Which Credit Cards Are Still Amazing After the 1-Year Promotions End?
Many credit cards offer juicy signup bonuses to get people to join their club. When the promotional period runs out, however, some cards aren’t worth the plastic they’re manufactured on.
One year is a common cutoff point for good deals, and after that, many cardholders are hit with major fees, disappearing benefits, and policy changes that amount to big losses at the end of the day. So which credit cards are still worth holding onto after their initial buzz wears off?
Cash Back Category: New SimplyCash Preferred American Express Card
American Express has a lot of great cards, and their SimplyCash Preferred card has been voted the best cash back credit card available. That’s because of fabulous details like:
- Their 2% cash back on *everything* policy. That means ALL purchases made using the SimplyCash card automatically earn Canadian cardholders 2% back. In addition to this being a generous amount for cash back rewards, the blanket inclusion of all purchases makes this card stand a head above the rest.
- No limit to the amount of cash back earned. Too many cards have a cap on how much cash back you can earn, which hardly seems fair. After all, they aren’t capping how much you can spend! The SimplyCash Preferred card gets that and gives you unlimited cash back rewards, which is possibly its most attractive feature. It’s free money each and every time you shop.
Balance Transfer Category: Scotiabank Value Visa
One effective way you can reduce your interest payments when rates are high is to transfer your balance to a lower-rate card. Finding the right option can be challenging, as issuers often charge a very low interest rate on balance transfers during the card’s promotional period, but then dramatically increase that rate (often by around 20%) immediately after the promotion ends. The Scotiabank Value Visa offers a comparatively moderate post-promotional interest rate increase.
Here are its key features:
- New customers are eligible to receive a promotional rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for the first six months after application approval (offer valid for new accounts opened by June 30th, 2018). This rate increases to 11.99% after the 6-month promotional period ends.
- The Value Visa Card goes for a low $29 annual fee, helping cardholders add to savings while benefiting from lower rates on standard activities like purchases and cash advances. Furthermore, supplementary cards are available for free.
- Cardholders benefit from shorter wait times at checkout with the Visa payWave functionality and customers who love to travel can access discounts of up to 20% when renting a vehicle from Avis.
No Annual Fee Category: Tangerine Money-Back
Another great card for annual fee-phobics is the Tangerine Money-Back card. This card also boasts the impressive and almost unheard of no annual fee benefit, and has other perks like:
- 2% cash back on three categories that you can choose and change at will
- Like the SimplyCash card, Tangerine offers unlimited cash back
Low Interest Category: American Express Essential Credit Card
The American Express Essential card really is that: essential. After all, look at the value:
- 8.99% fixed interest rate
- 8.99% cash advance interest rate (very low compared to competitors!)
- No annual fee
Travel Category: Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express
The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express is a smart choice for travelers looking to save on lodging. Cardholders can easily rack up points and other benefits that keep on giving including:
- Welcome Bonus of 20,000 Starpoints after spending $1500 on the card within the first three months. This is equivalent to 5 free nights in a Starwood Category 2 property.
- Spending exceeding $40,000 in a year entitles cardholders to a Free Weekend Night Award
- Automatically upgrade to a Starwood Gold Preferred Guest membership after spending more than $30,000 each year
- Access insurance for a range of reasons including baggage delay, hotel burglary, car rental theft, and much more.
Starpoints are redeemable in Starwood Hotels and resorts across nearly 100 countries. They can also be exchanged for noteworthy events and concerts with added perks like meet and greets, backstage passes, and more.
The annual $120 fee is steep, but cardholders can add a supplementary card for only $50 to increase Starpoint earning potential and fund more travel experiences!
For all the best cards that offer fantastic signup bonuses, we suggest you visit our Best Credit Cards in Canada page.