Best Credit Cards With No Foreign Transaction Fees
Many Canadians are in for a nasty surprise after a trip abroad. The bad news is most Canadian credit card companies add a 2.5%-3% foreign transaction fee to each purchase that cardholders make outside the country. The good news is that a select few credit cards in Canada make up for or waive the fee so that you’re not charged at all.
Unlike the United States, where credit card issuers are increasingly abandoning foreign transaction fees altogether, FX fees usually represent too large a part of Canadian credit card companies’ income streams for them to walk away from. The fact is, Canadians travel out of Canada a lot more often than Americans travel out of the United States, so it’s easier for an American issuer to give up on FX fees than for a Canadian issuer. For a quick comparison: 30% of Americans have a passport, compared to 70% of Canadians.
In This Article:
Why You Want a No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Card
So what’s the big deal about a credit card that subsidizes foreign transaction fees? Well, the savings can be huge for some Canadian customers, especially:
- Snowbirds who winter in the south
- People who shop across the border regularly or shop online
- Those who use their credit card to make business purchases from U.S. vendors.
Think about it. If you use your credit card while wintering in the United States, you could easily rack up $10,000 – $20,000 in credit card charges. That’s $250 to $500 in foreign exchange fees going to the credit card companies. Not to mention it also wipes away the 1-2% in rewards you thought you were earning.
Aside from that, using a credit card that subsidizes or waives your foreign transaction fee is actually cheaper than exchanging currencies at the bank, or at a boutique foreign exchange bureau – which routinely cost anywhere from 1%-3% to exchange your money. Debit and out-of-country ATM cash withdrawals are no better, each typically charging a foreign exchange fee of 2.5% or more.
Best No Foreign Transaction Fees Credit Cards in Canada
|Credit Card||Foreign Transaction Fee Offer||Annual Fees||Special Card Feature||Card Review|
|Home Trust Preferred Visa||0% fee||$0||1% cash back1 on eligible purchases||Read More|
|HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®||0% fee||$149||Earn 3% in travel rewards on eligible travel purchases*||Read More|
|Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card||0% fee||$150||Complimentary Visa Airport Companion Program membership, plus 6 complimentary lounge visits per year||Read More|
|Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card||0% fee||$120||Accelerated earn rates like 5X the Scene+™ points for every $1 CAD spent on other eligible grocery stores, restaurants, fast food, and drinking establishments||Read More|
|Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®||2.5% fee||$0||0.5% cash back on purchases in U.S. dollars after factoring in the foreign transaction fee||Read More|
Home Trust Preferred Visa
– Minimum Credit Score: Fair-Good
– Minimum Income: $15,000 individual
– Age: Age of majority in your province
– Residency: Must be permanent Canadian resident of any province other than Quebec
– Other: Cannot currently be in bankruptcy
One card that offers relief from foreign transaction fees is the Home Trust Preferred Visa. Aside from waiving the 0% foreign transaction fee option, this credit card also gives Canadians 1% cash back1 on all eligible purchases, without any limits on how much cash back you can earn. And there’s no annual fee.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Preferred Visa review.1 Cash advances, balance transfers, interest, fees and foreign transactions (including online purchases in foreign currencies) are not eligible for CashBack Rewards.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
– Minimum Credit Score: N/A
– Minimum Income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian
The HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® is lucrative for those who make a substantial amount of purchases in foreign currencies, because it charges no foreign transaction fees and all eligible purchases made with the card, be they foreign or domestic, earn HSBC Rewards points. It’s a significant feature given that other no foreign transaction fee cards (e.g. the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card or the Home Trust Preferred Visa) might waive foreign transaction fees but won’t necessarily apply the same rewards earn rates to purchases in all currencies.
The main drawbacks to the card are: A. Its high-ish $149 annual fee, and B. The fact that its accelerated earn rate of 6 Points per $1 spent applies only to travel purchases*, but not everyday purchases like groceries or gas. That said, the combined value of its travel features outweigh those drawbacks, and the card is made even more appealing because of its huge Welcome Bonus for new cardholders: Get up to $649 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by May 31, 2023. Conditions apply.
Aside from those who qualify for the HSBC Premier Chequing Account, we recommend the card to anyone who travels regularly either within Canada or abroad, and who anticipates making about $850 or more in purchases each month. That level of spending will give you enough points to make up for the annual fee and then some.
- Foreign Transaction Fee: 0% (only the exchange rate will apply)
- Annual Fee: $149
- Welcome Bonus: Get up to $649 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by May 31, 2023. Conditions apply.
- Rewards Earn Rates: Earn 3% in travel rewards on all eligible travel purchases* (6 points per $1); 2% in travel rewards on all eligible gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases* (4 points per $1); and 1% in travel rewards on all other eligible purchases* (2 points per $1)
- Added Travel Benefits: Annual travel enhancement credit*; airport lounge network membership; travel insurance.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete HSBC World Elite® Mastercard® review
HSBC Premier Chequing Account Issued by HSBC Bank Canada.
This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).
*Terms and Conditions apply.
®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.
Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Minimum Income: Minimum annual income of $60,000 or a minimum household income of $100,000 or a minimum assets under management of $250,000
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian citizen or permanent resident
– Other: No bankruptcies in the past seven years
Though accompanied by an annual fee of $150, the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card not only waives foreign transaction fees, but also offers great rewards rates for spending in foreign currency, as well as superior travel benefits. You’ll pay no fees for purchasing online or abroad in a foreign currency and will earn 3X Scene+™ points points on every $1 you spend at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, and more eligible grocers¹; 2 points for each $1 spent on other eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases, no matter what currency the purchase was made in. 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent is earned on all other eligible purchases.
Additionally, travellers who frequently face layovers will appreciate the card’s 6 free airport lounge passes that renew each year. They’ll also like the travel protections that accompany the card, including travel medical, trip interruption and cancellation, and rental car insurance. Furthermore, there’s currently an offer for new cardholders. Earn up to $1,320* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 40,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived.¹ Earn 30,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, as a cardholder, you are eligible to earn an annual 10,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $40,000 in everyday net eligible purchases annually. Offer ends April 30, 2023.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* card review.¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card to learn more.
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
– Minimum Credit Score: Excellent
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian citizen or permanent resident
– Other: No bankruptcies in the past seven years
Like the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card, when you use the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card for any overseas purchases, you’ll only have to pay the exchange rate, with no foreign transaction fees added on top. But unlike the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card, you won’t earn extra points for purchases in special categories if the purchase is made in foreign currency.
That said, the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card still holds its own, combining a sizable first-year bonus with steady earning power after that. Earn up to $850* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 45,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived.¹ Earn 25,000 bonus Scene+ points by making at least $1,000 in everyday eligible purchases in your first 3 months. Plus, for a limited time, you are eligible to earn a 20,000 Scene+ point bonus when you spend at least $7,500 in everyday eligible purchases in your first year. Offer ends April 30, 2023.
Plus regular earn rates of 6X Scene+™ points on every $1 CAD you spend in Canada at Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo, Foodland, and more eligible grocers¹; 5X Scene+™ points per $1 CAD spent on other eligible grocery, dining, and entertainment purchases; 3X Scene+™ points per $1 CAD spent on eligible gas, daily transit, and select streaming services; and a standard 1X Scene+™ point per $1 spent on all other purchases (last applicable to all currencies).
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Scotiabank Gold American Express® card review.¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card to learn more.
Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®
– Minimum Credit Score: Good-Excellent
– Minimum Income: $80,000 individual or $150,000 household
– Age: Age of majority in province of residence
– Residency: Canadian
– Other: No bankruptcies in the past seven years
Credit cards can help travellers avoid foreign transaction fees by matching any fees with an equal amount of cash back, or more. The latter is true with the impressive Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard®. Applicants must meet a higher annual income and credit requirement (though the card still has no annual fee), but receive perks and superior cash back rates as a result. With the World Elite card, cardholders will receive 3% cash back for their purchases made in U.S. dollars, and 1.5% cash back for any purchases made in Canadian dollars.
The Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® can net a total cash back rate of 0.50% on purchases in U.S. dollars after factoring in the 2.5% foreign transaction fee. Cardholders will also get a comprehensive insurance package that includes collision damage coverage for rental vehicles, and trip interruption, trip cancellation, and emergency travel medical insurance. This is an excellent deal for no annual fee, but applicants need to show $80,000 in annual income or $150,000 in household income.
Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Rogers™ World Elite® Mastercard® review.
Can’t I Just Use a USD Credit Card?
Those who do most of their foreign spending in the US might be wondering if they can successfully avoid foreign transaction fees with a U.S. Dollar credit card. But remember that unless you actually keep USD in your bank account , it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to truly avoid the fees. Ultimately you’ll have to pay your U.S. Dollar credit card bill in U.S. dollars, and if you don’t have the USD handy to do so, you’ll need to convert your Canadian dollars to U.S. dollars at the bank. At that point the bank will charge you its 1%-3% foreign exchange surcharge.
Will More No Foreign Transaction Fee Cards Enter the Canadian Market?
Hopefully more Canadian credit card issuers that don’t rely on foreign transaction fees for a substantial portion of their revenue will soon step up to the plate and issue more no foreign transaction fee cards. Perhaps some of the niche issuers like President’s Choice, Walmart, or Canadian Tire can shake things up a little bit the way Home Trust, HSBC, Scotia and Rogers have. But as of right now, those are four of the only games in town, and they’re offering Canadians a SUPERLATIVE opportunity. Just not enough of us know about it.
Are you familiar with any zero foreign transcation fees credit cards for Businesses in Canada?
There are no cards with no foreign transaction fees that are strictly for businesses in Canada. The ones that don’t have forex fees are:
Brim World Mastercard
Brim World Elite Mastercard
Home Trust Preferred Visa
HSBC World Elite Mastercard
HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard
HSBC Jade World Elite Mastercard
Koho Premium Prepaid Visa
Scotiabank Gold American Express card
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card
Reviews of most of these cards can be found on this website.
Scotiabank has a passport card for Business now – 199/yr, 1.5% points back on everything – redeemable 1-1 for travel against previous purchases on the card, and less that 1-1 for other gifts, etc.
There’s also the MBNA Amazon.ca that was not mentioned here, for personal, with no fx f
Appreciate the recommendations- indeed, the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Business Card does offer no foreign transaction fees on your business spending. Eligible Amazon Prime members with the MBNA Amazon.ca Rewards Mastercard will also get 2.5% back on eligible foreign currency transactions to help cover those pesky foreign transaction fees.
Hi, what’s the recommended credit score for the HSBC credit card ?
The credit score recommended for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard mentioned in the article (not to be confused with the HSBC World Elite Premier Mastercard available in the U.S.) is good to excellent. Though models vary, according to Equifax Canada, Good (or fair) is considered 660-724, Very Good is 725-759 and Excellent is 760 and up.
Hello! Can anyone confirm that when using any of these cards (Scotiabank Passport VISA specifically), that there is no FX fee on Cash advances or is it just on purchases? In some parts of the world where it’s not common to accept VISA, I’m trying to find the cheapest way to access local currency via ATM. Thanks!
On all Scotiabank cards, including the Scotiabank Passport Infinite card, there is a cash advance counter fee of $7.50 CAN in countries outside of Canada. You also pay $4.00 as a cash advance fee. At an ABM outside of Canada, you also pay $7.50 unless the ABM is part of the Global ATM Alliance (this is the same fee yo wold pay at an ABM in Canada) On top o that, do not forget the 2.5% foreign currency conversion fee. Remember though, fees can change at any time so check the terms of your credit card agreement or the Scotiabank website frequently.
The info here (particularly the discussion below) is really old and outdated/inaccurate. Brim MC really needs to be up there with Home Trust Visa. I just gave up on Rogers WE MC for foreign purchases since they dropped from 1.5% to 0.5 % on foreign purchases. Both Home Trust VISA and Brim MC are $0 annual fee cards that give 1% cash back, so surpass Rogers MCs. Rogers has dropped over the years from 1.5% to the current 0.5% overall on foreign purchases (this includes the 2.5% forex fee), and from 1.75% to 1.5% on domestic purchases.
Hi Cory, thanks for pointing this out, but having scanned the article. It appears the article has since been updated to reflect the rates you mention.
Hmm, surprised that Brim Financial‘s cards are not in the list.
HSBC has a MasterCard with no foreign exchange fees and 31 days of travel medical insurance. Does have a hefty annual fee
Having just returned from the USA during this Virus crisis, I wanted to add a comment on “no Foreign exchange credit cards.” We have the Home Trust Visa and it worked fantastic in Portugal all of last winter. Both my wife’s and my card were no problem. This year however, in going to the USA, my card was declined on the drive down while my wife’s continued to work?? I called them from Florida and was told there was a problem and they would mail out a new card. The catch was it would be mailed to my home address in Canada. Not a good solution when we re in the US for the next 4 months. They did send it to home and we had a friend pick up our mail and bring it down to us. On the 3rd time of use…..it was declined again. grrrr while my wife’s continued to work. We decided to return home a month earlier and the night before our departure went into Sam’s club to buy gas and my wife’s card gets declined. Great. So we had to use our CIBC US dollar card to get home. I think it might pay then to have two credit cards instead of one for the just in case time this happens again. Now I am shopping for a second card. Any new suggestions on the market?
Since you already have the Home Trust Preferred Visa, you may want to consider the other two cards that rank with the Home Trust Preferred among the top three available no foreign transaction fee credit cards in Canada: The Scotia Passport Visa Infinite or The Scotiabank Gold American Express. These are ranked high because they have high welcome bonuses of points and the earn rate of points you get on things like entertainment, dining, groceries, transit and gas. You should be aware that the Passport Visa Infinite has a $139 annual fee with $60,000 personal and $100,000 household income requirements. The Scotiabank Gold Amex has a $120 annual fee and a $12,000 annual income requirement. Read our reviews at https: // www. greedy rates . ca / blog / scotiabank – passport – visa -infinite – review / and https : // www . greedy rates . ca / blog / scotiabank – gold – american – express /
Base earn rate decreasing:
* Old: 1.75% cash back on non-Rogers purchases; 2.00% cash back on Rogers products
* New: 1.50% cash back on all CAD purchases, including Rogers products
Foreign exchange purchases earn rate decreasing:
* Old: 4.00% cash back on all purchases made in foreign currencies
* New: 3.00% cash back on USD purchases only
No foreign exchange fees, no annual fees and I want to load up the card with British pounds, what is the best card for me?
Hi Beth, I recommend Stack. It’s a Canadian physical and virtual Mastercard credit card compatible with the main digital wallets and it’s reloadable with many different foreign currencies, including pounds. It also says it carries no fees, so try it out and if there is some hidden fee, cancel it and report back. I hope it works out.
Well it appears another NFX fee card is changing their reward program… Well actually the Rogers World Elite card, has FX, but the 2.4% is basically returned in the reward program with the 4% reward on qualifying foreign purchases. With the Home Trust Visa change that was effective 1 Jan 2020, it appears the Rogers World Elite will be changing their reward program effect 1 Jun 2020 and following HT Visa. I heard today that qualifying foreign purchases will be lowered from 4% to 3% reward, and all other rewards will be decreased to 1.5% reward across the board. This will change things up a bit, and it looks like no other CC in Canada will be taking the lead on a no annual fee NFX card.
