Credit cards offer an easy and convenient way to buy goods and services and can even help you keep track of your expenses. These days, most cards come attached to a rewards program. That said, some rewards programs are better than others. Hence, I have created my list of the Best Canadian Credit Cards 2017.
First, let me clarify how I created this list of the Best Canadian Credit Cards 2017.
- Most of my selected cards are “cash-back” cards. Why? Because cash is easy to understand AND unlike other kinds of rewards, cash is easily redeemed. For example, what is the true value of 100,000 air miles? How many movies can you see with 10,000 cineplex points? How many stays will 1,000 hotel chain points equal? Furthermore, what are the conditions required to actually use these rewards? If there are many restrictions on how to redeem the rewards, is it still worth it? Cash-back is easy to understand and your cash-back amount will usually be applied to your account at the end of each year. Therefore, cash-back i super easy to understand and redeem! Boo-yeah!
- Secondly, my Best Canadian Credit Cards 2017 list focuses on cards with minimal or no annual fees. Credit cards with annual fees are far more difficult to compare because it depends on how much you spend using your card, and how much you value the particular rewards offered. In my case, I’d only consider an annual fee card if I was spending over $50,000/year and I do not even come close to that. My suggestion is that if you have your heart set on an annual fees card, spend some time doing the math to decide if it makes sense for your situation.
- Thirdly, and perhaps this is the most important point of this whole post. Never use a credit card to buy something you can’t pay for in full by the end of the month. No rewards points program is even close to worth the extra interest. I repeat, credit card interest rates are killers! If you need a loan, there are far better options out there. Perhaps, I’ll write more on that topic in the future….
Sheesh, that was a mouthful! Now let’s get to it……
Best Canadian Credit Cards 2017
- Rogers Bank Platinum MasterCard – No annual fee in the first year, AND a bonus credit of $25! Second year $29 annual fee(waived, if you have Rogers pre-authorized bill payments.) Offers 1.75% cash back on any Canadian dollar purchase. Offers 4% back on any foreign currency purchase, BUT there is a 2.5% currency exchange fee. Therefore, cash-back on foreign currency purchases is 1.5%. Not bad, considering nearly every credit card has a -2.5% foreign currency exchange fee. Keep in mind that if you are unable to get the annual fee waived in the second year, that as soon as you spend $1,657.14, you will have earned $29 in cash-back. At that point, the card has paid for itself.
- Capital One Platinum MasterCard (for Costco Members) – No annual fee. Offers 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and 2% on gas purchases. Everything else is at .5% until you spend your first $3,000 annually, and then it goes to 1%. I use this card for gas and restaurants only because my Rogers Bank Platinum MasterCard gets 1.75% on any Canadian dollar purchase.
- PC Financial World Elite MasterCard – No annual fee. Offers 3% PC Points on all Superstore/Shopper’s Drug Mart purchases. Not exactly “cash-back,” but PC Points can be used to purchase most items inside a Superstore(groceries, clothes, furniture, etc.) so you will have little trouble redeeming them. PC Points are also easy to understand. i.e. 10,000 PC Points = $10. Finally, Superstore usually has very competitive pricing as well. I use this card for purchases at Superstore only.
Amazon.ca Rewards Visa – No annual fee. Offers Amazon points, which have some value, I guess, maybe??? The real value is that there is no foreign currency exchange fee. I use this card when I need to buy something using a foreign currency and am unable to use my Rogers Bank Platinum MasterCard. For example, in the United States, Costco only accepts Visa. Kind of weird since in Canada, Costco only allows MasterCard.
To summarize, each card I use depends specifically on the kind of purchase I make. If I play my cards right,(oh-oh! credit card pun!) I can receive 1.5% – 3% cash back on almost anything. To put that in perspective, if I spend $1000, I’m looking at $15-$30 cash-back.
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