GreedyRates en-us GreedyRates The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card Review Mon, 13 Nov 2017 16:22:04 -0500 At A Glance

6% introductory cash back rate for first 3 months
3% cash back on groceries, gas and recurring bills
1% on all purchases
Redeem cash back at any time to pay down the card balance
No expiration on cash back
Invitations to exclusive food and wine experiences
Rebate on first year's annual fee for the Primary Card Holder

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The company’s cash back offering is flexible, and lets customers redeem their earnings at any time to pay down existing balances. Cardholders also benefit from access to a 24-hour concierge services designed to locate nearby events and are eligible to participate in the Visa Infinite food and wine experiences as well.
Why We Like It

Killer Introductory Rate
Members that sign up before December 3rd, 2017 can take advantage of an impressive 6% cashback rate for the first three months. While it is short-lived, it can be an effective way to save during the first annual payment cycle, which conveniently falls during the holidays. The maximum cash back that can be earned with the 6% accrual rate is $210, which could pay for a lot of holiday gifts.
Travel in Peace
For customers looking to travel, the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card offers medical coverage that includes standard protection and up to $2 million in coverage during the first 10 days of a trip. Additionally, Visa Infinite cardholders get delayed and lost baggage insurance, along with access to emergency travel assistance.
Accelerated Cash Back on Gas, Groceries and Recurring Bills
Several Canadian credit cards offer heightened cashback rates for gas and groceries; relatively few include automatic billing payments as well.
Redeem Cash Back at Any Time
A major benefit of the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card is that customers can redeem their cash back earnings at any time. Instead of having to wait for a yearly statement, the cash back dollars can be applied to the credit card’s balance whenever a cardholder likes.
Value-Added Services
Customers have access to around-the-clock concierge services and can participate in unique Visa Infinite Food and Wine experiences. Additionally, customers receive extra benefits when staying at over 900 hotels across the world.
TD Auto Club Membership
Cardholders can rest easy on the road knowing that the TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card includes complimentary membership to the company’s TD Auto Club. The subscription includes free emergency roadside assistance 24 hours a day.

Is It Worth It?
Though its eligibility requirements are more strict than those of the average cashback card, the TD Visa Infinite’s accelerated cash back rates in certain categories make it especially beneficial for some consumers, particularly families. Those who spend a significant amount on gas, groceries and recurring bills should give this card careful consideration.

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Rebuild & Establish Credit with the Home Trust No Annual Fee Secured Credit Card Thu, 09 Nov 2017 11:28:27 -0500

At a Glance

Easy approval for almost anyone
$0 annual fee
21-day no interest grace period after monthly statement
Credit limit scales with security deposit
Monthly reporting to credit bureaus
19.99% APR

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For those individuals with less than stellar credit who need to rebuild or reestablish their good standing, the Home Trust Secured Visa card is a capable tool—and it’s offered at no annual fee. ‘Secured’ means that the credit limit attainable is flexible, ranging from $500 to an impressive $10,000, depending on how much is put down initially as a security deposit.

The Home Trust Secured Visa offers cardholders flexibility, including a grace period after each monthly statement that imposes no extra interest on the bill for 21 days. Additionally, minimum payments are highly manageable, coming down to whichever sum is greater at the end of the month – $10.00 or 3.00% of the card’s current balance.

On top of the low-barrier entry and useful features for rebuilding credit, cardholders will also benefit from having a Visa in their wallets. Access to millions of ATMs and shops around the world, easy online banking, and purchase protection are convenient perks that VISA customers will find valuable.
Why We Like It

Easy Access: Virtually all applicants are approved for the Home Trust Secured Visa, giving those with a dire need to rebuild their score the tools to do so immediately. Common reasons for being declined include deal-breaking factors like being under the age of majority, an applicant’s failure to provide a security deposit, and other reasons that are largely unrelated to an applicant’s credit status.
Monthly Reporting: Home Trust reports a cardholder’s progress on paying bills to major credit agencies every month, expediting the credit repair or improvement process.
Scaling Credit Limit: The Home Trust Secured Visa requires a $500 minimum deposit to be put down, with the credit limit scaling on a 1:1 basis all the way up to $10,000. Additionally, if the card is cancelled in the future for any reason, the entire security deposit will be reimbursed as long as the outstanding bill is paid in full.
No-Interest Grace Period: After the monthly statement arrives, customers have 21 full days to pay their bill while accruing no extra interest. This allows a bit of breathing room to organize your finances and pay the bill on time, every time.
Low Minimum Payments: If cardholders choose to pay the monthly minimum rather than the full balance, they’re allowed to pay either the greater of $10.00 or 3.00% of the monthly balance.
No Annual Fee: Customers pay absolutely no annual or monthly fees to use this credit card.

Those with excellent or even good credit would be better served by another card that offers lucrative rewards or cash back. But by approving virtually all applicants, Home Trust Secured Visa provides an opportunity to those who are in greatest need of improving their credit.

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How to Dispute Credit Report Errors Thu, 09 Nov 2017 09:32:32 -0500 How Do Credit Errors Affect You?
Credit report errors are disturbingly common. They might take the form of numerical errors indicating that you owe more than you should, outdated information, an identity mix-up, or a delinquency that the bureau failed to report as remedied. Even small errors can increase the amount of interest on the loans one is eligible for. It’s not unheard of to be charged double the regular rate on a new line of credit just because of a single error on your report.

Considering the impact that it can have on your financial prospects, it is very important to be vigilant when it comes to your credit report. Check it often to ensure that all the appropriate entries are there, but also to spot anything that appears suspicious.
Correct Credit Errors: Steps for Filing an Equifax Dispute
Equifax is one of two major Canadian credit bureaus, alongside TransUnion. These companies track the financial habits of Canadian individuals to determine the responsibility with which they handle their debts. But despite the bureaus’ comprehensive research and reporting systems, they can often be wrong. Fortunately these institutions make it easy for a person to obtain a copy of their credit report, and doing so is recommended at least once a year.

The steps for filing an Equifax dispute are simple, should an individual identify an error (or errors!) on their report.

To file a dispute, fill out a document called the Consumer Credit Report Update Form, which can be found here.
Gather photocopies of ID for verification, as well as all related documents to problematic entries.
Fax or mail the documents to Equifax. You’ll need to print or scan a copy of the erroneous Equifax report and make note of the entries that are wrong. The process takes 10 to 15 business days, after which time you’ll receive a confirmation letter in the mail.
The result will always be an updated copy of the credit report, and if it is unchanged, this means the relevant entries were not deemed as errors.

That’s it! Now onto the steps needed to dispute an error on a report issued by Canada’s other major credit bureau, TransUnion.
Correct Credit Errors: Steps for Filing a TransUnion Dispute
For TransUnion, the dispute process is similar to that of Equifax. They will thoroughly investigate any entries that a customer deems erroneous, and work hard to determine their veracity.

TransUnion customers offer several methods to dispute credit errors. Start by gathering your relevant identification documents such as your social insurance number, date of birth, address, and details of each disputed entry (company name, reason for dispute, etc.) The full list of documentation can be found here.
English speakers can call 1-800-663-9980, while French speakers should use the number 1-877-713-3393 or 514-335-0374 if they live in Montreal. A TransUnion representative will walk you through the process and will contact you for the final resolution over the phone as well.
It’s also possible to dispute errors via email or regular mail. The same details are needed, but one will use this form (for English) or this one (for French).
In these cases, TransUnion will be in contact via the email you used to send the form. For regular mail, they will return the corrected (or uncorrected) credit report to your mailbox.