Actually the 3% only applies to US dollars. For all other currencies, it’s now lowered to 1,5% (world elite) or 1% (other cards), which is not enough to offset the foreign transaction fee…
I’m very disappointed to see Home Trust Visa ending the 1% cashback on foreign currency transaction purchases. I got the Home Trust Visa card after the discontinuation of the Amazon.ca Visa card. Long before Home trust’s elimination of the 1% cashback, I was contemplating getting the Scotiabank Passport Infinite Visa card with no transaction fee but held off. I spend 4-5 months year outside of Canada and value a card with no transaction fee and rewards. I earned a cashback balance of over $300 with HomeTrust in 2019. This obviously won’t be there in 2020 to induce me to stay with HomeTrust Visa and continue with the card. If I maintain existing spending level, the Scotiabank card makes more sense and would offset the Scotiabank annual fee. I’ll be applying for one next week and ditching the HomeTrust Visa card.
Great decision. The Home Trust card is still a great addition to your wallet, however, and depending on your credit may be better off simply kept rather than cancelled. Either way, we’re big fans of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, and we think you’ll enjoy those six free airport lounge visits each year! These vouchers alone offset the annual fee, if that’s what you’re worried about, so be sure to take advantage of them. Thanks for commenting.
Starting in January 2020 Home Trust Visa is not offering 1% cashback on any US purchase, online or otherwise.
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates. Your comment is absolutely correct: Home Trust plans to revoke the ability for cardholders of the Home Trust Preferred card to earn 1.00% cash back on foreign purchases, not just in US dollars. You’ll still earn 1.00% on purchases made in CAD, but obviously the decisionmakers over at Home Trust thought that adding cash back on top of exemption from foreign transaction fees was too valuable on a card that also skips the annual fee. We can see why they think this—the Preferred card was (and still is) one of the no-fee credit card that packs in the most value.
I see from TD’s website and my recent transaction this week in Seattle that there is no foreign transaction fee. I have noticed you updated this article in Oct 2019 but is there any good reason why you have not added TD’s VISA class travel to the list.
Great comment, thanks for coming to GreedyRates! We did a little background check on the card you refer to, and it’s called the TD First Class Visa Signature credit card, which offers cardholders the ability to earn called First Class Miles, skip out on foreign transaction fees, and get some other nice travel perks out of the $89 annual fee. However, take a closer look at the website address on any TD page featuring this card: it’s American, and only available to TD customers who are US residents. TD is a large enough bank to offer financial products on both sides of the border. If you have this card and are Canadian, please advise on how you obtained it, or otherwise which TD card you used to supposedly avoid foreign transaction fees. We’ll follow up and see if we can’t solve this mystery! Looking forward to hearing from you.
Since I’m in quebec and HomeTrust is unfortunately not available (why I don’t know) would I be able to apply with a Ontario address? I have my sister that lives there.
Remember that banks usually ask for confirmation of identity and other details before approving an application. Anyway, do you really want to have your bills and statements delivered to your sister in another province? This could result in default or at least unnecessary stress if you aren’t careful, even if your plan works. If you’re trying to avoid foreign transaction fees, there are other options which are offered in your province. For example, the Rogers Platinum or World Elite Mastercards, which collect 3% and 4% cash back on purchases made in a foreign currency, respectively. Both are $0 annual fee cards, and the former has no annual income requirement like the Home Trust card.
Another option if you want to consider Amex is the Scotiabank Gold Amex, which has 0% foreign transaction fees as a relatively new feature. It also has a lot more to like, including extra perks like the ability to earn travel rewards points. Check these options out before trying to sneak into Home Trust—you just might something you like better. Best of luck!
Home Trust Visa has an unusual problem which I recently discovered with their online access system. If you want to change the email addresses stored in your Profile (to receive various alerts), you go to Account Services, and then under Profile, click Contact Information. Every time I tried to do this, I got logged out of my online banking account. A message told me I “wasn’t authorized to do this fuction” or something like that. I called them to inquire why I couldn’t update “my own profile info” and was told “umm, uh, um, ah, I’m not sure”. Not a great answer to a legitimate question. I was told a supervisor would call me back, but it never happened. This little idiosyncrasy isn’t acceptable to me, considering I can do this function on every other banking and credit card platform I have access to online. Pretty lame. I do wish they’d get this fixed, as it really is annoying to me. I may just double up on Rogers Mastercards, if possible, and trash the HT Visa. I have a Fido MC and it works perfectly, and I can change “my own profile” any time I want. It also works at the gas pumps in the US.
Great comment, even if it comes with a bit of frustration on your part. We understand completely and have had other comments similar to yours about Home Trust—so even though it’s no consolation, you’re not alone. Generally, our observation about Home Trust has been that its cards are relatively reliable but do in some cases cause issues, mostly related to the smaller size of the financial organization’s network, supporting services, merchant support and other things. For a while, the chief complaint was that cardholders couldn’t change their PIN code.
This and other idiosyncrasies (as you correctly deemed them) have since been fixed, but they do pop up occasionally. We’re all for adding another card to your wallet but considering that the Home Trust Preferred Visa has no annual fee and exempts you entirely from foreign transaction fees, it should simply be kept and not cancelled. Unless the replacement card made it redundant, which is true in the case of Rogers’ Platinum or World Elite cards, then it’s harmless. One thing to recognize, however, is that if all your credit cards are supported by banks that aren’t “Big Five”, then they may not come with Big Five-level customer service or support.
Myk, try using another browser when odd problems mysteriously pop up. I often get quirky behavior with Firefox, but not with Chrome. Examples that come to mind are the websites of Sunlife, Manulife, and Rogers Bank.
In the case of Rogers Bank, I cannot go into the rewards section of their Mastercard. It claims that I have an ad blocker turned on even when I disable it. Originally, this problem (from early 2019) occurred with Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Chrome. Frustrating! It has since been fixed on Chrome but not Firefox. So that is what I use for Rogers Bank.
Just a technical update with the ROGERS cards.
Each transaction has a 2.5% fee.
The fee is not eligible for the 4% cash back rewards. So you are not receiving the 4% of the 2.5% fee… which is 0.1% of the purchase price.
So actually, the cash back rewards is 3.9% of the amount on your statement, which includes the 2.5% fee.
What a great and highly technical observation! While we haven’t tested it out ourselves, we can confirm that fees and other cash-like transactions do not earn cash back, so the 2.50% you’re paying when you use the Rogers World Elite (or Platinum) card for purchases in a foreign currency does indeed impact your flat rate—but only relative to the total purchase price. Thanks very much for the post.
Unfortunately, none of the credit cards mentioned above is attractive. Some charge hefty annual fees like Scotiabank (no way), some have mediocre and unprofessional customer service like Home Trust and Rogers (read reviews on the Internet). Foe now, better to stick to credit cards issued by CIBC and other established banks. At least from those established banks you are always guaranteed an adequate customer service and you don’t have to deal with arrogant and obnoxious customer agents such from Rogers if there’s an issue with the card. Hopefully a no foreign transaction fee credit card will emerge again from Amazon.
You’re completely within your rights not to sign-up for any of these cards if you don’t like them, but we do have some information to possibly help change your perspective. We don’t have a problem with your dislike of Rogers’ or Home Trust’s customer service but to say Scotiabank’s amazing Passport Visa Infinite isn’t worth its annual fee might be overlooking its true value. Just look at two of its many valuable perks: the 0.00% foreign transaction fees and 6 annual VIP airport lounge passes.
By avoiding 2.50% transaction fees on all your purchases abroad, that means you’ll save tons of money on trips but also online. If you’re spending just $1,000 abroad per year, that’s already $25 saved that can be effectively taken off the annual fee. Add in the cost of airport lounge access (for those who use it and have no membership) at $27 per entrant per visit, and those 6 annual passes are worth $162 every year as long as you can take advantage of them. For frequent travellers the Scotia Passport card therefore pays for itself many times over, and we haven’t even considered the fast rewards it earns, it’s other perks or its impressive insurance features.
Home Trust may not have the most mature, established network or an outstanding customer service team, but it is a card that simply works. No annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and 1% cash back all delivered reliably wherever you are in the world are hard to argue with!
Got to agree with the Home Trust card advantages. Have used it for foreign travel, both in US$ and GBP, and they worked fine. Now that you can change your PIN, another shortcoming resolved. Have dealt with customer service, and they were both quicker than other credit card companies, and polite and competent. What more does one expect? One more item: asked for a credit upgrade after having the card for only a few months, and bingo, it was there in about 2 weeks. Not bad customer service.
Next challenge: allow the Home Trust to be ‘Tap’ capable.
Glad to hear from another Home Trust fan! We’ve also been very impressed with the speed that Home Trust has employed in setting up its network—in terms of merchant support, card features, and customer service alike. Right now, we consider it one of the more upstart financial organizations in Canada, but they’ve pushed past the limitations plaguing them last year (you mentioned the PIN issue) very fast. The Home Trust Preferred Visa is a crown jewel in Home Trust’s lineup as well, given the fact that it has no annual fee, 1.00% cash back, and no foreign transaction fees which makes it nearly effortless to have in one’s wallet. We’ll see if they can better integrate chip and contact-less payments in the upcoming year, but optimism is warranted.
I got my Home Trust card and the original pin can now be changed to your own unique pin. What other things are new to this card? Does this card still have problems being used in the USA(like gas pumps)?
Very correct! Thanks for the post. Home Trust has now pushed past its most frustrating problems, including the PIN idea where they’d choose your PIN for you and penalize you for not remembering it. How maddening. Thankfully this is no more, and in pursuit of your other question we can also confirm that the card works wonderfully in the USA. It’s also reliable in other countries, which is great because for a minute there we were considering taking the review off our site! However, Home Trust has really redeemed itself, so feel free to enjoy.
I’ve been looking at PrePaid cards, i’m going to UAE and needed to spend money there, but the CIBC AC Card does not show AED as a currency you can load, can it still be used there ? Or any other card (Prepaid hopefully) you recommend ?
I registered for Stack but apparently they have card shortages and would not have the card soon.
Your interest in the CIBC AC Conversion card is well-intentioned, but as you just found out the card doesn’t support AED—just major currencies like GDP, EUR, USD and others. The Dirham isn’t one of the ten currencies on the card, which means no matter what currency you’ve loaded it with, if the purchase is made in the UAE, you’re adding 2.50% to it in foreign transaction fees. For this reason, you’ll need a card that offers 0.00% foreign transaction fees everywhere, such as the Home Trust Preferred card or the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card.
The former card is a no-fee card with 1.00% cash back and 0.00% fees when spending your CAD in a foreign country’s currency (both online or abroad). It’s an easy card to hold because it’s simple, has a broadly useful purpose and costs next to nothing. If you don’t already have a great rewards credit card and have better credit and higher income, then the Passport Visa Infinite will be much more suitable. With 6 free VIP passes to airport lounges worldwide, better travel insurance, faster and more easily-redeemed rewards, other luxurious perks and of course your 0.00% on foreign transactions, it’s like a Swiss Army knife of travel utility.
I applied and got my Home Trust card already but hasn’t used it yet. It seems that you can already change the pre-set pin to a unique pin of your choice. I’m planning to use it in my future US trips. What other changes are there in the HT card? Does it still reject gas pumps payment?
(By the way, I got the card because of this article. ?)
Wow it’s great to hear that we helped you reach your decision, and that you’re happy with the choice you’ve made. Landing on the Home Trust Preferred card was a smart move, and we hope you enjoy the zero foreign transaction fees on your upcoming trips, plus cash back and no annual fees! Here’s something else you might like: you might hear that Home Trust forces you into a PIN of their random assignment, but this is no longer the case. Feel free to choose your own PIN, as this was one of the more recent changes made by Home Trust and is confirmed by multiple other readers. To change your PIN, just call in to Home Trust and they should have an automatic phone menu that makes this possible. If not, a representative will assist.
The CIBC AC Prepaid Visa is very difficult to load. President’s Choice Mastercard and TD credit cards are not accepted. Online debit is not available from most banks and it cannot be loaded at the branch. I have the card but I’m unable to load it!
When you first apply for the CIBC AC Conversion card, you can start loading it with currency as soon as you’re approved. You do this through the card’s online portal, which should have been included as a link in the approval email you received. Here there are several options to wire from other banks, use credit cards, and avail of a wide array of payment methods for purchasing supported currencies at the listed rate. It’s designed so that anyone with any bank has a way to load the card, so even if your personal bank isn’t accepted you should be able to find a solution. Call CIBC if necessary to inquire. Good luck!
Does a Capital One Platinum card thru Costco Canada charge transaction fees in the USA?
Interesting question, we’ll see if we understood correctly (feel free to let us know if not). If you’ve got a Capital One Platinum card that was issued via Costco, then you’ll still be charged foreign transaction fees even when shopping at Costco in the United States. The card doesn’t offer foreign transaction fee exemption in the first place, and it wasn’t designed to either. Instead, you’ll get a competitive rate of cash back rewards for daily purchases, which can offset these foreign fees in some cases (3.00% at the accelerated rate on restaurants versus 2.50% fees), but just because you’re in Costco doesn’t mean you can ignore the exchange rate.
If you want a card that works at Costco and offers foreign fee exemption, your best bet is a Rogers Platinum Mastercard or Rogers World Elite Mastercard. These will collect 3.00% and 4.00% cash back, respectively, on all foreign purchases including those made at Costco, effectively offsetting these fees if you’re in the US. Even in Canada, you’ll get 1.75% cash back with the World Elite card (again, at Costco as well), which is why we’ve ranked it so highly on our list of best cards for Costco in 2019. Hope that helps!
Yup.. I had an Amazon visa had to scramble after they pulled iut pf canada I found Hometrust visa
I actually have had a Rogers Platinum for years and but I found that Rogers World Elite has better benefit. My annual income meets the requirement but I was refused because I have a platinum. Do you think if there is any way for me to get this card? Should I cancel my existing one first and apply again?
Good to hear you’re a veteran Rogers cardholder. If the bank is familiar with you it can only help your chances of being approved for the awesome Rogers World Elite card. The Rogers Platinum Plus Mastercard was one of the hottest credit cards in the Canadian market for a long time, but it’s no match for the benefits offered by the World Elite.
These include one of the market’s best flat rates of cash back on two categories—purchases made in Canadian Dollars and those made in foreign currencies. 1.75% cash back on CAD purchases is nothing to dismiss, and rivals some of the best cash back cards, even without an annual fee. The 4.00% you earn abroad covers your 2.50% foreign transaction fees and ensures that you’re always collecting cash back no matter where you go.
That said, your annual income or credit isn’t relevant if you’re already a Rogers customer. In the fine print you’ll find that Rogers wants existing accountholders to call and “inquire about a product switch” instead of making a new application. This may be why your application was rejected, so you can call Rogers and get to the bottom of it easily. Good luck!
