the first 3 months, the entire bonus is yours. There's no requirement for additional cardholders, no additional spend criteria, no fine print.
50,000 Aeroplan miles is a very generous bonus. It gets you a return flight from anywhere in Canada, to any other destination in continental North America. That's 2 flights from Vancouver to Florida, Toronto to Los Angeles or Montreal to Vancouver and back. Compare it to some of the other best Aeroplan credit card bonuses in Canada to see just how well it ranks.
Here are some of the benefits of this card that really make it standout:
1. Free Companion Ticket: Once per year, get a free companion ticket when you redeem 15,000 Aeroplan miles for a short-haul flight
2. Priority Check-in: Skip the queue with access to Air Canada's priority check-in on all flights booked with your credit card!
3. Free Unlimited Maple Leaf Lounge Access: Get free access to Air Canada's Maple Leaf lounges. All you have to do is show your credit card and your Air Canada or partner airline ticket and you're good to go!
4. Free International Lounge Access: Get access to over 700 lounges worldwide with Priority Pass Membership
5. Fairmont President's Platinum Club Membership: Stay at a Fairmont Hotel for 5 nights and get enrolled in the Fairmont President's Platinum Club. Membership gets you a free hotel night, complimentary room upgrades, $100 USD in Fairmont dining certificates, and more.
6. Comprehensive Travel Insurance: The card comes with trip cancellation, travel medical, trip interruption, flight delay, baggage delay, lost or stolen baggage, $500,000 travel accident, purchase assurance, extended warranty, car rental insurance.
7.  1.25 Miles Per Dollar Spent: 1.25 miles per $1 of spend on the first $25,000 of spend, 1.5 miles on everything else.
8. Earn Two Times The Miles: Earn Aeroplan miles when you use your credit card and then again when you use your Aeroplan membership card!
Worth It?
Because we estimate each Aeroplan mile to be worth 1.4 cents, the 50,000 mile welcome bonus alone is worth $700, making the $499 annual fee worth it. The free short-haul companion ticket free adds another $150 of value at a minimum. The free lounge access is worth a $99 annual fee and about $25 a visit - a value of about $200 a year, if you travel twice a year.
In addition you're getting comprehensive travel insurance, Fairmont Hotel benefits, and of course miles on spend. If you happen to spend a lot in categories other than travel, gas, grocery and pharmacy, this card offers the best value.
So for $499 you're getting $700 (welcome bonus) + $150 (companion ticket) + $200 (lounge access) + $300 (travel insurance)= $1,350 in benefits. We'd say it passes the value score.
Eligibility
The great thing about American Express is that it doesn't have the same high minimum income requirements as the super premium MasterCard and Visa credit cards requiring $200,000 of income. All you need is $40,000 of personal income and you're good to go.
Better Offers?
This is a limited time offer until March 29, 2017. It's a great deal, offering an additional 10,000 miles more than the standard offer from American Express for the AeroplanPlus Platinum card.
Let us know if there's a better offer in Canada for this card or an alternative. That said, in our opinion this offer is exceptionally strong, and gives more than it takes.
[button color="red" size="medium" link="https://www.americanexpress.com/ca/en/content/aeroplan-platinum-card/?CPID=100148674" ]Apply Now![/button]]]>
marc@greedyrates.ca
Visa, Walmart Call Truce - Consumers Win http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/visa-walmart-call-truce-whos-winner Tue, 10 Jan 2017 15:54:18 -0500
While the chattering classes speculate who buckled and why, the truth is very few people actually know the outcome of the negotiation.

What we do know, is that Canadian consumers are the winners. Whether Walmart saw declining revenues in its stores, or Visa saw declining purchase volume on its cards, or both, ultimately both Walmart and Visa were persuaded by consumer preference.

The truth is, Visa is replaceable and so is Walmart. A lot has changed since Visa dominated the Canadian credit card marketplace. MasterCard is accepted virtually everywhere Visa is, and consumers can choose from a large number of MasterCard issuers - with some banks offering both, such RBC, TD and CIBC.

That said, battling it out in the grocery store is no simple task either. For every Walmart there's a Loblaw, Sobey's, or Metro on the opposite corner. If someone's looking to maximize their Aeroplan miles on their Visa card, they can get their bananas elsewhere.

I'm guessing both Visa and Walmart came to the conclusion that the battle was bad for business. But there is a corollary benefit to consumers who enjoy their credit card rewards. Walmart proved what Visa and MasterCard have argued all along - interchange fees do not need to get regulated.