How to Rebuild Your Credit
If you’ve corrected errors on your report and still feel that your credit score has room for improvement, there are a few ways to improve your score. We recommend the use of secured credit cards, which approve virtually all applicants regardless of their credit scores. Cards like the Home Trust Secured Visa frequently report a cardholder’s debt repayment progress to bureaus like TransUnion. Just make a small deposit, then charge a few bills to the card each month. Repaying these bills on time can result in relatively quick credit score improvement.]]>
The Best Credit Cards for Canadians with Average Credit Scores Sun, 05 Nov 2017 16:34:56 -0500 What Is Fair, or Average Credit?
Given a scale between 300 and 900, an ‘average’ credit score might range between 500 to 700. Individuals who have undergone bankruptcy or a consumer proposal will work hard, using secured credit cards and diligent saving, to reach this level. Someone who typically has good credit might temporarily dip into this level if they are delinquent on bills, make a series of late payments, or run their balance up to the limit of their available credit.

With the wide range of factors affecting credit scores, keeping it in great shape is a challenge. To find your credit score, navigate to TransUnion, Experian, or Equifax and sign up for their free reports. If you have reviewed your score, but find it does not meet the minimum to be considered “fair”, check out the articles here and here to learn how to improve it.
What Can I Do with Fair Credit?
With fair credit, you gain access to a wider range of financial tools that grant more freedom to spend and save. It can take hard work to reach this threshold, and if this is you - congratulations! Credit is an indicator of your personal financial diligence and a fair score gives you the option to take on more responsibility. Whereas those with poor credit may experience more limited access to financing, fair credit can be used to take out a bank loan, open a line of credit, or benefit from cards with more favorable terms.
Recommended Cards for People with Fair Credit

The SimplyCash Card from American Express

The Amex SimplyCash card boasts features unheard of for lower-tier credit cards, such as cash back and a lucrative introductory bonus. It also helps those with existing balances transfer the debt to gain shelter from high rates.

5% cash back bonus for first 6 months
1.25% cash back on all purchases after the promo period ends
No annual fee
Balance transfer rate of 1.99% for first 6 months

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The MBNA Rewards Mastercard

This card allows users to be extremely flexible in how they earn and spend their cash back. Its key features include:

1% cash back on all purchases with no limits
$50 welcome bonus after initial purchase
Transfer cash back instantly
Redeem for gifts or travel
Car rental insurance and purchase protection

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The MBNA Smart Cash Credit Card

While those with no or poor credit often take advantage of secured cards, the MBNA Smart Cash card is available to cardholders who’ve proven their creditworthiness. It provides a system for earning rewards from gas and groceries, and also offers a range of insurance features, all for no annual fee.

5% on gas and groceries for the first 6 months
2% thereafter
1% on all other purchases
No annual fee
Car rental, travel interruption, and purchase protection insurance

The MBNA True Line Mastercard

Those with low credit scores likely have access only to cards with high interest rates. But a score between 500-700 grants access to the True Line card from MBNA, which has a low rate that scales with your credit score. The True Line Mastercard offers:

An interest rate on purchases, cheques and balance transfers between 5.99% and 14.99%
No annual fee
Purchase protection and extended warranties

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A Fair Credit Score Is an Important Step Toward Financial Security
Credit cards for fair credit scores offer far better terms than cards available to less creditworthy individuals. Those who are just starting out their credit journey in Canada, like immigrants and young adults, might be wise to make reaching this credit score range one of their personal financial goals.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming article on the best cards for “good” credit, which brings a slew of lucrative deals for those with a score between 600 and 800.]]>
Credit Card Churn: Can You Get Away with It in Canada? Fri, 03 Nov 2017 14:28:08 -0400 What Is Credit Card Churn?
Credit card churning is a crafty practice that many Canadian cardholders take advantage of. The basic concept is this: sign up for multiple credit cards to reap the benefits/bonuses awarded by each. Then, cancel when those perks run out. You can then re-apply when the statutes run out to double or triple up on the benefits. Some card issuers allow the same person to sign up for a card multiple times, attaining the same welcome bonuses each time. Other issuers, however, have specific policies to combat such card churning plans.

Here’s an example: Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite waives the annual fee for the first year. So, cardholders can sign up, reap the promotional benefits—5% GM Earnings on all purchases up to $10,000—and not pay a fee. When that year runs out, they can simply cancel the card. After a ‘cooling off’ period (more on that below), they can reapply and reap the 5% earning benefits for no annual fee, yet again.

Check out everything you need to know about credit card churning, and get some tips on the best churnable cards for Canadians right now.
Check Before You Churn
While credit card flipping can be a fantastic way of getting more out of your cards, Canadian cardholders need to do their homework before putting this into practice. Many card issuers put caveats into their terms to thwart these attempts, and if you’re not careful, you can actually end up losing out. For example, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard specifically states within its terms and conditions that the 3,000 Air Miles bonus and fee waiver offered to new customers is limited to one time per collector number. As such, churning is not possible for this bonus.

Fortunately, credit card companies are usually unambiguous in their terms. Read through the fine print carefully, and do the math to see if the rewards you’ll be earning outweigh the requirements.
Take Time Before Re-Applying
Before you get all signup and cancellation-happy on all your cards, take a moment out for planning. Because card issuers are aware of the churn game, they’re often on the lookout for churn-like behavior. Canadian cardholders who wish to flip credit cards for their benefits shouldn’t re-apply immediately after cancelling. Instead, it’s a good idea to wait a few months (around 3-6 should do the trick) before signing up again. This way, the issuer is less likely to notice any connection between your current application and the previously cancelled one.
How Does Card Flipping Impact Your Credit Score?
One final word of caution. Each time you apply for a credit card, the card issuer will do a hard inquiry on your credit report. Such a pull can take approximately 10 points off your score. Nothing major, but enough of these can do damage to an otherwise stable credit score. Most people don’t have to worry about this kind of dip, as their credit corrects itself with a little bit of time, and no harm is done. But if you have a low credit score, and are trying to build up credit, you might wish to prevent even minor damage to your score. Or, if you are planning on applying for a mortgage or other type of loan in the near future, you will want to avoid card churning so that the practice doesn’t adversely affect your credit.

This may sound counterintuitive, but the best way to minimize or avoid damage to your credit score while credit card flipping is to sign up for multiple credit cards in as short an amount of time as possible. Why? Credit bureaus generally clump hard credit pulls into timeframes, so if you have 3-4 checks within a one-month period, your credit score will only be reduced one time.
To Churn or Not to Churn...
Is credit card churning a good idea for you? If you have decent credit, follow the tips mentioned above, and stick to a plan. You might be able to successfully flip cards. Here are some churnable cards that offer amazing incentives:
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite

6% cashback for first 3 months
3% cashback on other purchases
Annual fee waived for the first year

Starwood Preferred Guest

25,000 welcome bonus Starpoints
Free weekend night’s stay

Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite

Annual fee waived for the first year
5% on GM earnings for the first $10,000
No earning cap or redemption limits
Credit Cards: Use Them or Lose Them? Tue, 31 Oct 2017 14:50:54 -0400
With multiple cards occupying space in your pocket and on your credit history, not all of which you use regularly, cancelling a credit card or two would seem like an obvious choice. But, it's not that simple. There are some important factors that should be taken into consideration:

Does cancelling a credit card hurt your credit score?
How many credit cards should you have at one time anyway?
What are the ramifications of cancelling a card?

So, does it actually hurt to cancel credit cards? Affect credit score, yes; hurt credit score, not necessarily. Below, we've addressed the pros and cons of getting rid of cards that are used infrequently so you can decide if it's the best choice for you.
Pros of Cancelling the Card
There are several benefits to unloading cards that are just collecting dust:

It’s one less card/monthly bill to keep track of (this may or may not include annual fees and interest rates that you’ll be glad to eliminate/minimize)

Closing a credit card and then reopening it later on might re-qualify you for the generous benefits companies reserve for new cardholders. Before cancelling, though, check the card issuer’s policy, as some require a minimum waiting period between cancellation and reopening in order to receive the welcome bonus, or don’t allow this leeway at all.