You are the best. I got my new card approved. I am traveling abroad soon. This card will definitely help my finance. Thank you very much GreedyRates.
Presidential Choice Mastercard … we had a credit limit of $12,000 & needed to pay for large home reno purchaes so we prepaid an additional $15,000 to be able to pay 2 bills – a $20,000 deposit & cover normal use
Found they refused to honour the $20,000 transaction as an overpayment is not applied until you hit your credit limit.
It was embarrassing & frustrating to ask the company to put it through over 2 weeks in smaller increments
Absolutely ridiculous & never run into this when we used other Visa or MasterCard cards
It’s great to receive your comment about President’s Choice and their Mastercard. Thanks for being so informative! We’re sorry to hear about your experience requesting an overpayment with the bank. We know banks sometimes handle this in ways that are different from one another. Though it makes total sense that you’d be able to do a one-time payment for $20,000 given your prepayment of $15,000 and $12,000 credit limit, it’s truly strange that PC requires that you utilize your entire limit before being able to overpay. Chalk it up to experience and take comfort in the fact that the renovation company probably didn’t read too much into your request for multiple payments.
I have a few of these cards. My take from personal experience:
1) Home Trust is very good. And no fee means no fee. Did not work with gas pumps, was declined at a restaurant but was not frozen so I started using it again a day later.
2) Rogers is not great, because I don’t use Rogers services to easily get my ‘cash rewards’. Also if I take money out of an ATM, you don’t get that 3% offset, so cash becomes expensive when you add 2.5%+$5 (cash advance fee) + whatever the ATM charges (with HT, I use the card in Europe where you often don’t pay an ATM fee, and 0% foreign currency fee, and I only pay that $5 cash advance fee — which is reasonable if you are taking out hundreds of dollars worth)
3) Brim is great and needs to be on the list. No currency fee plus 1% on purchases. Works at gas stations, no troubles with purchases (I even get an email confirmation each time), plus 2% at Amazon. It feels like an Chase Amazon replacement. Plus other bonuses (that are being added, since they are still new, and Netflix and Spotify. Also free access to Boingo WiFi — which was a godsend at an airport that had no free wifi.
Great to hear from you. We appreciate the commentary on these cards from your own experience and would like to add a bit of our own for other readers! To begin, you talk about the Home Trust card and how “no fee means no fee”. This is exactly why we continue to recommend this card, despite the problems you outlined in the same comment—things like difficulty at gas pumps. It’s unfortunate that it didn’t work for you at all at the pump, as others have described it as reliable, but annoying in that it frequently makes you pre-pay inside. However, it’s still the only no-annual-fee card that also has total exemption from foreign transactions, which makes its nuances that much more tolerable.
We also really liked your comment on Rogers. Rogers’ strategy for reducing foreign transaction fees is merely to offset them, but again, you were right that for some things (cash advances), the card still charges the 2.50% fees. In places where ATMs typically have high fees (the US), this means it could get expensive to use the card if you need cash, so your tip (taking out more cash less frequently) helps. It’s also relevant to mention that both Rogers cards—the Platinum Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard—are still useful for those who don’t have any Rogers services or products. One can simply get their cash back sent as a cheque each year, by making the request in December and receiving it as a lump sum in January.
Regarding Brim, we’ll need to do a little more digging before stating our opinion. It sounds great and we’re happy you’re happy, which is good enough for now! Thanks again.
Despite the issues I do like the Home Trust Card a lot. I also compared home trust and brim’s foreign currency rates via the xe.com site and both are equally awesome and within a fraction of official rates.
As for the Rogers statement credit, the fine print says to call them before December 1st, so if readers are in the same boat as me, better call them soon!
Keith, you can get your cashback as a credit every year in on your Jan/Feb statement by simply requesting it. Although the request had to be done before December 1st, their customer service told me that is no longer the case; it can be done anytime during the year.
One point I want to mention is that the cashback does not offset the 2.5% foreign transaction fee when an item is returned for an refund. In such a case you lose the cashback earned and you are charged a second 2.5% foreign transaction fee to convert the refunded amount to Canadian dollars. Hence your refund is reduced by 5% of what you originally paid.
Looking at the Roger’s Elite card, the way I read their info page is that the 4% is a cash back reward that can only be applied against Roger’s purchases? Comments appreciated
This is a great question, and one that’s often asked here. With the ambiguous redemption capabilities of Rogers’ cashback rewards, we called the bank to shed light on how one can squeeze value from their World Elite Mastercard (or Platinum Mastercard). Basically, though Rogers advertises them as cash back cards, cardholders are earning Rogers cashback rewards, which can be used to pay for Rogers goods or services at any time. These rewards are not as flexible as cash back, which can be used against anything on one’s statement at regular intervals (usually when they’ve collected a minimum).
While many will take this to mean that Rogers cards are useless for those who don’t have other Rogers’ products, that isn’t the case. It’s true that one can only use their cashback rewards on-demand if they already have Rogers bills to pay, but anyone can get their cashback rewards in cash against their statement if they just wait until December each year. By requesting their full cash back balance before December, the following year’s January will see that balance deposited to their account and usable on whatever the cardholder desires. This is how many banks operate, and so it isn’t an enormous disappointment.
If it is for you, though, let us know and we can suggest an alternative or two. Thanks again for your comment and have a great day.
We are set for a short jaunt to Europe in October and applied for the Home Trust Visa months ago. Yes, it did take a long time to arrive and it comes with an pre-set, unchangeable four-digit PIN and ridiculous $1,000 limit. We called and had the limit increased to $4,000 (they wouldn’t go higher until six months have passed). Make sure you set up your online HT account before first use/traveling. That way you can immediately pay off your balance while traveling and free up credit. MY BIGGER QUESTION / IRRITANT is how to avoid the RAPACIOUS FX on ATM withdrawls that Canadian banks charge?! RBC charges a 2.5% FX fee on cash withdrawls (unlimited free withdrawls however with our VIP Banking).
Good to hear from you. We’re glad that the Home Trust card arrived safe and sound, and that you managed to make it work for you ahead of your trip. We think you’ll like it more once you see how much it’s saving you on foreign transaction fees, and it sounds like you’ve already set up an online account to help you in this regard. We know that the preset PIN is a bit of an annoyance, and hope that you’ll forgive some of the card’s other strange perks. For example, it’s limited to 10 transactions a day, so keep that in mind during your trip.
In terms of ATM transaction fees, it’s nearly impossible to avoid these no matter where you are. The ATM operator will always take a fee as will most credit cards, but we know of only one card that offers free ATM withdrawals. The Capital One AC Conversion card is a great travel companion because it helps you avoid foreign transaction fees by holding up to $20,000 and up to 10 different currencies that you can pre-purchase through Capital One. This not only lets you lock in a great rate but it’ll also automatically pay with the appropriate currency, and allow you one free international ATM withdrawal each month.
I am in Reykjavík Iceland right now. I tried to use my Home Trust preferred card today at one of the supermarkets, a Bonus store, and the purchase was declined. It was also declined with my husband‘s card. Our cards were activated several weeks ago. My Toronto Dominion card which charges 2.5 % percent approved the purchase. So I am very disappointed with this card. I just e-mailed the trust company and hope that I will get a response soon. I’m also concerned because I have used my home trust card to reserve apartments and rooms around Iceland. I’m concerned I might lose my reservations. Any advice or comments? Thanks.
Thanks very much for your comment. Unfortunately, the Home Trust card has some issues in some countries due to the many different payment systems and their interoperability with similar systems across the sea. This is disappointing and we’re just getting reports about this particular quirk recently. Bookings you made previously online with the card are probably OK as online systems are different from physical card readers and the like. It would have told you immediately if the payment was declined during booking, and if you call to confirm with what we assume are the AirBnB hosts (or hotels) you should be able to confirm easily. Keep us in the loop! Thanks.
I cancelled my Home Trust Card. Because if you have a balance owing over a thousand dollars for that month Home trust will tell Visa to put a block on it until it is paid. We came from a Europe trip and the billing cycle had the bill split in two. First one was two thousand which was paid that month. Then the other bill came and was $1099.99. Which a cheque was sent out, so not knowing we booked a hotel and when we checked in were told the card did not work. I had not used the card since the coming back. I phoned Visa and the person in a panic voice told me to contact HT, which I could not until Monday as they are not open on wkends. And on Monday I talked to a person from HT and was told that during the billing cycle if the amount is over a thousand HT will tell Visa to stop allowing transactions until it is paid. Thus I cancelled the card. Will stick with bank cards.
Thanks for your comment about the Home Trust Preferred Visa card. Home Trust is a smaller outfit than MBNA, CIBC, or RBC for example, so its processes aren’t as sophisticated. This comes out in a number of unfortunate ways, like a 10-transaction daily limit and the restriction you’ve just encountered. If you prefer to pay your balances with cheques, then it’s important to know that Home Trust will put a hold on your account if your balance of over $1,000 is paid via cheque. They do this because they want to be sure the cheque will go through without bouncing, before they extend you any further credit (even credit that you’ve already been approved for).
For this and some other reasons, the Home Trust card is quickly losing its relative edge versus other cards in its category. We don’t blame you for cancelling it, and if you want another recommendation, we’d be happy to provide one. For example, the Rogers Platinum Mastercard is now better than the Home Trust card in many ways, with its 3.00% cash back on foreign transactions netting you 0.50% on everything you buy abroad (or online). It also collects more cash back in Canada—at 1.25%–and has no annual fee. You can even use your cash back on demand via the Mastercard Pay with Rewards application. Check it out.
I doubt the value of Rogers Platinum. Same problems as Home Trust, if not worse. Nonexistent customer service, no easy option to dispute charges, low credit limit, often declined by vendors. When it gets declined, it automatically becomes frozen (to investigate possible fraud) and takes several weeks to un-freeze. Most horrible is that interest is charged on the full balance even if you’ve made a partial payment. Same as HT, you can only get cashback on your account once a year – unless you’re paying for Rogers services, which is not what travelers abroad are interested in. Unlike HT, Rogers cashback is not paid automatically – you have to ask for it, calling Rogers during December – again, not something that globetrotter would enjoy.
Hi Alex, did you mean the HT card often gets declined and then takes weeks to unfreeze? I’m considering it for an international trip and that will make things difficult! Or is it the Rogers card that does?
Thanks for your request for more information about the Home Trust card and its unique nuances. According to our readers, it has some quirks when paying outside of the larger networks and might (for example) prefer that one prepay for their gas inside the station instead of at the pump. Home Trust has also said that they’ll freeze any account that is paid with a cheque of over $1,000, as they must ensure that it won’t bounce before depositing it against the balance.
Another quirk is that it assigns people a custom PIN (you can’t choose your own). If the card is declined for any reason, it won’t automatically freeze unless you’re repeatedly putting in the wrong PIN which could set off fraud detectors. The card is fine as a supplementary travelling tool but not as a primary card, so if you need something really reliable then we’d instead suggest Scotiabank’s Passport Visa Infinite card. It has 0.00% foreign transaction fees and the ability to collect Scotia Rewards points with your most common purchases. It’s on the expensive side at $139 per year, but also includes amazing travel perks like 6 VIP airport lounge passes yearly plus excellent travel medical insurance and more.
Hello. I’ve been using Home Trust Visa since losing the Chase Amazon card. It’s mainly for use when travelling in US. I want the no FX feature. Unfortunately this card does NOT allow “pay at pump” transactions in US using the standard work around to convert postal code to zip format. It will function in Canada at fuel pumps. I realize that by 2020 the US marketplace is to be fully functional with pin and chip technology. (I won’t hold my breath!)
Does anyone have any experiences with Rogers Platinum or Brim MC at a US gas station? I have tried contacting both companies with no responses.
It’s such a PIA to prepay for gas and then to return to the register to finalize transaction 2 to 3 times per day over a long trip.
It is amazing how far ahead of our southern neighbours we are when it comes to this form of security. Some in-store transactions required a pin, others didn’t, some still swipe and some would obviously just prefer cash!
Thanks for the comment. We’re aware of the issues facing Home Trust cardholders when trying to use their card to swipe for payment at gas station pumps in the US. Many times, it doesn’t work even with the zip code workaround, largely due to the lack of interoperability in payment solutions between Canada and the US. Unfortunately, the US is still behind Canada when it comes to implementing chip readers and other technology, but they’re catching up quickly. Though Home Trust cards are set up for chip readers (we checked), oftentimes, US gas station pump readers don’t offer this capability and will send customers inside instead of allowing them to simply swipe. Home Trust cards “prefer” chip payment in this way, even if it means inconveniencing the customer, because it’s simply safer.
We’ve confirmed with Rogers that their Mastercard credit cards work at US gas stations without a problem, so if you’re interested in trying the Platinum card, you should be fine to pay and drive away. You’ll also avoid the 2.50% foreign transaction fee—not by exemption, but by earning cash back for gas purchases (and any other purchases) at 3.00%. In Canada, you’ll also get a greater amount of cash back at 1.25% instead of Home Trusts’ 1.00%, and you can use the Rogers card with Mastercard’s Pay with Rewards application from your smartphone as well. It provides on-demand flexibility to use your collected cash back.
The GreedyRates Team
I was wondering if wondering if there are credit cards from other countries that Canadians can apply for with 0% tx fees? Also Brim financial is advertising 0% tx fees for Canadians. Just wondering if you guys have done any research on them. Thanks!
If you’re wondering if Canadians are eligible to apply for a receive credit cards from other countries, then you should know that you’ll need to prove that you have a credit history in these countries to get any loan, line of credit, or credit card there. One’s Canadian credit history doesn’t automatically translate to another country’s system, and even between the United States and Canada (countries with the same credit bureaus) there’s no way to transfer your creditworthiness. You need to build it up from the beginning.
If you’re simply looking for a way to avoid foreign transaction fees, then there are easier ways. We’re particularly fond of the CIBC AC Conversion card, which can hold up to $20,000 in 10 different currencies on it. You can buy these currencies whenever you like, allowing you to plan ahead for your trip and catch and lock in a favorable exchange rate. Using the card abroad is easy, as it automatically knows which currency is required, saving you these fees entirely. The other 0.00% foreign fee cards we like are the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite—if you can show $60,000 per year income—because it also gives great insurance benefits, lets you earn Scotia Rewards points, and grants 6 VIP airport lounge passes each year.
The Home Trust Preferred card is similar, offering the same 0.00% foreign transaction fee system, but it has a lower annual fee and less peripheral perks. If you need a low-eligibility, barebones card to skip out on these fees, it’s your best bet. Let us know if you need any further guidance, and thanks again.
Hi there, I’ve read all the threads and see that people are mostly concerned with 0% transaction fees on their foreign purchases. When I travel I use my credit card for a cash advance to purchase currency in the country where I’m staying. I don’t want to much cash at one time, so my trips to the bank or a safe ATM happen often enough to cost me a bundle. So what 0% fee credit card will not charge me for my cash advance? Of course, as soon as the advance appears on my statement I transfer from my bank account to cover the advance. Thanks for your advice!