Walmart, like every other Canadian retailer, has the choice to simply stop accepting Visa or MasterCard. No one is forcing them to accept both networks or either network. For those members of the Canadian Federation of Independent Businesses (CFIB) who argue independent merchants are too small to have any leverage, all the members of the CFIB can boycott Visa or MasterCard together if they'd like.

Moreover, the very fact that retailers are not willing to terminate their relationship with Visa or MasterCard over 2% in fees, proves that Visa and MasterCard provide 2% worth of value. If they didn't, every retailer would ditch them.

Merchants who want regulators to manage interchange fees, are really doing battle with consumers, not Visa or MasterCard. Retailers know that if they stop accepting credit cards, they'll upset consumers. So they want regulators to do the dirty work for them - regulate interchange and still accept credit cards.

The problem is, interchange has no more basis to be regulated than commercial rents. Just like interchange, merchants have to pay rent in order to deliver their goods to consumers. They have to pay even higher rents when they place their stores in areas consumers typically prefer. Some businesses can afford the cost of rent, others can't. Interchange fees are not different.

That said, would retailers in the downtown core of Toronto or Vancouver ever claim rent should be regulated? The idea is laughable, and so is regulating credit card interchange. Merchants have alternatives. They just don't like the fact that consumers have chosen credit cards as their preferred method of payment, thus handing over tremendous pricing leverage to Visa and MasterCard.

As we've said before, the biggest beneficiaries of higher interchange are consumers, not Visa, MasterCard or the credit card companies. When you get 2% on your cashback credit card, it's because MasterCard charged merchants 2% in interchange fees. If that's the case, it's likely retailers have already increased their prices to reflect the 2% cost increase on credit card transactions.

So what's the problem then? If retailers can pass the cost of interchange on to consumers why the whining? It's because retailers get charged different interchange rates depending on their volume. Smaller retailers get charged more than larger retailers. As a result, larger retailers pass on a lower cost to consumers than smaller retailers, which helps larger retailers keep their prices lower than those of small retailers.

But big retailers have lower costs than smaller retailers in almost all facets of their business because of their scale. No small business buys their merchandise at the same price as Walmart or Costco. Does that mean the government should step in and force Nike to sell their shoes at the same cost to all shoe stores regardless of size? The argument would be laughable.

Regardless, we're happy to see Walmart and Visa coming to their senses and giving Canadian consumers what they want - choice.











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marc@greedyrates.ca
6 Credit Card Features Essential For Students http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/5-essential-credit-card-features-students Fri, 06 Jan 2017 04:05:42 -0500
That said, not all product features are created equal. Some are smoke and mirrors, while others offer true value. Let's separate the wheat from the chaff and hone in on which features are essential.
Essential Credit Card Features for Students
No Annual Fees
There's no justification for charging annual fees on student credit cards. There's even less justification to pay them. With so many student credit cards in Canada without annual fees, offering the same or better rewards and benefits, why in the world would you get a card that has one?

Annual fees make sense when you spend a lot on your credit card and have the chance to make up for it in rewards and the insurances offered on the card. With student credit cards typically starting off with credit limits as low as $500, how in the world can a student spend enough to make up for the annual fee? You can't. So don't bother.

Rewards
If you're going to spend money, you might as well get rewarded for it. Cash and debit won't give you nearly as many rewards, if at all, as credit cards. Play it safe, and pay down your credit card balance every month, and your credit card will "pay" you to use it.

Not all student rewards credit cards are created equal. While more and more cards are offering a 1% rewards rate, others offer much more. For example, the no-fee BMO SPC Cashback MasterCard offers 1% cashback but ALSO automatically enrolls you in the SPC student discount program for free, every year.  Use your BMO SPC Cashback MasterCard and get 10% to 15% discounts at hundreds of your favourite stores like American Eagle, Banana Republic, Urban Outfitters, Pizza Pizza, Aldo, etc... No other credit cards in Canada offer that type of value.

Welcome Bonus
The best student credit cards come with a healthy sign-up bonus. Instead of charging you an annual fee, these cards essentially pay you to give them a try. MBNA Student cards offer a $10 welcome bonus, and $10 each year you keep the card open. BMO offers $60 when you activate your BMO SPC cashback card and 500 Air Miles when you activate your BMO SPC Air Miles card.

If you're going to get a new student card you might as well get paid to do it. Who can't use $60 just for getting a new no-fee credit card?

Easy Approval
This should be a no-brainer, but some Canadian banks just don't get it. The best student credit cards understand that you're a full time student, and your studies are a priority. However, some student cards require that you earn part-time income and demonstrate proof of your income with pay slips! Don't bother with the application.

There are plenty of Canadian student cards that don't require any income whatsoever. If you're a student with a pulse and no previous delinquencies, you should get approved. They'll start students off with a small credit line of $500, and then as you demonstrate responsible payment, they'll bump your credit line up within 6 to 12 months.