Not all credit cards are created equal, and getting rid of a card with underwhelming benefits/perks allows you to concentrate spending on the cards that give you the best rewards, including points deals, cash back, air miles, lower interest rates, and more.

Cons of Cancelling the Card
On the other hand, cancelling a card may not be your best option because:

Closing a credit card can increase your overall credit utilization across your other cards, and therefore hurt your credit score. Let's explain. Say you have five different credit cards, each with a spending limit of $5,000. That’s $25,000 worth of credit you have on hand. If you have $5,000 worth of credit card expenses, then you are using 20% of your overall available credit. If you cancel three of these cards, then you lower your overall credit limit to $10,000, but your $5,000 debt stays the same. That means now you are using 50% of your overall available credit, which is well over the 30% utilization limit recommended for maintaining a good credit score.

Generally, lenders prefer borrowers that have long credit histories, so owning a card for several years actually looks good on your history. Alternatively, closing the oldest card you have will shorten your credit history and can negatively impact your chances of getting an important loan in the future.

If you close a credit card, you forfeit any chance of building up your credit score with that card. Conversely, keeping a card open, making even a single monthly charge with it, and paying it off month by month will actually build your credit score up over time.

You may be tempted to close a card before you've paid off the balance, to try to prevent future spending. What you don't realize is that in the eyes of credit bureaus, this looks as if you've maxed out the credit limit on that card and are trying to get out of a bad financial situation. Obviously, this scenario is not good for your credit score.

Bottom Line
At the end of the day, Canadians with high credit scores, a long history of timely credit payments, and diverse credit types might benefit from swapping out non-beneficial credit cards for more generous ones.

Alternatively, those who are trying to build up credit should perhaps think twice before cancelling their cards. It might generally be a wise practice to routinely clean out clutter in our lives, but that’s not necessarily the case if you’re trying to lay the groundwork for a bright financial future.]]>
5 Proven Ways to Consolidate Debt Sun, 29 Oct 2017 13:11:31 -0400
Debt Consolidation Option #1: Pay off smaller bills first
You might be feeling overwhelmed by the sheer number of bills you receive in the mail each month. Particularly if organization is not your strong suit, an influx of demands is enough to destroy a healthy financial plan on its own. If this sounds like your situation, ask someone close to you to help get a bit more organized. Here’s what to do:

Make a list of each of your debts.
Organize these according to debt size.
Pay off smaller debts quickly to get the number of requests down to a more manageable amount.
Once smaller debts are settled, tackle larger debts with consistent monthly payments, and watch these shrink as well. Don't be hesitant to contact the collectors for assistance or to discuss more flexible payment plans.

This will not be a good option if you have too much debt to chip away at slowly or if you are so thrashed by the financial mess that you can’t even start to make heads or tails of it.
Debt Consolidation Option #2: Take out an unsecured loan
Taking out a personal loan to satisfy your debt can be a good credit consolidation solution, but you have to be careful. On the upside, you'll be able to pay off all your debt at once and leave yourself with a single payment to deal with. That's much more manageable. Assuming you have decent credit, you'll have plenty of options to choose from with lenders competing for your business, driving down the interest you’ll have to pay.

What you need to be careful about is getting stuck with a bad loan. Carefully review the terms of a loan before you accept them, shop around to find the best rates, and opt for user-friendly lenders like SoFi that offers additional benefits like social events, job opportunities, and unemployment freezes on loans.

Unsecured loans are particularly advantageous because you don’t need to specify what you are using the money for and you don’t have to put down any collateral to be approved.
Debt Consolidation Option #3: Consolidate credit cards into one payment
Sometimes, people drown in debt because they simply can’t manage all the various payments that are being demanded of them each month from multiple credit cards. Credit card debt consolidation is an excellent solution if that’s the case. A balance transfer credit card can help you consolidate credit cards into one payment for easier debt management and more reasonable monthly payments.

The downside to this method is you need to find a good low or no interest credit card or the fees will defeat the entire purpose of your transfer. A card like the MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard offers a 0% balance transfer fee, and others have under 2%, a good offer.
Debt Consolidation Option #4: Borrow from a life insurance policy
This is not the best option for most people, but it is a good last resort if you’ve tried everything else. If you’re looking at bankruptcy or a similarly unpleasant legal situation, you can try to take out the cash amount that the policy is good for, use that to cover your debt, and slowly pay back your policy. This is risky though because you may not be able to pay back the policy, leaving your survivors without the insurance they depended on.
Debt Consolidation Option #5: Borrow from retirement plans
Again, this is not the best course of action, and it should be avoided unless you have no other choice. It is much smarter to combine credit cards into one payment or opt for a low APR loan as mentioned above. If all else fails, you can usually borrow against your 401K. You will have to repay this loan within five years generally. Otherwise, you’ll be taxed heavily for early withdrawal of the plan. Additionally, you’ll be charged the full amount of the plan if you lose your job while still in debt.

Of course, avoiding debt by keeping healthy spending habits and responsible credit card payments is the best method of all. But, if you’ve found yourself knee deep in debt, these credit card debt consolidation techniques can really help you get out of that hot water and back on solid ground.]]>
A (Mostly) Cashless World Is Inevitable: Now Let’s Make the Most of It Thu, 26 Oct 2017 13:57:10 -0400 By Sean Cooper
When was the last time you used cash to make a purchase? If you’re anything like me, you’ll struggle to remember.

Canadian media tends to paint the cashless trend as having a woefully negative impact on our personal finances, particularly with respect to our spending restraint (or lack thereof) when we use credit instead of cash. But like it or not, Canada is going cashless.

Five years ago, 71% of Canadians said that they’re comfortable never handling cash again. More recent stats indicate that this attitude is a growing trend: Canadians made over 11.5 billion cashless transactions in 2014. Now some experts predict that by 2030 we’ll only use cash for 10% of our transactions.

Cashless is faster, more convenient and more secure. So instead of complaining about a technological inevitability, let’s prepare for and make the most of it.

How Cashless Benefits the Consumer

Convenience: Credit cards are a time saver: fewer trips to the ABM, less time spent looking for all your loose change (unless you enjoy that) and faster checkout lines when shopping.
Rewards: Most credit cards and debit cards offer rewards (cash back, reward points, travel rewards, etc.). On the other hand, the Bank of Canada won’t give you extra bills to incentivize the use of its notes.
Building Your Credit Score: As I mentioned in one of my recent articles, credit cards are a good way to build a credit score when used responsibly. If you always pay in cash, you won’t establish and grow a credit score and you’ll likely have difficulty obtaining a mortgage or car loan later in life.
Security: Most credit cards offer zero liability protection. If your credit card information is stolen through no fault of your own, you likely won’t be held liable and your stolen funds will be reimbursed.
Purchase Protection: Many credit cards offer purchase assurance and extended warrantees on goods purchased. You can also do a charge back if you pay for something and the goods or services aren’t delivered.

Going cashless clearly has a lot of advantages, but consumers need to adjust their mindsets in order to avoid its biggest pitfall: the dreaded overspend.

Bring the Pain Back to Spending

Have you ever wondered if you spend more when you use your credit card versus cash? You probably do. A Dun Bradstreet study found that people spend 12-18% more when they put their purchases on plastic. And there’s a psychological impetus behind it.

When you see the price of something, it normally stimulates a part of your brain known as the insula. But when you use your credit card, it dulls the pain that the insula absorbs (since no physical money is exchanged). I spoke with Stephen Weyman, founder and CEO of and, about how we can bring back some of the ‘productive pain’ of transacting with cash into our automated, cash-free lives.

“As we move to an increasingly cashless society, the risk of overspending is certain to increase at the same time. The primary reason being that the sense of loss or pain is greatly diminished when paying electronically. After all, it's just a number on a screen that we often don't even look at,” says Weyman.

Here’s a breakdown of some of Stephen’s tips to counteract this tendency to overspend with credit.