You’re right, it’s not only the foreign transaction fees you need to worry about, but also the cash advance fee—if you like to use cash while abroad. Most ATMs will charge you a fee no matter which card you use, so it’s nearly impossible to avoid and many cards also have a cash advance fee themselves. Those like the Home Trust Preferred Visa have a 1.00% fee for using the card at an ATM, for example. It’s usually a low flat rate like $2.50, to use the Home Trust card as an example, but if you withdraw infrequently that doesn’t add up to much. However, it’s also a bigger risk to carry a lot of cash around while you’re travelling.
You should look into CIBC’s AC Conversion card, which can hold up to 10 different currencies at once. It’s a prepaid card on which you can buy from a large variety of foreign currencies, which also lets you potentially lock in a better exchange rate. If you know that you’re going to the UK, for example, then you could buy British Pounds at an opportune moment. The card will automatically use the correct currency in the correct country, which is a neat feature. There’s one free international ATM transaction per month as well, and no annual fee.
For readers: beware of the no forex fee vs higher rewards than forex. For example, the Rogers World Elite MasterCard has a forex fee of 2.5%, but a rewards of 4%. This does not mean the forex is -1.5%, but just receiving more than the charged fee. If you go to an ATM, you will still be charged normal fees added in 2.5%, WITHOUT the 4% rewards. Just make sure you distinguish between no forex and higher than forex rewards rates.
Great advice. We make a point to warn our readers of this key difference. Some people simply want the absence of stress that comes with total exemption from foreign transaction fees. Others prefer to incur these fees but count on the fact that they’re also earning more cash back on relevant purchases. The example you give is accurate: The Rogers World Elite Mastercard earns 4.00% cash back for all purchases in a foreign currency, which also incurs 2.50% fees (netting 1.50%). It doesn’t mean that your foreign transaction fees are reduced whatsoever.
The Rogers card also earns 1.75% cash back on Canadian dollar purchases, and has no annual fee, making it an extremely solid option for Canadians who travel, and even those who don’t. Thanks again.
Does the Scotiabank infinite visa 2x catagories apply to purchases made in the US?
Good to hear from you. If you’re wondering which purchases are eligible for the 2 points per $1 rate via the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, then know that all eligible grocery, dining, entertainment, and transit (bus, train, taxis, subways etc.) expenses will earn you those points. However, this information isn’t enough to tell you whether the same expenses incurred abroad are eligible. In this case, we go to the fine print.
Scotiabank’s legalese is relatively easy to understand, and the most important snippet is as follows: “[You’ll earn this rate for] purchases made at merchants classified in the Visa credit card network as: Grocery Stores and Supermarkets; Eating Places and Restaurants [and other previously mentioned purchase categories].” This means that eligible purchases aren’t limited by geography, but by the merchant codes as defined by the Visa Network.
The Visa Network is enormous and spans the globe, and in our experience, merchant codes do not change from one country to the next. This means that you will indeed be able to earn Scotia Rewards points on purchases made in the US. Enjoy your travels—and your savings!
The GreedyRates Team
Having used the Passport Infinite outside Canada, not only did I save the 2.5% fx fee, but I also obtained 2x the points for eligible purchases. So in short 4.5% difference.
Indeed. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is frankly underappreciated in the current Canadian credit card market. With the rewards earnings and merchant support of a Big Five bank, total exemption from foreign transaction fees, and the industry’s highest number of PriorityPass (huge network) vouchers for free airport lounge access each year (six vouchers) the card impresses on all fronts. More should consider it, and we’re honestly surprised that the income requirement isn’t higher, such as up around $80,000 where the World Elite cards are instead of $60,000. Such a deal!
In may td rasied their visa debit from 2.5 to 3.5 & interac debit from 0.025 to 0.035
Thanks for the information. TD has indeed raised its foreign transaction fee from 2.50% to 3.50% as of May 2018, but this doesn’t directly impact the information in the above article. However, it may be relevant for those who travel abroad without a proper foreign transaction fee card at all, because they know to avoid using their TD (or MBNA) cards in favor of one that only charges the standard 2.50% (which is just about every other bank).
We may add a small bit to the article advising caution to TD cardholders abroad. For those who need more information about it, follow the link below. Thanks!
Sorry for reviving this article. I am curious to know your opinion now that HSBC does not require you to have a Premier chequing account for the HSBC World Elite Mastercard. I was comparing it to Scotiabank’s Visa Infinite. Both do not have FX fees.
I am curious to know your opinion about redeeming the points for flights specifically? which one would be more beneficial in regards to accumulating points and lounge access? I am enticed by HSBC’s free unlimited wifi by Boingo but also Scotiabank’s 6 free lounge access?
anyway, your opionion is highly valued and I look forward to reading it.
thank you for all your hard work!
I have a grandfathered Capitalone World Elite Mastercard so I am not too concerned with the insurances and coverage of those two cards.
Unfortunately, we haven’t done a thorough review of HSBC’s World Elite card, but hope that one day we’ll be able to get a closer look. Without delving into the card’s specifics, we can’t determine the individual value of an HSBC Premier Reward point, for example, while we do know that one Scotia Reward point is worth approximately $0.01.
Still, we’re capable of Googling, so we’d be happy to do a shallower card comparison for you now. Both cards offer the ability to earn points with relatively flexible redemption models–travel, merchandise, etc.–though the HSBC card offers its highest earnings rate on travel purchases, while Scotia cardholders will earn more on grocery stores, dining, and entertainment. Both have exemption from foreign fees, and both have travel insurance. What sounds better to you: entrance to Mastercard lounges and free Boingo Wi-Fi, or a slightly less expensive annual fee and 6 free annual passes to a wider range of airport lounges?
We’re willing to bet that the Scotiabank card offers more broadly useful perks, and recommend that card over the HSBC. It’s up to you, however. We’ll let you know if we’re able to get an HSBC review up, in which case we’ll dig a little deeper than the surface. Thanks anyway for your question!
One issue with the Scotia passport visa is that it has this petty and annoying fine print about the lounge access benefit. It is only applicable to the primary card holder. If your significant other (with the supplementary card) happens to be flying without you, they’re out of luck. It’s the stereotypical giving of benefits with annoying limitations.
Good of you to leave your comment with us. It’s true that many of the most valuable travel perks are only available to the primary cardholder, and the VIP airport passes are no exception. The fine print you’ve cited confirms this: “Priority Pass™ membership is for the Primary Cardmember on the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite account.” and then,” the first 6 lounge visits for the primary Cardmember per 12-month cycle from date of enrollment are complimentary.”
This can be frustrating for couples who sometimes travel separately, but more for the supplementary cardholder who can’t access most of the card’s best perks. One option is to get your significant her own card with herself as the primary cardholder, and another is to save your VIP lounge passes for when you’re travelling together. The fine print can be fickle, as we like to say, and it’s important to read it all before applying. This one’s on us, though, and we’ll make sure to incorporate this condition into our future reviews.
The GreedyRates Team
Though this isn’t a credit card, I use my Goldmoney prepaid card (Mastercard) to pay for goods & services in USD with no FX fee. Goldmoney is a Toronto based fintech company that allows its clients to buy physical gold and store it in the vaults operated by Brinks (Toronto) or Royal Canadian Mint (Ottawa).
When I travel to the US or buy goods on the Amazon US site, I sell my gold to load the prepaid card which takes seconds so the fund becomes available immediately. I’ve used the card to withdraw cash from ATM machines in the US as well.
Though you won’t be able to build a credit history with Goldmoney, I find it’s useful to protect my purchasing power with physical gold for long-term as Bank of Canada devalues our currency every month by increasing money supply thereby causing inflation.
Awesome comment—we’re glad that you’ve found another useful travel hack for avoiding those pesky foreign transaction fees. We’re aware of Goldmoney from Mastercard, but haven’t prioritized it for review. Part of this is because we have yet to establish a transparent relationship with them (for the sake of our readers), and another part is that we’ve got a better prepaid card review already on the way.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming article on the CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Prepaid card, which covers the impressive features of this foreign-fee-avoiding wonder. CIBC allows cardholders to hold up to 10 different global currencies on the card at once, and prepay across these currencies up to $20,000. As you might see with your Goldmoney card, preloading foreign currency also gives you the benefit of locking in more favorable exchange rates, and then taking advantage of them later.
While we’re not sure about the efficacy of using gold as a funds storage option, it does sound interesting, and whatever card helps you the most is something we fully support. Enjoy!
Doesn’t Visa or MasterCard charge a 1% foreign transaction fee regardless of the credit card issuer? So technically, the numbers are as follows:
Home Trust: 0% (issuer) + 1% (visa/master) – 1% (cashback) = 0% fx
Rogers Platinum: 2.5% (issuer) + 1% (visa/master) – 3% (cashback) = 0.5% fx
Scotia Passport Infinite: 0% (issuer) + 1% (visa/master) – 1-2% (cashback) = 0% fx (but $139 annual fee)
Thank you four the excellent information you provide (and so much more clearly than these vendors themselves :)!
Regarding the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite, does the above mean that only groceries, gas and entertainment earn rewards points? Bill payments would earn nothing?
Nice to hear from you–and thanks for the kind shoutout! If you’re interested in the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, then you’ll be happy to know that you won’t earn rewards exclusively on groceries, dining, and entertainment. However, you should note that gas is not included in the highest-earning purchase categories, though it will earn Scotia points at the lower rate.
You only receive 2 Scotia points per $1 spent on groceries, dining, and entertainment, but you’ll also earn 1 Scotia point per $1 spent on everything else. This is much more than gas, obviously, and will likely also include bill payments (though if it’s a huge factor in your decision, call the bank). Alongside the luxurious travel perks like VIP airport lounge access with six free passes, and great insurance benefits, there are many reasons to love this new card from Scotia.
Hope that helps!
The Scotiabank card has everything I need! It’s perfect yay! But I unfortunately make less than $60,000 a year, so it’s not an option for me. Another low income person bites the dust :/
The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite is great isn’t it? With full exemption from foreign transaction fees, Scotia Rewards points, insurance, and VIP lounge access, it’s one of the best in a handful of premium options for Canadian travellers. Its premium price and strict eligibility requirements match its value however, leaving many applicants ineligible. Thankfully, you can still get a card that allows you to totally avoid these foreign fees and a little extra, and without the high-income requirement or annual fee.
We suggest that you check out the Home Trust Preferred Visa, which doesn’t have some of the more luxurious perks of the Scotia card but does offer its strongest basic benefits. These include 1.00% cash back on all your purchases (even abroad), $0 annual fee, 0.00% foreign transaction fees, and some nice insurance extras that might come in handy. We’re particularly pleased with the addition of complimentary roadside assistance membership, rental car damage and loss coverage, and zero liability.
In the interest of full transparency, Home Trust did have some issues on their application turnaround earlier this year, when the eminently popular Chase Amazon card was removed from the Canadian marketplace. However, you can expect Home Trust to notify you of an approved application within 4-6 weeks. Thanks!
Let’s face it. Since Canadians were stripped of the Amazon Rewards card, they were left with no options with regard to no foreign conversion fee credit card.
1) Rogers that offers Rogers Platinum Mastercard: Their cash back rewards go only towards Rogers services. Although Rogers is a reputable company, as far as their credit card, benefits for non-Rogers subscribers: 0.
2) Home Trust that offers “Preferred Visa”: An amateurish company with 0 Foreign conversion fee, 0 customer service and 0 efficiency.
3) Brim Financial, another amateurish and mismanaged company that is bound to fold. 0 foreign conversion fee, 0 customer service and 0 efficiency.
3. Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite has an annual fee of $139. Although it’s a very reputable bank with excellent and proven customer service, but $139…. No thanks.
What’s left for Canadians? Nothing. Since the disappearance of the Amazon Rewards Visa card, we’re left high and dry with no alternatives. Amazon Rewards Visa card was absolutely the best, second to none. Sorry, we just have to wait. Maybe Amazon.ca will offer again to Canadians a no foreign conversion fee no annual feel credit card?
We definitely understand where you’re coming from. The Chase Amazon card was an excellent value, and its exact variety of perks is still unmatched in the current Canadian marketplace. However, we do have a couple comments that might help you discover a new opportunity in what is available to Canada.
The Rogers Platinum and World Elite cards are Mastercards, and are therefore easily integrated into Mastercard’s Pay with Rewards program. This allows you to sync your Rogers account with Mastercard’s smartphone application, and see a list of your recent purchases. You can redeem cash back instantly on eligible purchases through this app.
Additionally, the Scotiabank Passport Visa does have a higher annual fee, but this is because relevant cardholders will actually use its amazing travel perks. Six VIP passes to airport lounges is more than a $200 value given annually, which negates the fee and then some. Add in the insurance and also the 0.00% foreign fees and it’s easy to see why travellers are paying $139 per year. In your first year, the 25,000-Reward Point bonus is a great opportunity as well, and if you don’t like it, then you can cancel it.
If we can’t change your mind, then we’re afraid you might have to wait for Chase to change theirs. However, we don’t know of any plans to return to Canada at this time.
The Rogers cards DO allow a cashback reward in the form of a statement credit once per year. You have to call once per year to initiate this. This was verified by Greedyrates after I had called a Rogers rep who didn’t read their own fine print. It would be nice if you could just let them know when you signed up for the card that you wanted the once a year cashback but I guess Rogers services are the main focus.
In April I applied for the Rogers Platinum card because I was impressed with their 4% cash back offer. Days after receiving it, I was notified that the cash back reward would be reduced to 3%. I wanted to offset the
forex surcharge, and the original 4% was attractive (a 1-1/2% bonus – now it is o only 1/2%. ) I accumulated a lot of cash back points/dollars during the first 2 months (to pay off travel plans), and when I wanted to redeem my points, I was told that I can only use them for Rogers’ products or wait until next January to apply to my statement balance!!!!! There is conflicting information on their website and also from their customer service operators. Because I complained bitterly, they are agreeing to apply my cash back dollars to my outstanding balance. I can see that I will have to do this every time as I travel a great deal and want to avoid the forex surcharge. This is not a good card and I don’t think that their World Elite one will be an
improvement if one cannot easily use the reward points to pay off one’s balance.
We’re glad you were able to get the Rogers Platinum card, but it’s unfortunate that Rogers changed their benefits on the card so soon after you received it. The 4.00% cash back on foreign purchases has moved to their Rogers World Elite card, along with higher cash back on Canadian dollar purchases at 1.75%. The Rogers Platinum card is now the lower-tier version, but you’ll probably be able to upgrade if you call Rogers and inquire. Regardless, you’re correct that redeeming cash back flexibly with Rogers is difficult, though we’re curious if you’ve tried the Pay With Rewards application from Mastercard.
The Rogers Mastercards both work with this smartphone app, which you can explore in the link below. You can connect your account to it and then flexibly redeem cash back on the individual eligible purchases that show up there, whenever you like. If this isn’t interesting to you, then we’re happy to suggest some other alternatives. The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card is one of the newest on the market, and offers total exemption from foreign transaction fees, plus 25,000 Scotia Rewards points to begin. You will earn Rewards for your purchases and also get 6 free passes to VIP airport lounges every year, along with a solid variety of insurance benefits.
