Best Credit Card (2016-2017)

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Descartes
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Best Credit Card (2016-2017)

Post by Descartes » 03 Jan 2016 15:11

A data point for those considering changing credit cards:

I've recently switched to the Tangerine card from MBNA SmartCash World card.
- Both are no fee, cash-back MasterCards.
- Both offered a minimum of 1% bonus or "dividend" on all purchases.
- Once MBNA offered 2% on grocery and gas but they've since capped that at the first $400 per month which has severely limited its value for me.
- Tangerine offers 2% on any two categories and will extend that to three categories if the "dividends" are paid into your Tangerine bank account with no cap.
- Tangerine has a better on-line interface. For example, you get a running tally of both posted and pending transactions and accumulated "dividends" accessible through the same login as your bank account.

So, what I've decided is:
- Tangerine for grocery - 2%
- Tangerine for restaurant - 2%
- Tangerine for home improvement - 2%
- MBNA for gas - 2%
- Tangerine for all else - 1%

Here is a link to the Tangerine credit card info:
https://www.tangerine.ca/en/spending/cr ... index.html
Last edited by Administrator on 31 Dec 2016 09:48, edited 1 time in total.
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iluvnascar
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Re: Best Credit Card

Post by iluvnascar » 04 Jan 2016 09:28

I've recently made a change - my first change in many years.

I still use my CIBC Drivers Edge card (now grandfathered and not available for new issue) most things - it pays 2% which is redeemable upon purchase/lease of a vehicle. You can even apply for a lease payment once a year.

But I recently added a PC World Elite Mastercard - it earns me 3% on groceries purchased at Loblaws stores (incl Superstore, No Frills, & ???), in the form of PC Plus points - which are redeemable for grocery purchases. You also earn 3% at Shoppers Drug Mart; and at PC gas bars (which usually have the cheapest gas around)! And when you buy cheap gas and get a 3% kicker at a PC gas bar, you also get 2-3% in the form of a cash coupon redeemable for groceries.

In summary - 3%+ on gas; 3% at Shoppers & Loblaws stores; 2% on everything else. None of it is actual cash.....but getting a cheque or credit for buying/leasing a car and buying groceries is, to me, just the same as cash.
Last edited by iluvnascar on 04 Jan 2016 13:33, edited 1 time in total.

queerasmoi
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Re: Best Credit Card

Post by queerasmoi » 04 Jan 2016 10:23

Descartes wrote: - Tangerine for grocery - 2%
- Tangerine for restaurant - 2%
- Tangerine for home improvement - 2%
- MBNA for gas - 2%
- Tangerine for all else - 1%
In my case as a single person the MBNA cap does not limit me on groceries, so I'm currently doing:
MBNA for gas, grocery 2%
Tangerine for restaurants, pharmacies and pre-authorized payments 2%
Everything else 1% kind of randomly divided between the two

As an apartment-dweller, home improvement is not a relevant category to me ;)

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Re: Best Credit Card

Post by pmj » 04 Jan 2016 12:35

iluvnascar wrote:I recently added a PC World Elite Mastercard - it earns me 3% on groceries in the form of PC Plus points - which are redeemable for grocery purchases. You also earn 3% at Shoppers Drug Mart; and at PC gas bars (which usuallly have the cheapest gas around)! And when you buy cheap gas and get a 3% kicker at a PC gas bar, you also get 2-3% in the form of a cash coupon redeemable for groceries.
At the PC gas bar I use, the coupons have been replaced by an equivalent credit to the PC points (which saves having to keep, find and remember to use the coupons!).
Also, using the new the PC card at Esso stations:
Earn 3 cents per purchased litre of Esso Supreme (Octane 91) and Esso SUPREME+ (Octane 93) gasoline only. Earn 2 cents per purchased litre on other gasoline or diesel. Cents per litre is payable in PC points when you use your President’s Choice Financial World Elite MasterCard at Esso stations in Canada. 2 cents per litre amounts to 20 PC points. 3 cents per litre amounts to 30 PC points. - which when added to the regular 1% at non-PC locations is less than the benefit at PC gas bars - but it's more than MBNA's 2% - and there are more Esso stations!

A Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum card, plus an RBC Mastercard, gives more like 4%, depending how you redeem (but getting max value when redeeming SDM optimum points requires a lot more planning than does redeeming PC points).
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Re: Best Credit Card

Post by Descartes » 04 Jan 2016 13:20

Not to contradict but with PC World Elite Mastercard you are restricted to the world of Loblaws grocery stores.
We, at least, do not find the best prices there for all items. Nor does Esso/PC gas bar always have the best per litre price available.

MBNA and Tangerine are neither bound to a particular grocery chain or gas company.

Of course, one could add more cards and switch between them depending on the store being used like some here switch between bank accounts to get the best yield on their cash. For a few hundred bucks a year though, that personally seems a bit onerous to me.
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iluvnascar
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Re: Best Credit Card

Post by iluvnascar » 04 Jan 2016 13:31

".....Not to contradict but with PC World Elite Mastercard you are restricted to the world of Loblaws grocery stores. "

Agreed - but the world of Loblaws stores includes No Frills; Superstore; Loblaws; Shoppers; and perhaps others. We use our CIBC Drivers Edge (2%) for all purchases other than Loblaws/Shoppers.

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Best Credit Card 2016

Post by fundamental » 20 Jan 2016 08:10

Here it is, hot off the press.

Disclaimer: My choice has been Capital One Aspire World Elite M/C for the past 2 years :thumbsup:
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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by 2 yen » 20 Jan 2016 09:20

Using the Amazon Visa in the south. I love the card (well, love may be a bit too strong), but the U.S. seems to be a complete mixture of approaches in how to handle credit card transactions. Many places don't require a signature or a PIN. Some require just a PIN and some require both. Also, the habit of taking credit cards away to process them, like at restaurants, is a little unnerving. One gas station wouldn't let me buy $20 of gas inside the station and the attendant even said to just leave the card and go ahead and pump! :roll: These issues likely apply to all cards from Canada, though. Thankfully, the Chase Canada website is easy to use and thorough.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by longinvest » 20 Jan 2016 09:48

I've got two cards. I use the Tangerine MC card for domestic transactions and the Visa Amazon (Chase) card for foreign transactions. What I'd like is for Chase to get rid of its paper statement or for Tangerine to drop its 1.5% foreign conversion fee.
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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by kcowan » 20 Jan 2016 12:36

2 yen wrote:These issues likely apply to all cards from Canada, though. Thankfully, the Chase Canada website is easy to use and thorough.
This year all the retailers accept PIN only in Mexico. Gives me a sense of confidence in the Chase card. Same in Italy in September.
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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by kcowan » 20 Jan 2016 12:39

longinvest wrote:What I'd like is for Chase to get rid of its paper statement...
It is totally redundant because all the info is on their web site.
For the fun of it...Keith

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by pmj » 20 Jan 2016 12:47

kcowan wrote:
longinvest wrote:What I'd like is for Chase to get rid of its paper statement...
It is totally redundant because all the info is on their web site.
Not quite - it shows all the current balance, the transactions, the payment due date, the minimum payment, and a full summary of the points - but it doesn't show the payment due. IOW, there's no actual "statement" - and nothing that can be downloaded as a statement record.
So to pay the bill you either have to pay the current balance, or calculate the payment due from the transactions and their dates (or go online on the statement date!)
Peter

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by DenisD » 20 Jan 2016 13:09

longinvest wrote:What I'd like is for Chase to get rid of its paper statement...
When I asked about this a year or two ago, I was told that Chase doesn't have the same status as other Canadian banks. They're not allowed to stop sending paper statements.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by Okanagan » 20 Jan 2016 13:35

kcowan » 20 Jan 2016 12:36

2 yen wrote:
These issues likely apply to all cards from Canada, though. Thankfully, the Chase Canada website is easy to use and thorough.