Add a manual component to your spending, like writing each expense down in a notebook or using your smartphone.
Use a credit card with a low credit limit for most of your spending to make sure large impulse purchases will get denied.
Use spending and budgeting apps like Mint, You Need a Budget, or Spending Tracker to track each expense and compare to your budget in real time.

In addition to Stephen’s advice, I would add a few more steps to your spending routine: before making major purchases, pause before you buy. If there’s any doubt in your mind, take a cooling off period of 24 hours. You don’t have to decide on whether or not to go through with the purchase then and there (unless the sale is ending that day). And as for the most important tip of all…

…Get a Little Obsessed with Your Bank Statement

The average Canadian checks their smartphone about 100 times a day. Just imagine the financial shape we’d be in if we diverted a fraction of our phone and social media mania toward regularly checking our bank statements and reviewing our charges.

So try to check your credit card statement weekly (at a minimum). Simple bank statement vigilance not only helps us keep our own spending in check, but it also makes it easier to catch other unwarranted charges. A money coaching client of mine unknowingly paid for the rental of his old house’s water heater for two years after he moved out. This unnecessary waste could easily have been prevented if he’d logged out of Facebook and logged into his online banking once a week.

Are We Really Going Completely Cashless?

Will we come to a point in which there’s no need for paper currency whatsoever? Not in the foreseeable future, according to Stephen.

“My belief is that we will never be a completely cashless society because the underlying systems that support cashless payments are fragile. To me that means cash will always have a place as a backup form of payment when nothing else works,” said Stephen.

Although eventually every vendor, from major businesses to small mom-and-pop shops, will do most of its business with credit, it’s a good idea for consumers to hold onto a little bit of cash as a backup in case of a network outage. There was a major outage with Interac earlier this year, which left many Canadians scrambling to find alternate ways to pay their rent and bills.

So even though you’ll soon be making most of your purchases on credit (if you aren’t already), you might want to keep a few Loonies in your pocket. Just in case.

[author image="" ]Sean Cooper bought his first house when he was just 27 and paid off his mortgage in only three years. An in-demand personal finance journalist, money coach and speaker, his articles have been featured in publications such as the Toronto Star, Globe and Mail, MoneySense and Tangerine’s Forward Thinking blog. He makes regular appearances on national radio and television shows to discuss personal finance, real estate and mortgages, and is also the author of the new book, Burn Your Mortgage. Follow him on Twitter @SeanCooperWrite and request his services on his website.[/author]]]>
5 Ways to Save More on Travel During the Holiday Season Sun, 22 Oct 2017 05:29:27 -0400 Tip #1: Travel overnight
Kick off your savings by traveling overnight to save on a hotel room for the night! This absurdly simple travel hack can save you hundreds of dollars on both ends of the trip.
Tip #2: Go further with Black Friday travel deals
The smartest way to save during the hectic holiday season is to use your credit cards wisely. There are actually loads of benefits built into the average Canadian credit card, including Black Friday airline sales, you just need to know which ones to use and when. Look for cards with:

Air miles

Use points that you’ve accumulated from your year-round purchases to pay for your Black Friday plane tickets. With the Starwood Preferred Guest card, for example, you can transfer points to air miles via 30 different airlines for free tickets. Other cards like the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard will help you pay for your entire flight using the free air miles they give you upon signup after your initial purchase limit. BMO gives new members 3,000 miles, plenty to cover an entire trip.

Cashback rewards

In addition to finding Cyber Monday flight deals, get major savings even if you’re driving. If you’re putting gas into the tank anyway, why not get some money back? With cards like the Scotiabank Gold American Express card, you’ll get a tremendous 4% back on gas purchases up to $50,000 yearly, one of the highest cashback programs available in Canada. Also, get 4% back on groceries and dining out while you’re heading towards those exciting Cyber Monday travel deals.


Save big on your hotel accommodations with the right credit card, too. The same Starwood card gives you 25,000 welcome points. That’s enough to pay for five nights of stay free at a great hotel! Their redemption policy is also really flexible, with no blackout dates and more than 1,200 hotels to choose from.

Travel rewards

Many of the better cards, like the Scotiabank Gold and BMO cards, also offer incredible travel perks like flight delay and cancellation insurance, lost luggage insurance, discounts on car rentals, and price protection on your Black Friday purchases.
Tip #3: Take Advantage of Off Season Airfares
Airlines know that everyone is vying for those precious last-minutes seats on their planes, so they charge a lot for Black Friday plane tickets. If you don’t have to travel during the busiest times, you’ll save a bundle on off season travel.

Here’s how to play the low season travel system. If you’ve got your vacation days building up or have the wiggle room to manage it, consider taking a longer holiday. With tickets starting at $200 and going upwards, it could mean the difference of several hundreds of dollars for you and your crew. Even traveling a day or two before the holiday season travel rush can save you a lot. Search for tickets a few days prior to the weekend, and see the prices drop.
Tip #4: Utilize package deals
Smart Canadians have learned the art of bundling their travel accommodations for maximum savings during the holiday season travel crunch. Frequently, airlines will create partnerships with other travel-related businesses to give their customers some amazing discounts. By combining flights, hotel accommodations, car rentals, and even purchases, you can get some of the best Cyber Monday travel deals 2017 has to offer. Spend less, get more; it’s the only way to travel.
Tip #5: Skip the extras
Cheap flights can be hard to come by for the typical Canadian traveler, but that doesn’t mean savings aren’t available...if you know where to look for them. If you have to spend a lot on your Black Friday plane tickets, minimize the costs by avoiding any extra frills. For example, a suitcase can run between $25-$30 per person/per flight, quickly adding up. Consider leaving your extra baggage at home and packing light in a carry-on, instead. Also, avoid in-flight perks that can add considerably to your tab, and weigh your luggage, so you're not hit with a hefty overweight charge.

Holidays can be pricey, but they don’t have to break the bank if you know how to play the system. Use these tips, and save more this holiday season.]]>
How to Save When You Shop South of the Border on Black Friday Wed, 18 Oct 2017 05:34:43 -0400

It’s a ritual almost as anticipated as Thanksgiving itself: Black Friday cross-border shopping. While Americans gather around their dinner tables, loosening their belt buckles and digging into turkey, Canadians are heading in droves across the border to shop.
Lower tax rates and cheaper pricing have always made the U.S. an attractive shopping destination to deal-starved Canucks. The country’s price-busting power, however, goes into overdrive the day after American Thanksgiving. Like moths to a flame, Canadians join their neighbors to the south to give their credit cards a workout on the busiest shopping day of the year.
The Dreaded Foreign Transaction Fee
But for Canadians, are those Black Friday USA bargains more dud than deal? Many consumers from the Great White North may be unknowingly losing money when they shop internationally if they use the same credit card they normally rely on in Canada. Why? Most Canadian credit cards charge a foreign transaction fee (aka FX fee) between 2.5 to 3%. That’s right. Suddenly that flat-screen TV or laptop doesn’t look like such a great Black Friday deal when you add an extra 2.5 percent to the price (not to mention the gas it took to drive to the US and the lackluster Canadian exchange rate). Foreign transaction fees are imposed by the credit card issuer as a charge to convert your payment from the foreign currency into your own currency.

So, what can you do to avoid those FX fees? Well, if you’re thinking you can just nix the fee by staying home and waiting a few days for that other great American shopping bonanza known as Cyber Monday, you’re in for a big surprise. FX fees might also be charged when you shop online, if the retailer is based outside Canada and charges in American dollars. For example, when you use your credit card on sites like and beloved fashion retailer Net-a-Porter, you are still paying the added foreign transaction fee.

To make matters worse, your credit card company may make it difficult for you to figure out how much you’re actually being charged. Credit card issuers are loath to advertise that they charge you extra to shop internationally; on your statement, the fee is often lumped in with the overall purchase rather than as a separate transaction.