If you don’t want to pay Scotia’s $129 annual fee, then the World Elite from Rogers is probably your best bet. Best of luck!
I also lost my Amazon/Chase card, and applied in February for a Home Trust card. By June I have not received it. I have called several times and each time was told I would receive it in about two weeks. I was advised today, on June 5 that there would be at least another 4 weeks wait.
Based on the information in this message thread, I tried to cancel my application, but they said they had no idea how they could do that, and i should just not reply to anything they sent.
Sounds like a really Mickey Mouse organization.
We always appreciate readers coming to inform us about their issues with banks and card issuers, and base our recommendations off this input frequently. Believe it or not, you’re among several people who have reported the same inconvenient truths about Home Trust to us, and we now direct our readers to other cards accordingly. It’s very unfortunate that Canadians lost access to Chase Bank’s excellent array of credit cards, but due to reasons you now understand, Home Trust isn’t necessarily the best place to get a replacement. It may take some months before their customer service team is freed up for more prompt responses. Not being able to cancel your application right now is frustrating, but ultimately harmless. When the card arrives in a month, test it out for a little while to see if you like it, and if not then cancel it.
We’re big fans of the new Rogers World Elite Mastercard, which grants 4.00% cash back on foreign transactions, netting you 1.50% after the fee. You’ll also get a plethora of World Elite-quality travel benefits and 1.75% cash back on purchases in Canadian dollars. Scotiabank also saw an opportunity to fill the gap left by Chase, and recently released their Passport Infinite Visa card, which negates foreign transaction fees entirely. It also has an impressive travel insurance suite, and gives you 6 annual passes to VIP airport lounges across the globe.
Shouldn’t you update this sentence? “For this reason we typically recommend the Rogers card over the Home Trust to those who travel outside of Canada frequently.”
Now that it is only 0.5% since reducing to 3% on Forex purchases, Home Trust wins out with their 1% cashback.
Hi Ian. We’ve updated the text now that the Rogers card has reduced its benefits slightly. The Home Trust card, in terms of pure cash back, is a small step above Rogers. However, it does fall behind in some ways, which need to be considered before you choose between them. For example, the Home Trust card limits cardholders to 10 transactions per day, and also assigns you a PIN code that you won’t be able to change. While these issues don’t impact some customers, for others it could be inconvenient. Also, their applications have recently been taking quite a long time to get approved.
Regardless, there’s a new card available from Scotiabank that should also be looked at. The Passport Visa Infinite is $139 per year, but for this price tag you’ll pay zero foreign transaction fees, earn Scotia rewards points, and get some upper-tier travel benefits. The most impressive is the 6 annual VIP airport lounge passes and Priority Pass membership, and this is complemented by valuable travel insurance, including travel medical protection and much more.
See my comments below. You have been warned.
Hi All im newbie here. Good post! Thx! Love your stories!
Can you recommend credit card (with/without fees), which provides annual lounge access & has no foreign transaction fees?
Hey Samseer, thanks for the very specific question! It’s great when readers approach us with exacting criteria, and actually helps us narrow down the best options for you. Your question comes at an opportune moment for us–until recently, we could’ve only recommended the Home Trust Visa and Rogers Platinum Mastercard to those who want to escape foreign transaction fees. However, neither of these excellent cards offers airport lounge access.
Now, there’s a new card on the market that provides both, and will probably take the number one spot in the ‘No Foreign Transaction Fees’ category. It’s the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card. With this credit card, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on grocery, dining, and entertainment expenses, and then 1 point on everything else. You’ll also be exempt from foreign transaction fees, and get a Priority Pass membership to worldwide airport lounges as well. The pass allows you to get into the lounge at a significant discount compared to non-member walk-ins, but the card also offers 6 free passes per year, so you mostly likely will never have to pay. You can learn more details about the card by reading our in-depth Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card review.
Thanks for reading.
Just received email from Rogers inviting me to upgrade my card to the new Rogers Visa Infinite card. It reinstates all the benefits I had with the old card, but under the Infinite banner. Presumably with this card, they can charge the merchants higher fees.
New Rogers Card
Home Trust Visa!
I was waiting 2 and have months to get my card and was approved with great credit score and family income $100K for $1000 limit between I and my husband which is ridicules. They seem to be very old fashion company that operates as though as in 1960’s. To activate a card I had to call from my home phone which I don’t have even though they have my cell number on file at the time of application. To activate my card I had to connect with customer service i was waiting 30 min.
After all this hassle, I closed my account and are not interested in dealing with them!
1960’s indeed. After 2 months of waiting I got an additional request to send them ORIGINAL phone/hydro/whatever bill – no scans and no copies allowed. Looks like grandmas and grandpas didn’t really get into 2010s yet. I won’t be going ahead with this bank- too much hassle.
I’ve done some research and still can’t determine which card would be best for the following situation. I will be in Greece for two weeks at the end of May. Total costs during that time will exceed $20,000 CAD. With some cards offering stronger rewards during first few months and/or on initial charges up to a certain value, what would be the best combination of cash rewards/offset foreign exchange fees/high limit/no annual fee. Please keep in mind that I could use this new car for this trip only and then cancel it, if possible. I already have a cashback rewards card for use here. I have perfect credit and high annual income, so there is no limit to type of card based on that.
Hi Indy, thanks for your great comment. We’re excited that you’re travelling soon to Greece, and understand you want to offset much of the $20,000 you’re planning to spend. Cash back is a great way to do this, but most cards with an accelerated initial bonus only offer it until $250 in cash back has accrued. They also don’t reduce foreign transaction fees, meaning that you’ll likely save more money with a card that simply negates these fees entirely.
The Home Trust Preferred card is best for that: it erases foreign transaction fees and accrues cash back on all purchases at 1.00%. This means that you stand to net $200 from your $20,000 planned expenditure. However, Home Trust isn’t the most reliable when it comes to responding to customer applications and inquiries, and is currently under a lot of strain to satisfy customer demand. Because you’re flying in just a couple months, you’d be better off with the Rogers Platinum Mastercard. This one gives you 3.00% cash back on all purchases made in a foreign currency, so that $20,000 translates to $600 in cash back. However, note that the card does charge the standard foreign transaction fee of 2.50%. This means that after the fees, your net cash back is $100. Let us know if you need any further assistance. You can compare both cards directly by reading both our Home Trust Preferred card review and Rogers Platinum Mastercard review. Good luck and happy travels!
I actually got my card within about 2 weeks of applying. That’s the good news. The bad news is that this card is for infants. The first year maximum limit is $4000. One year later, you can apply to have that increased to $8000. Seriously! I got this card specifically to use while travelling. I was planning on using it in Greece later this month, when I get married there. $4000 might cover our first day.
My future spouse and I earn well above average income, have no debt and virtually perfect credit ratings, so that is not the issue here. They simply have a ridiculous limit rule and won’t break it – even if you offer to pay $20,000 on the card in advance, as they will only allow up to 90% of that juvenile limit.
My fault for not reading the fine print, but who would think such a thing would even exist in 2018. It’s so sad, I’ve chosen to see it as funny.
Can you explain why you recommend the Rogers card over the Home Trust??
Rogers 3% cash back – 2.5% FX fee = 0.5% net
Home Trust 1% cash back – 0% FX fee = 1% net
Am I missing something?
Hi Andrew, thanks for your awesome question. You’re correct that in terms of net cash back for foreign transactions, the Home Trust card is better by 0.50%. However, it suffers from a few downsides that make the Rogers card better overall. Rogers has a greater domestic cash back rate, at 1.25% versus 1.00%. The Home Trust card is also limited to ten transactions per day, which takes it out of the race for some cardholders. Finally, though we don’t like to harp on this point, Home Trust is currently experiencing some temporary down time with customer service. Many applicants have waited weeks without a response, and so Rogers has stepped up to fill the gap.
What is your impression of the new Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card?
Hi Lisa, thanks for requesting an opinion about the card you’ve got your eyes on! We’ve done a thorough review of the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite card and will unveil our official review article very soon. We recommend you wait until we’ve posted it before making your decision, and will be sure to let you know exactly when it’s published. Thanks for being a loyal reader!
Hi Lisa. We’ve published our review of the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card if you’re still interested.
now that the foreign transaction cashback is 3% with the rogers card, which nets 0.5% cashback, the home trust card should be recommended over the rogers/fido card..correct?
Hi KL, we appreciate your curiosity about the difference between these two cards, now that the Rogers card is changing. The Rogers card used to out-earn the Home Trust card in every scenario, as it would net 1.50% on foreign transactions, but now that it’s been reduced to 0.50%, Home Trust has a slight advantage in this regard. With 0.00% foreign transaction fees and 1.00% unlimited cash back, the Home Trust card earns 0.50% more cash back than Rogers when abroad. However, it earns 0.25% less when purchasing in Canadian dollars, as Rogers’ domestic rate is 1.25%.
However, there are other considerations as well. For instance, the Home Trust card imposes a limit of 10 transactions per day for cardholders, and isn’t available to residents of Quebec. Additionally, now that Amazon has cancelled their line of cards that once eliminated foreign transaction fees, Home Trust has been extremely slow to respond to the barrage of new applications. We think you’re better off with the Rogers card, and encourage you to apply there instead. You can read more about the Rogers card via our complete Rogers Platinum Mastercard review.
Best of luck!
Doh. Now I see the Rogers terms change on May 23, 2018. So its currently 4%, going down to 3%. Crappers.
Hey Mike, thanks for sharing your comment with us! We agree, it’s really too bad that Rogers decided to reduce the cash back bonus they give on foreign transactions, but we still consider them the best deal in this regard. Cardholders will still earn 0.50% after the foreign transaction fee, and 1.25% cash back for purchases in Canadian dollars as well. It’s better than Home Trust’s Preferred card, which is currently suffering from an epic customer service backup and imposes a limitation of 10 transactions per day. If you want to defray all your foreign transaction fees and still earn on domestic spending, the Rogers card is still the place to go.
Hey, wait a minute, Rogers USED to be 1.75% on all purchases and 4% on foreign. It’s now 1.25% and 3%. Also, the Fido card USED to be 1.5% on all purchases and 4% on foreign. It’s now 1.25% and 3% as well. Both are now no fee cards.
I just went on Rogers Bank website to look up the details on their mastercard and found out that they DO charge a annual fee. Greedyrates, please correct your information.
Hi Conlee! Thanks for the comment. The Rogers Platinum Mastercard did charge an annual fee of $29, but customers could avoid paying it by setting up their recurring bills as automatic payments. A new development is that Rogers is now removing the annual fee completely, without any conditions. Thanks again.
Just a caveat for HomeTrust. There is a 4-6+ week process to get a card. They have been swamped since Chase has withdrawn from the Canadian market and don’t have the resources to keep up with demand. I’ve been waiting for over 4 weeks now and would like to book excursions at a local merchant in Athens but can’t….unless I want to pay the conversion fees!!
Yep this is true! I also submitted around 3-4 weeks ago hoping to get it in time to replace my Marriot. Heading to Europe today and did not arrive in time. At least i will get my last use of the Marriot Chase card for part of the trip anyway. Get it EARLY!!!
Don’t these “no foreign transaction fee cards” simply make their money on your purchase transaction by choosing a wider currency conversion spread. They make – you pay more – money by giving you a bad (aggressive) conversion rate. Banks aren’t in the business of giving stuff away for free. Skeptical.
Hey John, thanks for your question and for your healthy skepticism! All credit cards typically use the foreign currency conversion rate dictated by the issuer in question, such as Visa or Mastercard. For the Home Trust Preferred Visa in particular, the card uses Visa’s regular currency conversion rate, which you can find in the fine print, and they don’t charge foreign transaction fees at all.
The Rogers Platinum Mastercard *does* charge a foreign transaction fee, but it offsets it (and then some) by giving extra cash back for purchases made in a foreign currency. The Rogers card uses the standard currency conversion rate set by Mastercard, and doesn’t charge more or less of a conversion rate than any other Mastercard.
You can learn more about those cards by reading our full Home Trust Preferred Visa review and our full Rogers Platinum Mastercard review.
Thanks for reading!
Teh FIDO mastercards should also be on this list. Same foreign currency benefit as Rogers.
If you get the Rogers card, and set it up to pay your Rogers bill, you do get the 1.75% cashback for those payments, correct? Or do you just get the fee waived?
Hey Brian, thanks for the great question. In the fine print on Rogers’ page, it’s written that the annual fee exemption cannot be combined with other Rogers promotions, which likely includes the 1.75% cash back for domestic spending. You’ll just get the annual fee eliminated from your bill, with no extra cash back. On all other domestic purchases you will earn this bonus, however, which is the important part. The cash back you’d earn on a $29 annual fee is negligible, and shouldn’t enter your consideration of whether to get the card or not. Best of luck.
Sorry to be picky, but just to confirm: for the 60ish dollars a month I pay Rogers for my cell phone, I will get 1.75% cashback if paid through the Rogers mastercard. With the the possible minor exception of $29 per year of that amount. Otherwise I should keep pumping my rogers bill through a different card to get points.
The home trust caps your transactions at 10/day, which is simply nonsensical and horrible. I have this car as a replacement for amazon card and it is not even close to comparable. NO downloading all individual transactions to an accounting software and no changing your PIN. Unfortunately, it is the only decent option to replace the amazon card.
Why is the Brim MasterCard not included in your list of Canadian 0% Foreign Transaction Fee cards?
Interesting I have been sleuthing as we were Marriott Visa holders. Received an offer to switch to SPG for 25, 000 points, which did not really seem that lucrative and it does nothing for us in terms of FOREX. Thanks for posting .
Hi there, I was just on the Rogers Bank website and I saw they have a Fido MasterCard. You still get 4% cashback on foreign purchases but there is no annual fee even after the first year. Unlike the rogers platinum which you get charged $29 after the first year. So the Fido Mastercard looks like the the better pick. What do you think?
Hey Braeden, thanks for the interesting comment! For what it’s worth, we agree with you, and believe that for many people the benefits of the Fido Mastercard outweigh those of its close cousin, the Rogers Platinum.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that domestic spending only earns cash back at 1.50%, whereas the Rogers card pulls 1.75%. This means you can calculate which is more useful to you based on your annual domestic spending. According to our calculations, you’ll need to spend at least $12,000 per year with the card, for that extra 0.25% to eclipse the free annual fee. Also remember that you can get rid of the Rogers annual fee, you just have to register your other monthly services bills from Rogers as recurring payments. Good luck and thanks for sharing!
Unfortunately Rogers Bank dropped the 4% cash back to 3% from May 2018…..
For the Hometrust preferred Visa how many authorized users are you allowed? I read somewhere that it allows up to 4 authorized users but can’t seem to find where I read this. When you apply online it only allows you to add one but can you call and add more later? The chase Amazon card allowed unlimited users.
Hi Anita, thanks for coming to GreedyRates. We’ve searched high and low, but can’t find any evidence that Home Trust places a limit on how many authorized users one can have. While there might be only one spot to list a second authorized user during the initial application, Home Trust makes it easy to add more authorized users via a form on their website.