This year all the retailers accept PIN only in Mexico. Gives me a sense of confidence in the Chase card. Same in Italy in September.
Except that a couple of times in November and early December in the Mega store in Bucerias and Walmart in Mezcales (near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico) my Chase Amazon visa did not work with the pin and the cashier was able to program something in the register/pinpad that over rode and allowed the charge to go through and I had to sign the bill....shows that these cards can be processed in Mexico without the pin if they have too. The cards have worked fine since and I regularly check to make sure the card has not been hacked.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by peter » 20 Jan 2016 14:22

I canceled several cards for the new year. Down to Amex Platinum, the new PCF Financial (after they agreed to raise my limit back to where it was before they cut it by >90% 'to better meet my needs'), Amazon Visa, and Westjet MC. I actually paid $99 for the Westjet card, not convinced that will pan out this year and I might cancel it for next year. I used the Amazon Visa a lot in the past few months in the US and elsewhere without any problems, a first for me for that card. That card is quite valuable. I've given up on trying to get the Marriott version.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by pmj » 20 Jan 2016 15:26

I've almost given up trying to persuade myself that I can make real money earning 2% on annual-fee cards when I can get 1% credit on everything on Amazon's VISA (and that's cash against the balance, not points for future purchases, which is a true 1% discount .. rather than points which give $101 value for $100 spent = 0.99% discount :geek:); 2% credit on gas & groceries from MBNA; and around 3% in points at Loblaws, etc, & Esso on the new PCF Elite card. And with gas so cheap, it's now better than 3.5% at Esso :D.
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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by SkaSka » 20 Jan 2016 16:13

fundamental wrote:Here it is, hot off the press.

Disclaimer: My choice has been Capital One Aspire World Elite M/C for the past 2 years :thumbsup:
+1

I got this card back in 2013 when it was 35,000 bonus points on first purchase and 10,000 anniversary bonus points (which almost negated the $120 annual fee as the 10,000 had travel redemption value of $100).

Now there is no anniversary bonus (those who got in before they axed it got grandfathered and still receive the 10,000 anniversary bonus) and it's a one time 40,000 bonus on first $1,000 spent in the first 3 months.

Even at these reduced benefits, I think it can still be a useful card if you funnel enough expenses through it to generate enough points.

For what it's worth, we have so far redeemed 2 return flights to London and still have points remaining that makes this card a net positive even though we've paid a few years of the $120 annual fee :thumbsup:

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by 2 yen » 20 Jan 2016 17:42

kcowan wrote:
2 yen wrote:These issues likely apply to all cards from Canada, though. Thankfully, the Chase Canada website is easy to use and thorough.
This year all the retailers accept PIN only in Mexico. Gives me a sense of confidence in the Chase card. Same in Italy in September.
That's great. The U.S. needs to catch up to Mexico. We also had no problems in Europe last fall.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by kcowan » 21 Jan 2016 09:08

Okanagan wrote:[Except that a couple of times in November and early December in the Mega store in Bucerias and Walmart in Mezcales (near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico) my Chase Amazon visa did not work with the pin and the cashier was able to program something in the register/pinpad that over rode and allowed the charge to go through and I had to sign the bill....shows that these cards can be processed in Mexico without the pin if they have too. The cards have worked fine since and I regularly check to make sure the card has not been hacked.
We used our with PIN at Mega Flamingos Dec 30th so they must have fixed it.
pmj wrote:Not quite - it shows all the current balance, the transactions, the payment due date, the minimum payment, and a full summary of the points - but it doesn't show the payment due. IOW, there's no actual "statement" - and nothing that can be downloaded as a statement record.
So to pay the bill you either have to pay the current balance, or calculate the payment due from the transactions and their dates (or go online on the statement date!)
Yes I guess I pay the current balance. Has been working since June 2014. And yes they say they must mail statements to comply with US Law. We just never get them in time.
For the fun of it...Keith