Free Purchase Protection Extended Warranty
One of the big advantages of using a credit card over debit or cash is that many of your purchases get automatically protected. That said, not all cards offer the same protection.

One really cool free benefit is called purchase protection. Essentially, if you buy something with your credit card and it gets damaged or stolen within 90 days of purchase, it will be repaired or replaced.  So imagine you buy a new pair of sunglasses and someone steps on them by accident - you're covered!

Another cool free benefit is extended manufacturer's warranty. Use your card to buy an item and your credit card will double the manufacturers warranty for up to one year. Essentially, if the manufacturer offered a 3 year warranty, your card will extend the same warranty for a fourth year.

Zero Liability
As a student you probably make a lot of online purchases. There's a good chance that at some point your payment information may get hacked.

If you use a credit card to make your purchases both MasterCard and Visa offer ZERO liability guarantees on any fraudulent charges. You pay nothing for on any charge that is not authorized by you. Simply call up the credit card company, let them know of the unauthorized charge (it could even be a membership fee which auto-renewed without your permission) and the credit card company will investigate and be liable to pay the fee.

Unlike a debit card which also offers zero liability, you never pay for an unauthorized charge with a credit card. With a debit card the money leaves your checking account right away, then the bank needs to initiate and complete its fraud investigation before it pays you back. With a credit card your bank will remove the fraudulent charge from your statement, so you never pay for the product in the first place.

















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marc@greedyrates.ca
5 Tips To Escape Credit Card Annual Fees http://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/5-tips-escape-credit-card-annual-fees Tue, 27 Dec 2016 23:06:31 -0500
Aside from interest rates, the one thing every one can agree on is that they hate credit card annual fees. It doesn't matter whether your welcome bonus is worth $400, your travel medical insurance $200 or your free checked bags save you $70 a trip. Annual fees are a pain in the @$$!

Aside from getting a no annual fee credit card, what should those of us who want the benefits of a fee based card, without the fee, do? Here are just a few suggestions.
1. Get A Banking Plan That Waives Your Annual Fee
Many Canadian banks offer banking plans that waive the annual fee on a selection of their premium credit cards. For example if you get TD's All-Inclusive Banking Plan ($29.95 waived with a $5,000 monthly balance), you can also get the annual fee rebated for your choice of one of 5 premium credit cards, including the TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite card's $120 annual fee. The BMO Premium Checking Account, RBC VIP Program, CIBC Premium Plan all waive the annual fee of their premium cards.
2. Call and Ask For Your Annual Fee To Be Waived
You know the old saying "squeaky wheels get the grease"? It's true. As our very own Wayne Gretzky said, "you'll miss 100% of the shots you never take."

In that spirit, if you've been a long time customer, or you're spending a prince's ransom on your credit card every year, call your credit card issuer and ask them to waive your annual fee. You may not have a checking account with the bank, but your loyalty and/or spending level may still make you deserving of a fee waiver.

If nothing else, let them know you've received an offer with a fee waiver from a competitor, or that your checking account with your retail bank waives the annual fee for one of their premium credit cards.
3. Get a Credit Card With a First Year Annual Fee Waiver
You don't buy a new pair of jeans without first trying them on do you? Why pay for a new rewards credit card before trying it out for a year and seeing if it works for you i.e. enjoy the online experience, easy to redeem, good value, good credit line, good customer service, etc...

Some of the best credit cards in Canada waive the first year annual fee to make switching a little easier for you. With so much fine print in the industry, credit card issuers should have to earn our trust, before we shell out a dime.
4. Downgrade Your Card
If you have a premium credit card and you find it's not worth the annual fee, you may be able to ask for a downgrade to one of the credit card issuers no fee cards. You may not want to cancel the card, because you want to keep the credit line available for a rainy day, or you may simply want a no fee back-up card, in case your primary card gets lost, stolen or frozen.
5. Cancel You Card
If you found yourself another premium credit card, it may not make sense to have multiple credit cards with annual fees at the same time. That's especially true if you're focused on exploiting welcome bonus offers throughout the year.

Some people will argue that cancelling cards may lower your credit score, because it increases your credit utilization ratio (total balances to credit line). However, if you're cancelling a credit card and replacing it with another one, you should be fine. Moreover, if you're not maintaining a balance, credit utilization shouldn't be as much of a factor either.

Lastly, if you are applying for new credit cards, some of your new issuers may assign you a small line of credit, if they see you a large number of unsecured lines of credit on your file. Getting rid of those lines, gives more room for your new issuers to assign you a higher line themselves.









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marc@greedyrates.ca