While we can’t exactly say that the Chase Amazon card you mentioned compares to the Home Trust card, except for the foreign transaction savings they they share, we can confidently say that in terms of authorized users there is no difference.
Dear Greedy Rates, it seems that the Rogers cash back is not actual cash but what Rogers calls “cash back rewards” which can only be spent to buy Rogers owned services and products.
Hi Eric! Thanks for the comment. We’re not aware of any cash back cards that actually send cash, or a cheque in the mail. Instead, the ability to use your accrued cash back against your monthly statement is as good as cash, or better. You can buy anything with a cash back card and then use the rewards to pay it off later for free, which even cash can’t do. To our knowledge this is how all cash back card issuers operate, universally. We’re sorry you were disappointed, but consider what you would have used your cash for: groceries, hobbies, entertainment? Charge these to your card instead, and pay them off with your points. It’s much easier! Have a great day.
Mbna smart cash visa will actually send a cheque, but I considered it a plus when they let me put it towards a statement credit.
As long as you can apply points against your statement or Rogers services it really is the same thing as a cheque. It’s only annoying if you have to use up points against something that you wouldn’t normally purchase otherwise.
I am wondering if I am missing something, and hoping someone can help. I have a ScotiaBank Infinite Momentum VISA, with a first-$25000 spend 5% cash back on all purchases. If the foreign exchange is 2.5%, am I still effectively earning 2.5% cashback (5% purchases – 2.5% fx), or is there some finer point to the math that I am not factoring in?
Hey Chris, thanks for reading GreedyRates! We can definitely clear this matter up for you. You see, the 2.50% foreign transaction fee is only applied to purchases made outside of Canada, with a currency other than CAD. If you currently live abroad or make your purchases exclusively from the US, for example, then your math is correct. The net effect on your statement would be to halve each cash back benefit granted as a result of your expense under the promotion. If you’re planning on using the card for a large single purchase, to get the higher cash back rate in bulk, then if it’s in a foreign currency you’re only netting a total of 2.50%. We hope that helps your considerations a bit. Thanks!
It’s not 5% on ALL purchases. It’s 5% on the first $3000 in the first 3 months of owning the card. Thereafter, it’s 4% on gas and groceries, 2% at drug stores and recurring bill payments, and only 1% on the rest…. So for online shopping for instance, it’s a measly 1% cash back with 2.5% charged on foreign exchange purchases……
Regarding Rogers Platinum Master Card, I believe the rebate can only be used for Rogers services such as Cable TV, Cell Phone, etc.
Please confirm this.
Hi Carl, thanks for your question. There is a lot of confusion lately about the true flexibility of Rogers’ cash back program, but we’re confident that cardholders’ monthly Platinum Mastercard bills are still covered by the admittedly broad label, “Rogers monthly bills” in the card’s fine print. If you’d like to be certain we suggest checking with Rogers by calling and talking with a customer service representative or manager.
If I had any Rogers bill payment I would definitely get their card. The fee is waived if you pay for a Rogers service with the card. This seems reasonable. It doesn’t really matter then if it’s cash back or a reduction in the Rogers service fee as it’s still “money saved”. Apparently there is fine print that does allow a once a year statement credit for non-Rogers users.
For non-Rogers customers, I would go for the Fido card as it’s 1.5% as opposed to the 1.75% for the Rogers card but you get the same 4% on foreign currency purchases which still nets 1.5% after the 2.5% forex fee.
I’m incredibly annoyed/angry about my Amazon.ca card being terminated. So long, Amazon.ca shopping benefits and, especially: no foreign transaction fee. (Damned Chase!)
“Tax me/Gouge me: I’m Canadian.”
Hey Robin, thanks for your comment. We’re also pretty frustrated with Chase, as their Amazon and Marriott cards were some of the most popular cards in Canada. Now that they’re being discontinued, it’s tough to get the same kind of package benefits, but still possible to find shelter from foreign transaction fees. The Rogers Platinum Mastercard and the Home Trust Preferred Visa each combat these fees in their own way–the Rogers by awarding cash back in an amount greater than the 2.50% fee (4.00% cash back, then 1.75% domestically), and the Home Trust by simply negating them. You can learn more by reading either our Rogers Platinum Mastercard review or our Home Trust Preferred Card review. Or you can just apply directly for the Rogers card here or the Home Trust card here.
As far as shopping rewards, we think you’d appreciate the Amex Cobalt card, which is very flexible for those with a big entertainment budget. Hotel rewards with equivalent value can be found in the Starwood Preferred Guest card, which is another of our most popular. Best of luck.
You can also check out our article with a comprehensive list of credit card alternatives for those Canadians that had the Amazon or Marriott cards.
In 2015 for $1.7B The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotia Bank) acquired J.P. Morgan Chase’s Canadian Credit Card portfolio in the same way Citibank sold its Canadian Credit Card division to CIBC couple of years back (I used to have their Citi MC credit card and loved it a lot, it was automatically replace with CIBC VISA CC).
Therefore for those who blame Chase for discontinuing their no-FX Visa Amazon CCs, take it to Scotia Bank, an iconic CANADIAN financial institution, for not replacing this particular no-FX CC with a new no-FX Scotia Bank CC.
Also why American financial institutions are not too much in love with Canada!
Chase offers no-FX Visa Amazon CC to its American customers.
I’m a Canadian Citizen driving every year throughout USA (for the past 20+ years), have used no-FX Chase Visa Amazon CC and simply loved it, unfortunately early Jan 2018 have received the formal letter with March 15, 2018 as last day for this particular credit card, immediately have applied for Home Trust Visa Preferred CC with no-FX fee and received it in mail maybe a week ago and will use it anytime down in the States for pretty much anything and especially gas.
Happy Travelling everybody!
I’m reading the terms for HomeTrust. Does below mean that if I don’t use the card for a year, even if I have $0 balance, I’ll be charged for keeping the card??
Account Maintenance: for an inactive Credit Card Account with a credit balance that has not changed for 360 consecutive days, a fee of the lesser of $10.00 or the full credit balance will be charged on that date.
Hi Sonia, thanks for your question. Your interpretation of the rules are correct. Many cards add this provision into the fine print, so it’s not all that uncommon. For Home Trust, the maximum of $10 you’ll pay is worth the money the card can save when you take it abroad, but it’s easily countered simply by using it once to buy a pack of gum or something similarly insignificant. It might not feel great to be pigeonholed into buying something you don’t want, even if it costs $0.50, but it’s a necessary evil if you want to save big bucks on your next vacation overseas.
Hi, please note that the above answer is incorrect. You will only pay a fee if you’ve overpaid your acct. IE: Your credit limit is $2000, but you’ve paid $2010 against it. That means there’s a $10 over payment or credit. Therefore, if you don’t use it for 360 days, they will debit that $10.
Account Maintenance: for an inactive Credit Card Account with a credit balance that has not changed for 360 consecutive days, a fee of the lesser of $10.00 or the full credit balance will be charged on that date.
home trust is very good but it is not available for persons living in quebec
Hi Mark, thanks for leaving your comment! Unfortunately, you and the other readers who have made this observation are all correct. The Home Trust card is not available to Quebec residents, though a comparable card is the Rogers Platinum Mastercard. Most want the Home Trust card in order to avoid foreign transaction fees, which the Rogers card addresses in its own way. Each 2.50% foreign transaction fee charged by the Rogers is made up for, and then some, with 4.00%, cash back on purchases made in a foreign currency, netting you 1.50% on top. Check it out and let us know what you think!
The Amazon credit card expiring puts me in a very unfortunate situation. I’m not admissible for Home Trust (I live in Quebec) and Rogers requires me to apply in person. Problem is, I’m out of the country for a few months, and I need a new card ASAP. Is there any other cards available in Quebec that doesn’t charge foreign fees? This is very important for me.
P.S. : Thank you for your website, your work is fairly impressive!
Hi Lynx, we appreciate that you’ve come to us in such a tight spot. We’ll try to help, but it seems like you’re short on time and options. The only cards that combat foreign transaction fees that we recommend are the Home Trust Visa and the Rogers Platinum Mastercard, so it looks like because of your residence in Quebec that the Rogers card is your only alternative. Good luck!
Unfortunately, this article is out of date.
All the Chase cards (Rogers, Amazon and Marriott) are shut down or will shut down in the next 2 months.
The new Rogers credit card (now through Rogers Bank) does not offer to waive FX fees any more.
Within a month or so, we’re really hoping Marriott will come out with a new partnership up here in Canada that may knock off our travellers’ socks.
We’re aware that Chase Canada is quietly phasing out its operations in the coming year – we’ve even published an article about it – so it doesn’t surprise us that you received a warning from Chase. However, for avoiding foreign transaction fees the Rogers Platinum Mastercard and the Home Trust Preferred Visa are still excellent choices. The latter card exempts cardholders from these fees entirely, and as we’ve published before, though the Rogers card does not waive the fee per se, it does circumvent it in its own way. The Rogers card credits your account 4.00% cash back for each purchase you make in a foreign currency, covering the 2.50% foreign transaction fee by an additional 1.50%. This is why many prefer it to cards that simply do away with the fees instead.
In other news, we’re also waiting with bated breath for Marriott’s next credit card deal, but we haven’t heard anything about it yet. Be certain that you’ll find out about it here first!
It is worth applying for the Rogers Platinum Mastercard knowing that I would have to pay the annual fee of $29 after the first year? I have zero Rogers, Fido, chatr services. I’m thinking this may only be good for me if I use it for a year then cancel.
Hey Jazzie! We’ve had a lot of very happy readers sign up for the Rogers Platinum Mastercard and come back saying how much they loved it, so you can’t go wrong. To address your question about the $29 annual fee, this is one of the lowest among similar cards, and easily justified given the savings one can obtain via the cash back bonuses. Even if you never travel abroad, 1.75% cash back means you only have to spend about $1,660 dollars in a year to cover it. This is a miniscule amount for most people, so do a quick study of your last year’s expenses and see how much cash you would have made with the Rogers card. Also keep in mind for your calculations that transactions in a foreign currency net 1.50%. You can learn more by reading our full Rogers Platinum Mastercard review or you can apply for the card directly here.
We signed up for the Rogers Platinum Mastercard as my wife and I live close to the US border and therefore shop in USD a fair bit. But after using my new card a couple of times I got this email from Rogers;
Now that you’ve made your first purchase with your RogersTM Platinum Mastercard® you’ve earned $29.34 cash back rewards. Well done! Now you’ll earn 1.75% cash back rewards on every purchase made in Canadian dollars and 4% in cash back rewards on every purchase made in a foreign currency with no caps or limitations.
Once you’ve earned just $20 in cash back rewards you can redeem towards anything Rogers including: Rogers, FidoTM and chatr monthly bills, purchases in Rogers and Fido branded stores,purchases at THE SHOPPING CHANNELTM; subscriptions to TextureTM; Toronto Blue JaysTM tickets, merchandise at Jays ShopTM online or in store, and at Rogers CentreTM concessions.”
So it looks like you have to spend your cashback “rewards” on Rogers affiliated merchandise. I thought we’d be getting cashback in the form of an annual credit to spend as we wish, like our other CIBC Platinum VISA. As a result, I think we’ll cancel this card and go with the Home Trust VISA – hopefully they give REAL cashback.
Hi James, thanks for your request for clarification, we can definitely help you. There’s often confusion between cash back and real cash, but they’re essentially the same thing. Where it says, “…you can redeem towards anything Rogers including: Rogers, FidoTM and chatr monthly bills…” this means your monthly credit card bill. You can use your credit card to buy anything that cash might otherwise get you, giving it the same fungibility and power as paper currency. This is how cash back works universally, and we believe you’ll be hard-pressed to find a card that allows you to redeem cash back as a cash advance. In fact, this is explicitly stated in the Home Trust Visa‘s fine print.
The Home Trust card looked good until I realized that it’s available for Quebecers.
But they still want to sell us mortages though!
A mari usque ad mare…yeah, right!
Hi Fred, thanks for coming to GreedyRates. We can confirm for you that the Home Trust card isn’t available for residents of Quebec, unfortunately. However, if you’re excited at the prospect of saving on foreign transaction fees, there’s another offer out there that *is* available to Quebecers. The Rogers Platinum MasterCard doesn’t exempt you from the fee per se–instead, it rewards you 4.00% cash back for all purchases made with foreign currency. This means you’ll actually earn 1.50% when purchasing abroad, and then 1.75% on your domestic expenses. You can learn more by reading our full Rogers Platinum Mastercard review or by directly applying for the card here.
I’m not happy about the Amazon Chase card closing.
The Rogers no fee is for the first year. Then it’s 29.00.
It looks like the Marriot Rewards Visa is closing as well. From the Chase Canada Online Login webpage:
Chase will be closing the Marriott Rewards® Visa® Card program as of March 15, 2018.
You will be receiving a letter with additional information. If you have any questions about your credit card account closure please call 1-866-705-6755. You will still be able to access and redeem any points earned through your Marriott Rewards Program account.
You can check out our article on the situation here:
I just got a letter today from Chase Bank. The Amazon Visa accounts will be closed on Marck 15th, 2018.
Last month I applied for the Home Trust Visa and will be using that for online and travel.
Thanks to Greedyrates and commenters for all the great information.
Also appears that the Chase Marriot Visa card is ending on that same date. Too bad as it was a good card. Need to look for another card with no foreign transactions fees.
Hi Mike, thanks for your comment. We’ve had a lot of readers with the Marriott and Amazon cards receive letters from Chase in the last month or so announcing their intent to close up shop, and are just as disappointed as yourself. While Amazon bonuses are surely a great retail perk, and Marriott had solid hotel deals, the best part of either of the cards was an exemption from foreign transaction fees.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any cards that can combine the benefits of the cards being discontinued, but there are two we have in mind that will save you from paying these pesky fees. The first is the Rogers Platinum Mastercard, which does incur 2.50% fees on foreign transactions, but then turns around and credits your account a whopping 4.00% cash back on foreign purchases to cover it (and then some). It’ll also grant you 1.75% cash back on CAD purchases. You can learn more about the card by reading our Rogers Platinum Mastercard review, or you can apply for it directly via this link.
The other is the Home Trust Preferred Visa, a handy companion that provides a reasonable 1.00% cash back and does away with foreign fees entirely. You can learn more via our Home Trust Preferred Visa review, or you can apply for the card here.
If you’re really missing the Marriott Card, the Starwood Preferred Guest Amex comes very highly recommended, and if you use it in conjunction with one of the cards listed above, you’ve essentially obtained the perks that the Marriott card brought to the table, and a little more. You can learn more by reading our Starwood Preferred Guest Card review. Good luck!
I’ve decided to apply to them also. How long did you have to wait for approval? If only they had left the Amazon/Chase alone until the end of March. I had it all set for our return from the US mid March.
I had to wait about 3 weeks. Two cons are that you can’t change the PIN unless you change the card and I don’t think the tap works.
Have you looked into the FIDO card on the Rogers site. It’s a no fee with 1.5% cashback and 4% on US transactions which essentially covers the 2.5% FT fee and still returns 1.5%.