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by 2 yen » 21 Jan 2016 18:07

kcowan wrote:
Okanagan wrote:[Except that a couple of times in November and early December in the Mega store in Bucerias and Walmart in Mezcales (near Puerto Vallarta in Mexico) my Chase Amazon visa did not work with the pin and the cashier was able to program something in the register/pinpad that over rode and allowed the charge to go through and I had to sign the bill....shows that these cards can be processed in Mexico without the pin if they have too. The cards have worked fine since and I regularly check to make sure the card has not been hacked.
We used our with PIN at Mega Flamingos Dec 30th so they must have fixed it.
pmj wrote:Not quite - it shows all the current balance, the transactions, the payment due date, the minimum payment, and a full summary of the points - but it doesn't show the payment due. IOW, there's no actual "statement" - and nothing that can be downloaded as a statement record.
So to pay the bill you either have to pay the current balance, or calculate the payment due from the transactions and their dates (or go online on the statement date!)
Yes I guess I pay the current balance. Has been working since June 2014. And yes they say they must mail statements to comply with US Law. We just never get them in time.
We have managed to get almost all our statements from banks etc in online form. That bloody Chase statement finally made me buy a shredder after having never owned one before. :D

2 yen

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by bootsie » 22 Jan 2016 12:24

Does anyone have any recommendations for USD credit cards? I don't believe anyone offers one with rewards? I work in the US & convert my pay via TD borderless ("preferred rate") accounts so I use the TD USD visa & just make payments with my US earnings. I'm assuming I'm getting a better rate this way than actually making USD purchases on a CAD card (with 1% reward), even with 1% cashback & no currency transaction fees?

Does anyone use or recommend a USD (Canadian) card? I would love to reap rewards from US purchases as my USD Visa bill is almost always over $1k / month but I'm unable to get approved for any credit cards from a US bank because I reside in Canada (cross border commuter). I've tried to get a TD Bank (US) card but they don't like my Canadian address. :evil:

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by kcowan » 22 Jan 2016 13:06

The problem getting any kind of financial instrument in a foreign country is that they need a local address to enforce any payment obligations you might generate.
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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by Arby » 22 Jan 2016 14:03

bootsie wrote:
Does anyone use or recommend a USD (Canadian) card? I would love to reap rewards from US purchases as my USD Visa bill is almost always over $1k / month but I'm unable to get approved for any credit cards from a US bank because I reside in Canada (cross border commuter). I've tried to get a TD Bank (US) card but they don't like my Canadian address. :evil:
RBC offered me a US-based credit card without the requirement for a US address, (or at least that was their policy a few years ago). You should check with RBC. See here.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by Thegipper » 22 Jan 2016 17:18

kcowan wrote:The problem getting any kind of financial instrument in a foreign country is that they need a local address to enforce any payment obligations you might generate.
We have a Capital One and American Express issued in the USA . We did give them our winter address and telephone number both in TX.

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Re: Best Credit Card 2016

Post by Spudd » 22 Jan 2016 17:55

bootsie wrote:Does anyone have any recommendations for USD credit cards? I don't believe anyone offers one with rewards? I work in the US & convert my pay via TD borderless ("preferred rate") accounts so I use the TD USD visa & just make payments with my US earnings. I'm assuming I'm getting a better rate this way than actually making USD purchases on a CAD card (with 1% reward), even with 1% cashback & no currency transaction fees?

Does anyone use or recommend a USD (Canadian) card? I would love to reap rewards from US purchases as my USD Visa bill is almost always over $1k / month but I'm unable to get approved for any credit cards from a US bank because I reside in Canada (cross border commuter). I've tried to get a TD Bank (US) card but they don't like my Canadian address. :evil:
The Amazon visa doesn't charge foreign exchange fees and gives 1% cash back, it seems like that would fit the bill for you.

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