How to Avoid Losing Money to FX Fees
Does this mean it’s time to cry foul and say so long to Thanksgiving Black Friday deals? Not necessarily.

If you’re planning on going south to bargain hunt for Black Friday USA , contact your credit card company to determine if they charge foreign transaction fees—the answer is most likely ’yes’—and what percentage they charge.

If you do a lot of shopping in the States or travel to other international destinations, your best move is to get a credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. Unfortunately, unlike in America, there aren’t a lot of Canadian credit cards that don’t have FX fees. But here’s a roundup of our top three:

Home Trust Preferred Visa

This under-the-radar credit card is a standout value. Not only does it have no foreign transaction fees or annual fees, it also offers purchase protection: if the price of the item you buy drops after you make your purchase, the credit card issuer will reimburse you for the difference. The cash back rate is 1% on all purchases anywhere, with no cap.

Rogers Platinum Mastercard

While the card does technically charge a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, its 4% cashback rate on all foreign purchases more than makes up for the fee, because you end up with a net gain of 1.5% cash back on international purchases. You’ll also earn 1.75% cash back on any purchases in Canadian dollars, so the card is flexible while at home or abroad. To sweeten the deal, cardholders pay no annual fee.

Fido Mastercard

Like the Rogers Platinum Mastercard, this card also technically charges a 2.5% foreign transaction fee, however it too features a 4% cashback rate on foreign purchases, negating the FX fee and then some. There is no annual fee and the card has an attractive $50 cash back welcome bonus.
Shop Smart on Black Friday USA 2017
You don’t have to let FX fees curb your itch to shop internationally, you just need to be smart about it. When shopping in Canada, it makes sense to use the card that offers the highest rewards or cash back rate. But when making purchases abroad or in a foreign currency, be a savvy shopper by using a card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee—it’s a helpful way to ensure Black Friday doesn’t put you in the red.

[author image="" ]Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites[/author]]]>
5 Tips for Cyber Monday Savings Tue, 17 Oct 2017 04:46:58 -0400 What Is Cyber Monday?
Cyber Monday is the premier online shopping holiday in the US. This year Cyber Monday falls on November 27th, and while Canadians don’t traditionally subscribe to the festivity, there’s every reason to at least check it out for the possibility of scoring a major deal. Take a look at these 5 Cyber Monday shopping tips that you can use to maximize the deals this holiday weekend.
Tip #1: Track Deals Early
The first Cyber Monday tip is to stay on top of the deals before the big day. Sign up for Cyber Monday savings email notifications and SMS messages and utilize deal bloggers like RetailMeNot to find the best Cyber Monday deals. You can even put items you like into your shopping cart early, and wait for the savings to kick in before clicking “buy."
Tip #2: Pay with a Cyber Monday Credit Card
Some credit cards offer excellent cashback rewards, but they’re often specific to purchases like groceries or gas; no good for the retail purchases you’ll be eyeing for the holidays. Our next Cyber Monday shopping tip is to focus on using cards that reward you for your online shopping to really get the most out of the Cyber Monday deals, like:

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite

TD has positioned its Visa Infinite as the go-to cash back card for 2017's holiday season. Apply for the card by December 3rd and take advantage of a 6% cash back rate on all purchases for the first 3 months. The same promotion includes a rebate for the card's $120 annual fee in its first year.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

This jewel from Amex has a lot to offer shoppers as a great Cyber Monday credit card, especially during sales season. You’ll get 5% cash back on all purchases for the first six months, and 2% on everything after that with no limitations. SimplyCash also provides double the warranty on all items bought using the card, a great guarantee.

Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite

The GM Visa Infinite also has a hefty 5% cashback on all purchases with a 10K accumulated cashback cap, and 2% after that, so it’s another excellent choice for Cyber Monday savings. Additionally, your points will never expire as long as you have the card. The points can be redeemed on GK vehicles, so it’s a good deal for those who plan to buy a car.

BMO World Elite Mastercard

BMO offers a hefty welcome bonus (20,000 points = about $200) and waives the first year’s annual fee. The card also offers the Cyber Monday-friendly price protection feature (more on that below).

Tangerine Cash Back

Tangerine is a great shopping option because it has absolutely no limits on your cashback rewards. You get to choose up to 3 shopping categories to earn 2% cash back from and then the sky is the limit. Plus the lack of annual fee and low acceptance bar really make it an easy choice. The only drawback with this card is that clothing, electronics and other popular Cyber Monday sale items are not among the 10 cashback categories offered. However, furniture and home improvement are among the categories, so it would be a good option for those products.
Tip #3: Comparison Shop
It might be tempting to grab the first deal you see, but our sound Cyber Monday advice is, DON’T! Thanks to handy online stores, comparison shopping is a snap, and it’ll amount to bigger savings and better deals all around.
Tip #4: Save on Travel
Retailers aren’t the only ones running deals this weekend. Airlines and hotels are known to offer great deals on Cyber Monday. Maximize savings and rewards with these cards:

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

Get 3,000 miles upon signup, 25% off AIR MILES flights within North America, and discounts on car rentals!

American Express Gold Rewards card

The Gold Rewards card has a flexible points structure you can use on any airline and a huge 25,000 point signup bonus to kick-start your trip.
Tip #5: Capitalize on Purchase Protection
Finally, utilize credit cards that offer price protection.  If you purchase a product and then find it for cheaper somewhere else, cards like the BMO World Elite Mastercard refund the price difference.
Are Cyber Monday Savings Worth it?
So, is it worth shopping on Cyber Monday? When you take advantage of smart Cyber Monday tips, you bet it is! Go out and save yourself a bundle today!]]>
The BMO Sobeys AIR MILES Mastercard Review Mon, 16 Oct 2017 05:42:43 -0400
This bonus, plus the many ways that the AIR MILES Mastercard makes it easy to earn miles, means that travelers can save substantially on their annual trip expenses.
At a Glance:

$0 annual fee
Welcome bonus of 500 AIR MILES
Earn 1 reward mile per $20 spent (special promotion of 3x Miles until October 31st, 2017)
Earn 1.25 miles per $20 spent at Shell, National and Alamo car rentals
Earn double miles rate at participating stores
Purchase protection
Free supplementary cards
Discounted car rentals at National and Alamo

Many other cards restrict the cardholder to a certain franchise or type of purchase, but this card allows the steady accrual of 1 mile for every $20 spent, anywhere. In addition, a wide selection of participating sponsors, such as Ace Hardware, Foodland Ontario, Jean Coutu and more allow cardholders to earn double on their purchases.
Why We Like It:

Discounted Car Rentals: Aside from earning miles at a slightly advanced rate when renting a car at National or Alamo, cardholders are also eligible to receive up to a 25% discount off car rental costs.

Free Supplementary Cards: Cardholders are exempt from additional fees when adding cardholders to their account. This could be a spouse, family member or close acquaintance, and not only saves money, but also enables an increased pace of mileage accrual.

Purchase Protections: A unique Mastercard advantage, cardholders who use their BMO AIR MILES card to purchase valuable items will enjoy an extended warranty for up to one year. Combined with 90 days of automatic insurance against damage or theft, there are few reasons not to use the card on important, big-ticket purchases.

Introductory Bonus: New cardholders will automatically receive 500 miles credited directly to their account just for signing up. This represents a significant discount on an upcoming flight, free merchandise from the AIR MILES catalogue, hotel stays, package vacations and more.

Effortless Earning: Cardholders do not have to modify their shopping when considering how to earn miles. A flat 1 mile per $20 spent everywhere helps to earn with no restrictions, and increased rates at participating retailers or services just sweetens the deal.

Flexible Rewards: The AIR MILES ecosystem is one of the best available for cardholders, considering it allows members to redeem their miles on a number of great rewards. From discounted flights and hotel stays to car rentals, vacation packages, merchandise and more, AIR MILES are valuable to everyone.