Hi Mike and Karen,
I also applied for the Home Trust Visa as I am currently using the Amazon Chase Visa for travel. I read on another blog that you need to be a homeowner and not a renter to get accepted. Mike and Karen do you own or rent? I’m also applying for the Rogers card.
My Dad has the Marriott Chase Visa, also with 0% forex and his letter from Marriott said they are going to figure something out so maybe they will join another bank and offer the same benefits.
Hi Stephanie, thanks for coming to GreedyRates to clear up your questions about the Home Trust card. Either this card or the Rogers Mastercard will serve you very well. To address your question about the Home Trust card being restricted to homeowners exclusively, we couldn’t find any information confirming this. We think you may have accidentally read about the Home Trust Equityline card on the blog you mention, which has some special benefits for homeowners only.
You say that you and your dad both have Chase cards, so be sure to have new ones in hand before much longer. If Chase is to be believed, they will discontinue them and stop the grandfathered cards from working in 2018 as well. For your needs, the Rogers card is great but something tells us your dad would want some extra rewards. Point him towards the Starwood Preferred Guest card, as it’s similar to the Marriott card he’s replacing. To avoid fees while travelling, he can either get his own Home Trust or Rogers card or be an authorized user on your account. Good luck to you both!
I just got the same letter today. This saddens me, as I earn the Amazon points for ordering online. I also enjoy saving the 2.5% for US purchases, which we do often, and saved us a significant amount when we had to pay for our 8 day Disney Trip. I have just applied for the Home Trust Visa and am hoping we can get a similar level of credit, so we can pay for future trips and save the 2.5%.
Home Trust Visa card is not available for Quebec resident !
Hi Claude. Thanks for your comment – you’re correct! Quebec residents will have to find another solution to fight those pesky foreign transaction fees, but thankfully the Rogers Platinum Mastercard is available for this purpose. Just note that instead of simply cancelling these fees outright, Rogers gives you 4.00% cash back for each foreign purchase you make, netting you 1.50% cash back after factoring out the foreign transaction fee. Enjoy!
How long to get a response from them
Looks like the Rogers Master Card no longer offers 0% foreign transaction fees. It is now 2.5% on all foreign purchases. Wondering now, based on this information, what would be the best credit card for use overseas for foreign transactions. Thanks!
Hi SD, thanks for coming to GreedyRates. Rogers changed their fee schema all the way back in October of 2016, and part of these changes were the elimination of the 0.00% foreign transaction fee. However, it remains one of only two Canadian cards we know of that avoid these fees, even though technically they’re still being paid by Rogers cardholders. Instead of exempting you from these fees, Rogers will add 4.00% of the total amount of your purchase (made in foreign currency) over the 2.50% that they take for the foreign trans. fee, leaving you with a 1.50% cash back surplus when all is said and done. You can learn more about the card by reading our Rogers Platinum Mastercard review, or you can apply for the card directly via this link.
The other option is the Home Trust Preferred Visa, which doesn’t charge a foreign trans. fee at all. You can learn more about its other features by reading our full Home Trust Preferred Visa review, or you can apply for the card here.
I have a stupid question. I have a Tangerine Mastercard that will charge me 2.5% FT fee while I am in the US for four days starting this weekend. I decided to take out $500 us dollars just in case, and it seems like I will have to pay $686.00 Cdn for the US dollars. Does it make more sense to take out less US money and just use my Mastercard? I just don’t know which way is better…or “cheaper” at this point. I know neither are a good option. I wish I had known about this Rogers credit card sooner. 🙁 Thanks for any advice you can provide. 🙂
p.s. Great article!!
Hey Jas, thanks for your question.
We’re excited that you’re taking a trip this weekend – have fun! In the meantime, there’s not much you can do as far as obtaining shelter from the 2.5% foreign transaction fees. Today’s spot exchange rate for USD to CAD would have you paying only CAD$632 for USD$500, so for the cash withdrawal your bank is adding an extra CAD$50 on top.
Spending USD$500 with a 2.5% foreign exchange fee, and even with extra fees that you might incur for using a foreign ATM (an unfortunate reality) you’ll likely be charged much less than CAD$50. We say continue to use your Mastercard abroad.
Have a good time!
Just find out today that HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard has no foreign currency conversion charge.
it’s stated on hsbc.ca website.
Yeah, but there is a little problem here:
HSBC Premier eligibility requires you to have an active Premier chequing account and maintain a $100,000 balance in combined personal deposits and investments with HSBC Bank Canada and its subsidiaries. Please refer to the Personal Service Charges / Statement of Disclosure for fees which may apply.
Hi Greedy Rates,
So if im going oversees for 2 weeks, it looks like Rogers Platinum is the best way to go, is that correct?
Hey Rhonda, thanks for coming to Greedyrates. If you’re going overseas, the Rogers Platinum Mastercard is one of the best to take with you. No matter which currency you use on your trip, as long as it’s not CAD, you’ll get the 4% cash back on every purchase. This helps to defray travel costs significantly, and represents one of the best travel benefits around. We’d surely recommend it!
It should be noted, there is an Amazon credit card that isn’t mentioned anywhere on this website.
It offers Cash back AND no foreign transaction fees.
I’d like to see that card in comparison to all the other ones on this site.
Hi Diana, thanks for your observation! We understand your frustration, the Chase Amazon card was a great option while it lasted, but unfortunately it’s not available to Canadians any longer. This is why we don’t have it listed on the site, but we did at one point. Until the company begins accepting new applications, it will have to stay this way. Other than that, the Rogers Platinum and Home Trust Preferred cards are the only cards we can recommend that exempt you from foreign transaction fees. None have benefits similar to the Amazon card, however, they are still great cards. Keep checking back in the meantime and ask us if you need help elsewhere. Thanks!
I just got a notice that my Amazon Visa is no longer supported by Chase as of March 2018… and I can no longer use it after March; so I am looking for a new credit card for US purchases especially on line.
Hey Val, thanks for tuning in to GreedyRates. We’ve heard from many of our readers recently about Chase dropping support for its previously issued cards, so your comment isn’t surprising. We’ve published an article about the cancellation. Given that one of the most lauded benefits of the Amazon card was its exemption from foreign transaction fees, a good card to replace it with usually tends to be either the Rogers Platinum Mastercard or the Home Trust Preferred card. The former doesn’t exempt you from these fees but simply credits you 4% cash back for purchases you make in a foreign currency, which more than covers the 2.5% foreign transaction fee. The latter reduces the fees to 0.00%. For more information you can read our full Rogers Platinum Mastercard review or apply directly for the card here. Or if you’re more interested in the Home Trust card you can read our full Home Trust Preferred Card review or apply directly for that card here.
Just got a letter from Chase today, looks like they’re closing down all of the Amazon.ca Visa accounts on March 15 of this year. So it looks like it will be gone for good.
You can check out our article on the situation here:
I JUST READ ROGERS MASTERCARD AGREEMENT AND IT SAYS: All transactions made in a foreign currency are converted to Canadian dollars at the rate established by Mastercard International in effect on the date that we post the transaction to your Account (which may not be the same date as the date of the transaction) plus an amount equal to 2.5% of the transaction amount after it has been converted to Canadian dollars.
SO THEY CHARGE YOU THE SAME 2.5% THAT ALL CARDS CHARGE YOU BUT THEY GIVE YOU BACK 1.5% IN CASH CREDITS? I’M READING THIS CORRECTLY? THEY ARE CHARGING YOU A CURRENCY FEE LIKE THE OTHER CREDIT CARDS….I BELIEVE.
Thanks for you question on how the foreign currency transaction fee works. The Rogers Mastercard has a unique method for making foreign purchases cheaper, and it operates exactly as you’ve already guessed. The card does charge you 2.5% for each purchase made in a foreign currency, but then adds 4% back on top (as cash). This effectively nulls the charge, plus 1.5% – giving cardholders an incentive to buy from abroad. It’s better than exempting customers from the 2.5%! Many Canadians love it for buying in the US and in Europe, and we hope you will too.
We hope that helps,
I also just read there is a $29 annual fee…however the table above says “0”???
Hey Debbie, thanks for your observation. For the Rogers Platinum MasterCard, the annual fee is indeed $29 with a unique exception. This amount is rebated by Rogers the first year and for every year thereafter the same deal applies if one has set up automatic pre-authorized payments. We feel justified in calling it $0 because so many of our customers avoid the annual fee for the entirety of their cardownership at Rogers, but technically you’re still correct. Thank you for the input!
Can you confirm / comment on this?
Home Trust preferred Visa
No foreign transaction fees
No annual fee
1% cash back with no limits
Hi Fred, thanks for coming to us for confirmation.
Unfortunately, the Home Trust Preferred VISA does not include an exemption from foreign transaction fees. It does, however, have the other perks and benefits you’ve described.
If you’re looking for a card without the foreign transaction fees or an annual fee, check out the Rogers Mastercard. In most ways, it vastly improves upon the Home Trust card but may be more difficult to get approval for. If you need further guidance, please return with more comments here. We’ll be waiting!
When I looked at Home Trust Preferred Visa’s Cost of Borrowing disclosure it states a foreign currency conversion cost of 0%. “Purchases or Cash Advances in a foreign currency will be converted into Canadian dollars at the exchange rate set by Visa International in effect on the day the transaction is posted to the Account, plus a 0% currency conversion charge.”
Is this incorrect then?
Thank you for any further clarification.
Hi Christine. Good eyes – the fine print does indeed say that it costs 0% to make purchases or cash advances in a foreign currency (though Visa will use the spot rate for exchange). You were definitely right on this one! Here are the exact words:
Purchases or Cash Advances in a foreign currency will be converted into Canadian dollars at the exchange rate set by Visa International in effect on the day the transaction is posted to the Account, plus a 0% currency conversion charge.
We hope that helps,
Hi, if you also kindly share what Christine and Ivan had found about Home Trust disclosure statement on “0% Foreign Currency Conversion”, then aside from your “past” review picking Home Trust Secured Visa No Annual Fee for those with “Bad Credit”, would any of you (still) find a caveat(s) in their disclosure, hold reservation or still have any reason(s) to pass on this Home Trust Preferred, Equityline or any of their credit cards for that matter (e.g., due to considering this year’s news of this embattled company’s solvency issue caused by bank run from recent controversial disclosure filing allegation by the OSC and short sellers, though that OSC dispute reportedly resolved and might “currently” be “propped up” by Berkshire Hathaway’s legendary Warren Buffet investments). In other words, will you be updating your helpful consumer awareness articles at some point in the future (when you are less busy to focus on it) or perhaps it is still accurate to accept “The bad news is, only two credit card issuers in Canada subsidize the fee, Chase Canada & Rogers Mastercard” pending your further review of HT itself and its practices. Thanks.
Thanks for your thorough dissection of the issue at hand. We always appreciate smart cardholders who can tell us something new!
This matter is another story, however, as we’re aware of the discrepancies and are updating to the Home Trust Preferred card. This will soon reflect on the site. In the meantime, we remain available to those who need quick assistance with their credit card inquiries, and are always working to keep ahead of this quickly-changing industry. Thanks again!
According to Home Trust preferred visa disclosure statement there are no foreign conversion fee. The benefit isn’t advertised but is listed. What am I missing?
Hey Jayson, thanks for stopping by GreedyRates.
Though it may not be advertised in all places, Home Trust cardholders will pay 0% in transaction fees when making purchases in a foreign currency. The spot exchange rate still applies, but the fine print doesn’t lie: no extra fees here. You’re not missing anything, but you may have been confused by our lack of coverage. We will integrate it into our articles to avoid misunderstandings in the future. Enjoy your 0% transaction fees!
Actually, it has 0% foreign exchange fee. Oddly enough, this awesome feature IS NOT stated on their website!
However, you can find it in cardholder agreement.
I just did a application for the home trust preferred visa and it states 0% for foreign currency fees in the terms of the credit card which you can view before making a application. Card looks great to me.
Hi Fred, have confirmed from analysis with the visa exchange rate calculator that the transactions are indeed free of foreign transaction fees as per their “0% Foreign Currency Conversion written” on Home Trust Preferred Visa application Disclosure Statement, which include currency exchange fee-free on cash advances and returns that Rogers always charges their 2.5% fee. In fact, Home Trust has had the zero foreign transaction fee on their Home Trust Equityline Visa for their mortgage customers way before this Preferred one (just ask their VP Miki Asano) so as an fyi summary – this Home Trust Preferred Visa may be suitable for those who “qualify” for a straight 1% without limit cash back credit card without annual fee plus as per their brochures with free basic roadside assistance (up to 4 calls), primary car rental CDW insurance and purchase security insurance among other benefits that are completely missing from both Amazon and Rogers (though the latter two have 2% for Amazon.ca purchases and up to 1.75% cash back respectively). Also, unlike Amazon credit card online tool that is in flux, transactions show up being processed virtually instantaneously as among other features of the Home Trust’s ezcardinfo online tool. This alternative lender, however, has to work on getting some phone app/pay wave feature and currently, if you are looking for that, need more cash back payout options other than annually and/or want huge cash back >1% then do look elsewhere. Hope that helps.
Why is TD claiming that their TD U.S. Dollar Visa* Card saves you the foreign currency exchange fee on their website? Isn’t that deception? I’m so frustrated. I have almost no income and Im trying to build credit. Almost all my purchases online are from the US and Europe because Canadian retailers more often then not refuse to stock quality plus size clothing. I have a learning disability, one of the deficits math related which makes anything but very basic computation confusing. Looks like you need a lot of financial literacy to work around the financial institution credit gouging. I think because of my income the best I can do is stick with the only card my bank offers that has no annual fee. UGH
Thanks for your questions, and don’t worry! We will help you to understand why TD says this and what it means for your purchases abroad. The TD U.S. Dollar VISA card is great for Canadians like yourself who buy online from American retailers. When buying an item that is sold in the United States, no retailer wants to handle Canadian dollars, and so the issuing bank charges their customer (you) a 2.50% fee for converting to the retailer’s currency.
TD is correct when they say that a U.S. store will not charge you this transaction fee when purchasing from Canada, because the account and card are loaded with USD, not CAD. Therefore, your go-to store will see that you’re paying with USD and not assign any extra fees.
However, this means that if you’re buying from Europe that you will be charged this fee, because over there they use Euros, Pounds, and other foreign currencies. It’s also important to note that the TD U.S. Dollar card has an annual fee of $39, so you must be ordering in USD frequently to make it worth your while. Hope that helps! Feel free to get back to us for further clarification if necessary.
I believe in many countries charges are first converted to US$ and then reconverted to Canadian$. Is there double charge? In that case US$ card can save some cost. I am not sure about Europe.
Hi Harry, thanks for your question. Some other readers have heard similar claims that in some foreign countries they convert twice (first to USD and then to CAD). This is yet unfounded and even if it is true, they would not likely charge you twice for the conversion. If you have a source, please post it in the comments! Either way, a USD card is a great companion to have while abroad and at home, as many online retailers ship products to Canada and charge in USD. Thanks for reading.
