Most people who apply for a credit card use it for a long time, whether to pay for small purchases or big-ticket items. Some customers never switch between issuers while others use their card for years, making the choice of a provider and product an important one. When comparison shopping, the most important factors include your spending habits, credit history, whether you tend to carry a balance, and if you are going to use it to pay personal or business expenses.
If you usually pay your balance in full and want to collect loyalty or rewards points, then a rewards or cashback card is a good choice. Many issuers offer bonus points across categories such as business-related spending, dining, grocery shopping, gas, and travel purchases. If you are travelling a lot for work or leisure, for example, you may want to look into different travel rewards cards. Scotiabank PassportTM Visa Infinite, for instance, offers users 2 points per $1 on transit, entertainment, dining, and groceries and 1 point per $1 on all other purchases. Spending $1,000 during the first three months earns 30,000 travel rewards points worth $300. Added benefits include car rental discounts, no foreign transaction fees, and complimentary lounge access.
If this is your first card, a cashback credit card is a better option as money back offers are easier to understand than airmile, hotel, and travel rewards. The BMO Cashback MasterCard is one product to look into if groceries make a large chunk of your spending. BMO offers 3 percent back on groceries, 1 percent on utility bills, and 0.5 percent on other eligible purchases. The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite is another good card for household spending if you have a personal income of $60,000 or higher. All purchases earn 10 percent back during the first 3 months and 1 percent after the introductory period. Added perks include concierge service, travel medical insurance, and emergency road services.
If you wish to improve your credit, then you may want to choose a secure credit card. Refresh Secured Card is one option to consider as it comes with a low deposit of just $200 and an annual fee of $48. All payments are reported to the major credit bureaus to help customers improve their score provided that they make timely payments. The Home Trust Secured Visa is another card for persons with poor and bad credit, and the best part is that they don’t have minimum income requirements. It works just like a regular card, with payments reported to both TransUnion and Equifax. Customers are free to choose between low interest or no annual fee and a limit of up to $10,000.
If you only pay the minimum and want to save on interest charges, then choosing a low interest card is a smart move. MBNA True Line comes with the lowest rate by far – just 8.99 percent on access cheques, balance transfers, and regular purchases. Not only this, but MBNA offers trip assistance, emergency services, car rental discounts, and zero interest rate on balance transfers that are made during the first 10 months. Desjardins Modulo Visa also comes with a low rate of 10.9 percent, rewards scheme, travel insurance, and insurance for tablets, smartphones, and mobile phones. All purchases earn 1 percent, and rewards can be redeemed for travel, show tickets, and gift cards and rewards such as small and major appliances, pet accessories, robotics, drones, and toys, and more. Points can also be exchanged for savings products, insurance, service fees, TFSA, RESP, and RRSP, and other financial products.
If you are enrolled in college or university, then applying for a student credit card is a smart move. This is a good way to build your credit history provided that you make regular payments. Some issuers also offer cash back and rewards that help cover food, textbooks, and bills. A good starter card would be the Scotiabank Scene Visa as it comes with no annual fee, discounts on car rentals, and supplementary cards. The best part is that customers earn 5 bonus points per dollar spent at Cineplex.com and Cineplex theatres. The Scotiabank Scene Visa won the CreditcardGenius People’s Choice award in 2020 and is ideal for students with no credit history.
This is a good choice for borrowers with high interest credit cards so that they benefit from low promotional rates. Some issuers also offer to wave fees on balance transfers and feature cashback and rewards schemes. Others offer products with low introductory and standard purchase rates, the BMO® Preferred Rate MasterCard® being one example. Customers benefit from a low introductory rate of 3.99 percent and a standard rate of just 12.99 percent on purchases and cash advances. Users who have a Performance Plan with their checking account are also offered a $20 annual fee rebate. Another card with low intro and standard rates is the MBNA True Line® Gold Mastercard, featuring a zero balance transfer rate over a period of 6 months. The standard purchase rate is just 8.99 percent. Up to 9 users can be added free of charge. MBNA also offers emergency services, trip assistance, and Budget and Avis car rental discounts. Some balance transfer cards also offer money back, rewards points, insurance coverage, and other incentives. The Tangerine World Mastercard® comes with a low promotional rate of 1.95 percent, mobile device insurance, and 2 percent money back. Customers can choose 2 categories to get money back, and featured categories include public transportation and parking, entertainment, recurring bill payments, restaurants, and furniture.
If you run a business, you may want to get a business card to build credit for your company. The main benefits for customers include simple expense management, larger credit limits, and control over employee spending. The choice of a card depends on whether you travel often, wish to save on interest charges or annual fees, or are looking for a comprehensive insurance package. The card that offers the largest welcome bonus by far is the Marriott Bonvoy Business American Express® Card. Holders are offered 50,000 welcome rewards points worth 3 hotel nights and 3 points per dollar on travel, dining, and gas purchases. Points can be redeemed toward nights at luxury hotels such as Westin, Sheraton, Four Points, and The Luxury Collection. Holders can also redeem points for pro golf clinics, backstage concert passes, meet and greets with famous athletes and artists, and airfare. Another card that offers a generous welcome bonus of 42,000 rewards points is the American Express Business Edge Card. Customers earn 3X points on business-related purchases such as gas, rides, electronics, and office supplies. The fact that American Express offers comprehensive purchase, travel, and business insurance is an added benefit. The coverage includes a buyer’s assistance protection plan, car rental damage and theft insurance, and employee card misuse protection. Added incentives for members are special experiences and offers and front of the line e-updates, reserved tickets, and advance access.