This card is most suitable for people looking to join the AIR MILES ecosystem to see if it suits their needs, without committing to a card that requires exorbitant annual fees. Overall, there are cards out there with more lucrative signup bonuses and rewards accrual rates, but they typically require an investment. For no annual fee, the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard is very worthwhile.]]>
Should You Get a Store Credit Card for the Holiday Season? Wed, 11 Oct 2017 09:10:49 -0400 Apply with Low or No Credit, but Take a Hit to Your Credit Score
Store credit cards like Sobeys or Graceway can be very good credit cards for bad credit and for shoppers with low or no credit history. They generally offer low-credit credit cards with few barriers to acceptance. Consumers whose credit history is too thin to qualify for an ordinary credit card can frequently still be approved for a store-linked credit card. If you use it wisely, a store card can improve your credit score, which helps you to succeed at building credit.

But, even careful consumers can find that holiday credit cards do more harm than good to their credit score. Each time someone opens up a new card, the company performs a credit check, which remains on file. Opening up too many cards within a short amount of time (like just before the holiday season) increases credit utilization and the number of hard inquiries on a credit report. Each hard inquiry is estimated to ding about 10 points off a credit score.

A further risk is that credit cards from stores generally have low credit limits, which are easy to exceed. If you frequently max out credit cards, it will negatively affect your credit rating, even though the cards in question could have limits of only a few hundred dollars.

One alternative is to use a Secured Credit Card, such as the Home Trust Secured Visa. It’s very hard not to be accepted for a secured credit card, no matter how poor your credit. These cards require a security deposit, which matches the card’s credit limit and will be used to pay off the card if you choose to cancel. This way you can improve your credit score while avoiding the negative impact of having too many credit inquiries in a short period.
Great Sales and Perks, but Limited Flexibility
The main reason why shoppers open store credit cards is to take advantage of the sales and perks that the stores offer. For example, Sobeys tempts you with 2 Air Miles for every $20 you spend, Lowe’s Canada offers free delivery and interest-free payments, and Costco offers cash back on purchases at gas stations and restaurants as well as in-store. Nordstrom and Hudson’s Bay cards let you earn points toward store gift cards, while the Wal-Mart credit card brings regular discounts.

All these perks can be tempting, but before you bite, you should check out regular rewards cards instead. For example, the Scotia Gold Amex offers 4% cash back on all gas, grocery, dining and entertainment purchases, while the SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express includes cash back (2%, unlimited) on any and all purchases. Unlike holiday credit cards, these perks are available all year round.

Aside from their greater flexibility, regular rewards cards carry slightly lower interest rates of around 20% APR in place of the usual store credit rate of around 25%. Finally, regular rewards and cash back cards almost always come with a raft of travel cover, extended warranty, and insurance policies that are often missing from store credit card options.
Low or No Annual Fees, but for How Long?
Another plus for store credit cards is their low or no annual fee offer. A store’s no fee credit cards are definitely attractive, but be aware that they often introduce or raise the annual fee after the introductory period ends. Some regular credit cards come with no annual fee, applicable beyond a brief promotional period. One great example is the PC Financial World Elite Mastercard, which is fee-free and gives the equivalent of 3% cash back in free groceries at Shoppers Drug Mart, Loblaw, and Pharmaprix stores.
Value All Year Round
Although stores advertise their credit cards with tantalizing offers during the holiday season, savvy consumers will recognise that these offers are going to be a lot less appealing once the season ends. Instead of potentially damaging your credit rating and opening yourself up to over-spending, consider choosing just a few regular credit cards that you’ll use long after Boxing Day.]]>
The Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite Card Review Tue, 10 Oct 2017 12:51:51 -0400
With 5% GM Earnings accrued from all purchases made with the card, combined with the fact that these rewards never expire, drivers can pile up a significant discount on their next Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. These benefits are brought to members without an annual fee in the first year.
At a Glance:

Get 5% GM Earnings (rewards) on the first $10,000 spent annually
Earn 2% GM Earnings afterward with no limits
Redeem GM Earnings for discounts on new or leased GM vehicles (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac, etc.)
Earnings do not expire
No annual fee for the first year
Enjoy traveller’s insurance for medical, rental car and trip interruption
Protect purchases with warranty extensions and more
Receive 20% off vehicle rentals at AVIS

The Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite card is a perfect fit for those who intend to purchase a vehicle in the near (or distant) future. General Motors’ reward points system transfers $1 of GM Earnings to $1 off the sticker price of a new vehicle or lease. With 5% GM Earnings accrued from all purchases made with the card, combined with the fact that these rewards never expire, drivers can pile up a significant discount on their next Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. These benefits are brought to members without an annual fee in the first year.

Additionally, the GM Visa Infinite provides cardholders with travel emergency medical insurance, trip interruption insurance, flight delay insurance, insurance against lost baggage, travel accidents, and even damage to rental vehicles. Newly purchased items’ manufacturer warranties are extended up to an additional year.

The card’s most notable limitation is that its 5% accrual rate applies only to the first $10,000 spent annually. Afterwards, purchases earn GM Rewards at a 2% rate, which is still relatively high. The 5% rate returns at the start of a new year.
Why We Like It:

Fast Earnings: Initial promotional rewards rates for most rewards/cash back cards typically end after the first 3-6 months, or after spending as little as $300. But the 5% rate for this card can be used every year in perpetuity. There is no ceiling on the amount of GM Earnings one can collect, nor is there an expiration date, meaning a customer could potentially save up for years and then purchase a vehicle with only their accrued GM Earnings.

Variety of Brands: General Motors is the parent company of several of the best vehicle manufacturers operating today, including Cadillac, GMC, Buick and Chevrolet. Customers have their choice of redeeming GM Earnings on any model in this range, from small economical city cars to heavy-duty pickup trucks and even sports cars.

No Annual Fee: For their first year, cardholders will not have to worry about paying an annual fee for using the Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite card. During their second year and onwards, the annual fee costs $79.

Traveller Safety: While vacationing or on a business trip, cardholders are protected with an array of comprehensive insurance features.

Purchase Protections: Goods that come with a manufacturer’s warranty have the warranty period doubled for up to an extra year, and items are also protected for 90 days against damage and theft.

Rental Discounts: Keeping to the card’s theme of automotive benefits, members are eligible to receive a discount of up to 20% off when renting a car at AVIS.

Is It Worth It?
The significant savings that can be redeemed on vehicle purchases make this card the perfect accompaniment for those planning to purchase a car. While other cards may be a reasonable way to get a fraction of the financing necessary for a new vehicle, this card’s rewards structure is more directly suited to vehicles, and it also provides a host of other benefits as well.]]>
The GreedyRates Guide to Saving More on Black Friday Mon, 09 Oct 2017 11:06:01 -0400
Canada’s favorite retailers have picked up on the Black Friday shopping frenzy, offering sales that are competitive with those in the States. With a little forethought, shoppers can save even more on top of the blowout prices being offered. Here are some smart Black Friday tips that’ll help you save even bigger and spend smarter.
Cash Back Black Friday Tips 2017
The savvy credit cardholder knows how to make the most out of any opportunity for maximum savings, and Black Friday is no different. Using the right cards, you can earn points, air miles, and benefits from the card issuer for purchases you were making anyway. Look for Black Friday cashback deals to really rack up points and save even more than you anticipated, like:

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite

Apply for the card by December 3rd, 2017, and you'll get an industry-leading 6% cash back (!) on all purchases for the first 3 months, as well as a rebate on the card's $120 fee. Post-promotional rates are also quite strong: 3% cash back on groceries, cash, and recurring bills.

SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

For the first six months, you’ll receive 5% back on all purchases from the card. The card also has a nice post-promotional rate of 2% cashback. Travel and foreign medical insurance are also handy if you opt to go south for the weekend.

Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite

Another card for those intrepid shoppers who venture to the States for Black Friday, the Scotiabank GM Visa Infinite outfits you with discounts on car rentals, a whopping 4% back on gas purchases, and 1% back on all purchases.

Tangerine Cash Back

Tangerine is an all-around great card that makes Black Friday shopping even more profitable. It offers benefits like no caps or limits to cashback rewards, 2% cashback on all purchases anywhere, and absolutely no annual fees. It’s basically a risk-free card.
Protecting Your Purchases for Smarter Black Friday Credit Card Shopping
Choosing the right Black Friday credit cards can provide purchase guarantees you won’t get elsewhere. Price protection guarantees that if you see a product you purchased for a lower price—e.g. you buy something on Black Friday only to find it marked down further on Boxing Day—the credit card issuer will discount the savings to your account. The MBNA Rewards World Elite and BMO World Elite Mastercard both offer this smart feature.

And, since many Black Friday sales generally come with a no-return policy, it’s always comforting to have a card that provides an extra warranty period as well. RBC cards, like the RBC Cash Back Preferred, provide great warranties for items purchased in Canada, while Scotiabank cards offer extended warranties on products from anywhere in the world. Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite not only offers an added warranty, but also gives 4% cash back on gas; great if you plan on shopping south of the border.
Beware Black Friday Cashback Voids
Something Canadian shoppers should be careful of is voiding the benefits on your out-of-country purchases. All those huge savings you’re raking up might not be worth much if the card you’re using charges a foreign transaction fee. Get around this frustrating loophole by doing your Black Friday shopping with a credit card that waves the foreign transaction fee, like the Rogers Platinum Mastercard and Home Trust Preferred Visa cards.

Whether you plan to hunt for bargains in Canada or you opt to journey down to our neighbors, you shouldn’t spend a bundle over the holidays without getting something back in return. Use these smart Black Friday shopping tips to come out the big winner during this massive shopping season.]]>
Awesome Card Promotions Ending in October and November Sun, 08 Oct 2017 08:10:15 -0400 October 18th, 2017
On October 18th, one of the most popular promotions among travelers ends, courtesy of the Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) card from American Express. The SPG gives new customers a generous 25,000 points—equivalent to 5 free hotel nights—for signing up, as long as at least $1,500 is spent on the card during the first three months of membership. Shouldn’t be a problem given the holidays.
October 31st, 2017
The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card is great for those who love getting cash back for whatever they purchase: 4% on gas and groceries, 2% at pharmacies and on recurring bills, and 1% everywhere else. Though the card’s cash back structure is well worth its annual fee of $99, those who sign up by the end of October are exempted from the charge during their first year.

Scotiabank has another card promotion ending soon as well. Their Gold American Express card is our most recommended for travellers who need flexibility when it comes to how they accrue rewards points and eventually spend them. Like the Visa above, new members who sign up before November will have the first year’s fee waived and earn 30,000 points as well, just for spending $750 in the first three months.

BMO has two cards with excellent promotions that also end at the close of October. The BMO AIR MILES World Elite is temporarily offering a slew of high-value benefits to new cardholders, including 3,000 bonus air miles, a free companion flight, and a waiver for the first year’s annual fee ($120).

BMO’s Sobeys AIR MILES card has a different deal, that gives members who sign up in time an advanced rate of earning. For the first three months, these cardholders will garner 3x the regular rate of air miles. The card also grants 500 bonus miles with your first purchase, and has no annual fee (though the latter two are permanent perks, not time-limited).
November 30th, 2017
Lastly, cardholders who act before the end of November will earn BMO’s bonus offering on the BMO World Elite Mastercard. Currently, new members receive a $150 annual fee waiver for their first year, and will also enjoy the card’s default bonuses, like 20,000 rewards points and VIP airport lounge access.
Help Yourself to Holiday Savings
Bargain-hunting cardholders should take advantage of these deals before they expire. Many of these valuable promotions boost short-term savings significantly, making gift shopping and holiday preparations that much more manageable.]]>
5 Tips for Saving on Thanksgiving Weekend Wed, 04 Oct 2017 09:31:57 -0400
Whether you’re hosting Thanksgiving or just coming as a guest, somehow the expenses seem to accumulate faster than you can cover them. Fortunately, there are many ways to make up for all the holiday spending you're doing during this time, and using smart credit card purchasing power is the best way of all. Check out five ways you can maximize your credit card spending, so you actually come out on top for Thanksgiving 2017.
Tip #1: Potluck Properly
One of the most popular traditions celebrated during Thanksgiving in Canada is the communal meal. Everyone brings their favourite dish, minimizing the cost of the lavish meal and adding an element of community and sharing to the festivities. While this might seem like an obvious way to save if you’re the one hosting Thanksgiving dinner, think again. In fact, you can actually make out better by doing it on your own. Here’s how:

Ask everyone to chip in for the meal. It doesn’t have to be much, and most people will gladly fork over some cash in lieu of having to make something themselves.
Go shopping using your credit card that offers the most points for grocery shopping.
This way, you get the cash (so you’re not paying for the meal yourself), but you also get the rewards because you’ve put the purchases on your own card. Brilliant!

You can also offer to do the shopping for someone else if you aren’t the one hosting Thanksgiving, and then get reimbursed. You still get the points!
Tip #2: Shop Smart
Not all credit cards offer the same benefits, so weigh your options before you shop. Reach for your card that provides a hefty cash back specifically on grocery shopping. For example, both the Scotia Momentum Infinite and the Scotia Gold Amex offer 4% cash back on groceries, making them good choices for fueling this long weekend in Canada. Alternatively, the SimplyCash card from Amex gives a generous 5% back on eligible grocery purchases during the first 6 months, so if you haven’t signed up for this one yet, it can be a lucrative opportunity for Thanksgiving and throughout the rest of the holiday season.
Tip #3: Save on Gifts for Hosts Guests
If you like to add that little bit of extra to really wow either your guests or your hosts, have a present on hand. Of course, this will add to your Thanksgiving 2017 expenses, but if you plan your shopping spree properly, you can also save big in this area. Choose a card like the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard that offers shopping perks like cash back and price protection, so you get the best deals and prices no matter where you shop.
Tip #4: Save on Travel
Going somewhere else for Thanksgiving weekend? Make sure you save big on your travel expenses by spending smartly. Use a credit card that maximizes your travel savings, giving you money back when you fill up on gas and other purchases at participating gas chains.

If you’re flying, there are plenty of ways to increase the benefits gleaned from your travel plans, too. Use a valued Canadian card like BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard to rack up valuable frequent flyer miles for your tickets, and get air miles perks like 25% off air miles, double points at participating partners, and VIP airport lounge services.
Tip #5: Get Paid Back for the Trimmings
There are lots of other smaller expenses you don't think of that crop up around the holiday season, as well. Purchasing that little bit of new cosmetics to really look like the host with the most? What about stocking up on band aids, Tylenol, and other go-tos for the little emergencies that come up invariably when you stuff that many people into close quarters for an entire weekend? Make sure you use a good card that’ll deliver ample rewards for your drug store purchases, like the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite that offers 2% back.
Saving Big by Shopping Smart
Smart shoppers exploit cash back deals, point-accruing cards, and other benefit-laden opportunities to keep the savings coming even while they spend. So, now the only question is: how much will you save over this long weekend in Canada?]]>
Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017 Sun, 01 Oct 2017 07:18:52 -0400
You can stick with the card you have in your wallet, but do so at your own risk. Some of the biggest deals out there are only offered to new cardholders. Why pay 19.9% interest when you can pay 0%? Why collect 2 miles per dollar spent when you can get 25,000 miles just for switching cards?