Hi, I’ve been checking these recommendations in July 2017.
At present, the Marriott offer appears to be the same, though I only read far enough to confirm it’s $120/yr after the first year.
The Rogers offer has changed however: That card is only “no-fee” if you pre-authorize payments for a Rogers,k Chatr, or Fido account on the credit card, otherwise there is an annual fee of $29.
Most of the details described for the Rogers Platinum Mastercard now apply to Rogers Bank’s other offering, the Fido Mastercard. The Fido card has no fee, but has a lower cash-back rate for domestic purchases: 1.5% vs 1.75%. There are several downsides coming from a Scotiabank card, but if you want to avoid the 2.5% foreign exchange fee (if only by putting it against your cashback) then it seems there’s no other no-fee option.
What Scotiabank card are you talking about?
The Scotiabank card I was referring is the former Sears Mastercard (through Chase), now converted to the Scotiabank Momentum Mastercard – which had no foreign exchange fee, no annual fee, and 1% cashback. It retained the same terms for a while but they added the usual 2.5% FX fee earlier this year, though if you were one of the lucky customers they “forgot” about, that doesn’t start until the end of August.
I have the chase marriott and the fee after first year is offset by a free nite at a marriott hotel up to cat 5 which is usually at least $100.00. You have up to 6 months to use hotel credit. I have had it for 3 years and since we do a lot of travelling find it great
That’s good to know, thanks.
I use my chase amazon.ca visa for shopping online (mostly at amazon) and it also has 0% foreign transaction fees. The Chase website is pretty ugly, though!
You are lucky 🙂
“The new applications for the Amazon.ca credit card are no longer accepted as of April 3rd, 2017. Existing Amazon.ca customers will still be serviced and will be able to receive new cards.”
But this card is not available anymore :O(
Me too I use the Chase Amazon card for online shopping. I was lucky that I got it when I did.
Hello! I think you should consider adding the Desjardins Visa U.S. card. The purchases are billed in USD so there is no conversion fees on U.S. dollar transactions. Annual fees 30 USD.
Thanks for your advice and for being a loyal reader of GreedyRates!
We always appreciate when people give us suggestions for our site, and in this case we are happy to agree with you. The Desjardins Visa U.S. card is indeed an impressive contender for the travel category, and accordingly it has a place among the finalists on our Best Travel Credit Cards page. We are still looking into its placement on other pages, and are considering some new additions as well.
As always, our review team is working hard to determine a final list. Thanks again for reading and sharing your comments with us! Have a great day.
I have used a CIBC US dollar Visa card for many years. I pay $US 35 annually. The reason I am still ahead by paying the bill in US cash is that I buy the cash when the exchange rate is good, at my bank where I have a preferred rate. (Every longterm customer should insist on this). I buy $1000 or more each time, which also helps the rate. If I didn’t have US cash on hand when my US bill arrived, I’d be subject to current exchange rate, and in that case it wouldn’t be much of an advantage.
I also use the card often for shopping, for instance on line at Amazon.com, either to save 50% on the same products on Amazon.ca or for products not available in Canada. If sellers will not send to Canada, I have used a US address depot to receive my purchases just over the border in New York State.
My main card is the TD Infinite Visa affiliated with Aeroplan. Will you be publishing an analysis of what Aeroplan devotees should be doing, ramping up to 2020?
We’re so sorry that we took a long time to respond to you, and we’re very grateful that you took the time to write to us. It sounds like you have it all figured out! While bank exchange rates vary, it is smart to withdraw cash in bulk for the month when the rate is at its lowest. This is a unique workaround, and we may even incorporate this advice into our newer articles (great job!). The CIBC card is also great for shopping, as you mentioned.
Concerning what to do with your TD Infinite Aeroplan Visa, we think that for the time being, you’re safe to continue using it, but you may want to research similar cards (on GreedyRates of course!) for when the official breakup of Aeroplan and Air Canada happens in 2020. For more information on this, check out our article here: https://www.greedyrates.ca/blog/how-air-canada-aeroplan-breakup-affects-aeroplan-members/
Thanks again for reading,
Is this the only U.S. card that have no conversion fees on U.S. dollar transactions? What about RBC U.S. card or CIBC?
As Veronica mentioned, the Desjardins card is another relatively good card if you want to be exempt from foreign transactions (for US dollar purchases only). However, if you like, we also recommend exploring the Rogers Mastercard mentioned above, and the Marriott Rewards card in the chart at the bottom of the article. The latter card, while not mentioned much on this page, provides excellent hotel and flight rewards alongside an exemption from foreign transaction fees.
As for RBC and CIBC’s US cards, these are an alternative, but we warned that they require you to open a US dollar account, meaning that if you’d like to use it within Canada, you’ll pay a foreign transaction fee for buying in your local area. Be sure to read the fine print, and ensure that no fees are taken from transactions made in all countries (even your own).
We hope that helps,
Please update this article. I got a Rogers Bank Platinum Card based partly on this recommendation and discovered after using the card extensively during travel that the “4% Cash Back” is NOT CASH BACK. It is a store credit at the Rogers store! I called their customer service and they told me they considered the credit to be “cash” so they do not consider it to be false advertising.
We are very sorry for this late reply, and even more so for the misunderstanding caused by the representative to whom you have spoken to. We got official confirmation from the Rogers bank that “The customer can apply their cash back against any Rogers [card] purchase either instore or online or more importantly, they can redeem against their Rogers bill. Or, they can contact us once per year to receive a statement credit for the value of the points.”
We hope this helps clearing things out.
I would consider calling it cash back as false advertising, since i am not a Rogers client.
Hi Bob, thanks for replying. We always encourage a free discussion in our comments section. To address your concerns, Rogers’ official stance is that their customers can apply their cash back against any Rogers purchase, either in-store or online. More importantly, they can redeem against their Rogers bill. Once per year, you can receive a statement credit for the total value of your points. You are welcome to confirm this matter with Rogers representatives over the phone. If we were unclear, please let us know! Thanks very much.
I’m a snowbird and I’ve been using the Scotia Momentum card (transferred over from Sears/Chase), which will start charging the currency conversion charge as of June 1st, so am looking for a replacement. From reading your article, it appears my only choices are Rogers/Fido and Marriott.
Unfortunately, unless I have missed something in reading their web pages, none of these are a true cash back card, like Scotia was, but rather a rewards card (like the old Sears/Chase card that had no conversion charge) and the points are only good for use at Rogers/Fido or Marriott. Is this right?
Amazon would have been good, as it was just a straight credit on the charge account, but as you pointed out, they aren’t taking new applications.
Hey Brenda, thanks for asking us for clarification.
We understand that you want a true cash back card that does not charge foreign transaction fees on your travels, and are concerned that Scotia will soon be returning to the model of charging these fees. Technically, the Rogers Mastercard is a cash back card, but the method they use to counteract foreign fees is simply by rewarding 4% cash back on these purchases. This means that after the 2.5% fee, you’d earn 1.5% on things you buy abroad (or in foreign currencies).
Regarding Marriott, alongside straightforward exemption from foreign transaction fees, it accrues points only for the Marriott (and Ritz Cartlton, and Starwood Preferred Guest) rewards system. It doesn’t sound like you’re into the hotel rewards, so we recommend checking out the Roger’s Platinum Mastercard instead. Good luck!
Rogers isn’t a viable option because on top of the 2.5% foreign transaction surcharge, the 4% ‘cashback’ isn’t actually cashback as it can only be used as a credit on rogers products. The 2.5% foreign transaction surcharge on top of the rates set by visa and mc (which are already at 1-1.5% above the mid-market rate, so banks make money even with 0% foreign transaction surcharge). So foreign transaction surcharge is really close to 4% here
Getting a USD card at a Canadian institution isn’t a viable option either because a) annual fee b)no, or almost no rewards c) you still got to exchange from CAD to USD. If the banks exchange it for you, they’ll also charge you 3-4%, so you’re even worse off. You can use an fx broker to get it down close to 1%, but by the time you do that, and given the lack of rewards, this option isn’t viable.
Last option is getting a USD card at a US financial institution. The vast majority of US issuers will NOT grant you credit without a SSN and/or US address. I tried Chase, citi & capital one and a few others. But I know of at least 1 – RBC Bank (US). BMO Harris bank wasn’t sure if they could grant me credit or not, and I never heard back from them – they have a 3% fx fee on non-USD transactions anyways though. TD Bank seems like an even better option, but i’m waiting to hear back if they will accept me yet without a US address. The employee wasn’t sure. TD bank USA has the added benefit that a few of there credit cards have no foreign transaction fees on non-USD transactions, plus decent rewards to. I have gone with RBC Bank with the time being, but they do charge a 1.5% fee on non-USD transactions if I were to do any. So pretty good, but not quite as good as TD’s credit card. Getting a US credit card rather than a no fx fee CAD credit card has the added benefit that there’s no 1.5% charge on top of the mid market rate, although with a no fx fee CAD card, that charge still occurs. Plus you still get rewards with US credit cards from US institutions
Now for the fun part. Getting your US credit card paid. You can’t do it from a Canadian financial institution. You need to set up a US bank account with a US institution. The bank account does NOT need to be with the same institution that you have your US credit card with, although it does make it a little bit easier. Between TD/RBC/BMO Harris USA banks, TD actually seems the worst of the 3 because of monthly. BMO seems the best because of no fees, and RBC follows closely in 2nd IMO because they have some no-fee savings account options with limited transactions, and a low fee US chequing account for which the balance can be waived, with unlimited transactions.
Although you don’t need to have your US bank account with your US issuer, you should have a US dollar bank account with a Canadian financial institution. This is because you need to be able to make cross border payments and cibc/td/rbc are the only ones I know that will allow you to do this easily & for free. So make sure to take a look at the US dollar account options at canadian financial institutions as well.
Why are these banks not charging a boatload of money for transfers between the USA & Canada? Well they are actually. If you don’t have a US dollar savings account on both ends the banks take 3-4% on currency conversion – again a rip off. In order to avoid this you need to find a good fx broker. You can get the currency conversion down to as low as 0.5% from the mid-market rate – a far better deal than any bank will give you. You’ll likely need to send your fx broker an EFT in CAD funds, and they will then deposit to your US savings account @ a US financial institution via Direct Deposit. Then you can transfer it over. Most FX brokers will offer to wire funds directly to a destination account in another country, so you bypass the need for a US account at a Canadian bank although. The problem is wires are expensive, so they almost always charge extra for this (usually about $15, which is still a lot better than the banks which charge $40-100). If they don’t charge the $15, they are embedding that cost somewhere in the currency exchange.
So the last step is now to find an FX broker. I’m not going to give out recommendations here, because I don’t want to be advertising for any of them & I’m not affiliated with them. But if you want some suggestions, shoot me a reply or email.
I should clarify that RBC bank USA will definitely grant you and uses your Canadian credit history to do so. I ended up going to RBC bank’s visa signature black card. I although got US dollars accounts with RBC canada & rbc USA although it appeared BMO would have worked just fine as well even if I still used RBC bank usa’s credit card.
Call Rogers bank in December and they will apply your cash back to your account in January.
In Regard of Rogers
CONVERSION All transactions made in a foreign currency are converted to Canadian dollars at the rate established by MasterCard International in effect on the date that we post the transaction to your Account (which may not be the same date as the date of the transaction plus an amount equal to !!!2.5%!! of the transaction amount after it has been converted to Canadian dollars.
So 4 minus 2.5 = 1.5 in favor for FOREIGN CURRENCY CONVERSION. Just want to make sure that everybody understand that is will be NO 4% cash back from it.
Also 29 dollars annual fee on top.
Looks like Rogers Platinum card now has 2.5% foreign transaction fee.
All transactions made in a foreign currency are converted to Canadian dollars at the rate established by MasterCard International in effect on the date that we post the transaction to your Account (which may not be the same date as the date of the transaction plus an amount equal to 2.5% of the transaction amount after it has been converted to Canadian dollars.
We made note of it in our article here:
“Rogers offers 4% cash back on foreign purchases, but charges 2.5% in foreign transaction fees – the net cash back rate is thus 4% cash back – 2.5% fx fee = 1.5% in net cash back. The Amazon card used to offer 1% cash back with no foreign transaction fees, 1% cash back – 0% fx fee = 1% in net cash back. As a result, Rogers offers 50% more cash back than the Amazon Visa card.”
We hope that helps,
Tangerine CC is going to charge 2.5% soon, Amazon is shutting down its Visa.
We have only two options now: Rogers Platinum MasterCard and Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Card
Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Card is not for everyone ($120 per year fee) so we have only one option for now: Rogers Platinum MasterCard
Greedy banks 🙂
I was just on the phone with Amazon.ca. They has just sent me a renewal card since my expires in June 2017. I mentioned to them what I have just read regarding Amazon.ca Visa not being available any more. This is incorrect information. IT IS AVAILABLE and there are no FX charges. I travel a lot in Europe and the US and use only Amazon.ca Visa.
Thank you for your comment. We apologize for the confusion, should have mentioned that only new applications for the Amazon.ca credit card are no longer accepted as of April 3rd, 2017. Existing Amazon.ca customers will still be serviced and will be able to receive new cards.
Thanks for reading!
Anyone know what’s up with the Amazon card? I’m kind of kicking myself now for not applying for that. Is Chase partnering with a different insitution?
Also, FYI there is a $29 Annual Fee for the Rogers Mastercard, but it’s waived in the first year and every year after that if you have a Rogers / Fido phone and pre-authorize your payments on the card.
We’re sorry to say that Chase bank no longer offers the Amazon card in Canada. While this is unfortunate (you’re right, it was a great card), there are other options out there that are just as beneficial. One of the biggest advantages of the Amazon card was the exemption from foreign transaction fees.
The good news is that Chase still offers their powerful Marriott card to Canadians (read our full review here), which also does not charge foreign transaction fees. And for those who enjoy luxurious hotel visits, it gives cardholders a free night in any 1-5 star hotel every year and 5 points per dollar spent at Marriott and Starwood properties worldwide. With 2 points per dollar on car rentals, restaurants and airfare, those who love travel benefits will love this card as well.
We hope this helps,
Hi Greedy Rate,
I already have the Amazon Chase Visa card, is it still good ?
Also does that Amazon Vaisa Chase card still offer no fee for foreign transaction like on Europe ?
Hey Yves, thanks for asking us some excellent questions.
In regards to your concerns about your Amazon Chase Visa card, we are happy to tell you that there is little to worry about. While Chase and Visa no longer offer their Amazon card to NEW applicants, those who managed to grab this great credit card before it was discontinued can use it as intended without issue. It still works as it was advertised originally, however, it will only exempt foreign transaction fees for another undetermined length of time before incurring them again at some point. We think this may be soon. This is not because the deal was simply too good, but rather because Chase is leaving Canada and ending their relationship with Canadian rewards franchises.
We hope that helps,
Thansks a lot GreedyRates !
Using the Amazon card for a cash advance at a normal bank ATM in Europe, will there be any charges beyond the $5 or 1%? As in does Chase add on any ATM use fees…?