With hundreds of the best credit cards in Canada reviewed, dissected, analyzed, and put to the test, this is a great starting point in your hunt for the best credit card deals and offers in the country. Click the navigation links below to get to your preferable credit category quicker:
GreedyRates' Best Credit Cards in Canada

NEW! Best Credit Card Offer For November 2017: TD Cash Back Visa Infinite
NEW! Best Credit Card For People Looking For Cash Back: Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
Best Credit Card for Going Out: American Express Cobalt™ Credit Card
Best Credit Card For People Looking For Free Travel: American Express Gold Rewards Card
Best Credit Card For People With Credit Card Debt: MBNA Platinum Plus Mastercard
Best Credit Card For Insurance Coverage: The BMO® World Elite™ Mastercard®
Best Credit Card If You're A Student: BMO SPC Mastercard
Best Credit Card For Family Travel: WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard

Best Credit Card Offer for November 2017
TD Cash Back Visa Infinite
The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite card is a relatively new offering that has managed to fly under the radar until now. But its new introductory bonus might make it very popular: customers who sign up by December 3rd, 2017 accrue an industry-leading 6% cash back on all purchases (on up to $3,500 of total spend). Another big bonus that new cardholders receive is a rebate for the first year’s annual fee.

After the promotional period ends, 1% is earned on all purchases made with the card. That figure jumps to 3% on eligible gas, groceries, and recurring payments set up with your account (like bills). TD offers a flexible way to redeem the cash back. Instead of waiting a full year to access the cash back they collected, cardholders can redeem their rewards at any time to pay down existing balances.

TD’s Cash Back Visa Infinite card also includes free around-the-clock concierge and roadside assistance services, access to Food and Wine Experiences, as well as perks at over 900 top hotels around the world.
Click Here To Apply For The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card
Best Credit Card for People Looking for Cash Back
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
If you are seeking cash back rewards, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers some of the most comprehensive cash back accrual rates in Canada.

To start off, new customers receive 5% cash back in the first three months on up to $3,000 of total spend ($150 cash back). More importantly, the cash back benefits don’t have a steep drop-off after the initial promotional period ends.

Cardholders are eligible to receive 4% cash back on select grocery and gas purchases—one of the highest regular rates in Canada for these purchase categories. This is capped at a very high annual spend limit of $25,000 ($1,000 cash back). The card also returns 2% cash back at pharmacies and automated recurring bills. All other purchases generate 1% cash back.

This may seem like enough, but Scotia’s Visa Infinite card also offers entry to fine dining experiences and music performances, and provides perks at luxury hotels. To add even more value, cardholders gain access to an around-the-clock concierge service for all their planning and reservation needs. Finally, the Scotia Momentum card offers excellent travel benefits including several kinds of travel insurance like medical, trip interruption, flight delay, and more.

All of this is sweetened by the fact that the card waives its annual fee for the first 12 months.
Click Here To Apply For The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite
Best Credit Card for Going Out
The American Express Cobalt™ Credit Card

A night out on the town in Canada is rarely cheap. But with the new Cobalt card from American Express, cardholders can earn accelerated reward points on all their restaurant spend, and then redeem these points on travel and entertainment.

The card’s standout feature is its massive earning rate on food: 5 points per $1 spent on dining out (and in!). This includes restaurants, bars, takeout, and even groceries. Points are also earned on travel in all its forms, with 2 points accrued per $1 spent on taxis, ridesharing, rail, gas, and airfare.

A great system for earning rewards on what you spend is complemented by Amex’s generous bonus offer. The introductory promotion allows new cardholders to get up to 40,000 points in their first year – just for signing up before January 30th, 2018 and meeting some easy spending milestones. 1 rewards point is equal to $0.01, giving the first-year bonus a potential value of $400. Cardholders can redeem their rewards by treating themselves to concerts, sport events, theatre, or any other Ticketmaster event they like. Or, if they prefer to get out of town, they cash in the rewards for a long-haul flight to virtually anywhere in Canada or the continental United States.
Click Here To Apply For The American Express Cobalt™ Card
Best Credit Card For People Looking For Free Travel
American Express Gold Rewards Card

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more travel categories, visit our Best Travel Credit Card Rankings in Canada page.]]>
The American Express Cobalt Card Review Thu, 28 Sep 2017 14:39:19 -0400
New members are greeted with a 10,000-point bonus for spending $3,000 in their first three months. An additional 2,500 points can be earned each month after a minimum monthly spend of $500—totaling 30,000 for the year.
At a Glance:

Earn up to 40,000 bonus points in the first 12 months
5 points per $1 spent on restaurants, bars, food delivery, and grocery bills
2 points per $1 spent on airfare, hotels, ground transit, and gas
1 point per $1 spent everywhere else
Redeem points on travel, merchandise, events, statement credits and
$10 monthly fee
No minimum income requirement

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

Cardholders who choose to redeem points on travel will appreciate a full variety of insurance features, including out-of-province medical care and travel accident coverage. The card also provides insurance for flight and baggage delay, hotel burglary, lost or stolen baggage, and new purchases. The card’s annual $120 fee is fairly standard for a Rewards card, but the fee can be paid on a monthly basis (in $10 installments), unlike most of its competitors.
Why We Like It

Rolling Bonuses: We like that 2,500-point monthly bonus is flexible from month to month; those who do not spend $500 in April can nonetheless earn points for May if their spending increases.

Limited Time Bonus: Apply before January 30th, 2018 and get 10,000 points for spending a total of $3,000 over the first three months. Those who manage to earn the combined 40,000 points in the first year will have enough to redeem a long-haul flight to anywhere in Canada or the continental US, or $400 to spend on virtually any other travel expense that they please (e.g. Airbnb).

Big Earnings Potential: The 5x accelerator for spending on food—whether at restaurants, bars, or for groceries—can generate massive points.

Broad Point Redemption: Points can be easily redeemed through the Amex Travel Canada Catalogue, or on merchandise available online as well. For those who love concerts, sports, or theatre, Amex makes it easy to redeem points on Ticketmaster’s range of events. Additionally, points can simply be used as a credit against the card’s monthly statement, or on through the Shop with Points program.

Free Supplementary Cards: Cardholders can open a supplementary card to extend the benefits of the Cobalt Amex to others. It’s completely free and is a great way to include a spouse or immediate family member in the fun.

High Level of Protection: Get a full suite of insurance features with the Cobalt AmEx, including up to $5,000,000 on out-of-province medical and $250,000 on travel accident insurance. Alongside these bonuses, members will appreciate insurance features covering flight and baggage delays, baggage or rental car theft, motel or hotel burglary, and rental car damage coverage. New purchases are also protected, with extended warranties increased up to an additional year.

Is It Worth It?
The American Express Cobalt Card is tailored to foodies and travel enthusiasts. Canadians can earn accelerated points from both dining out and cooking at home, and can then redeem those points on their next vacation. The 40,000-point signup bonus is obviously notable, and the basic reward and redemption structure really stands out among cards in the rewards arena.

[button color="red" size="small" link="" ]Apply Now![/button]]]>
Has Chase Completely Withdrawn Its Credit Cards from Canada? Wed, 20 Sep 2017 09:59:40 -0400
We contacted Chase’s American media rep to see if she could clarify the situation for Chase’s existing Canadian cardholders, but she seemed unaware that Chase rewards had ever had operations in Canada of any kind.

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

What Does This Mean for Recent Applicants Existing Cardholders?

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

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

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

The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card (SPG)

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

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

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

MBNA’s Best Western Rewards Mastercard

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

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

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

Rogers Platinum Mastercard

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

FIDO Mastercard

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

$50 cash back welcome bonus (rather than $25)
1.5% cash back (rather than 1.75%)
No annual fee
4% cash back on foreign purchases
No caps or limitations on how much cash back you can earn

Will Amex Scoop Its Own Marriott Partnership?

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

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

Even if Chase decides to pull the plug on Canadian account holders, Canadians aren’t up the creek without a paddle. There are plenty of great card options out there.]]>