Best Credit Card

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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Nemo2 » 16 Oct 2011 16:29

Taggart wrote:
CROCKD wrote:newguy

My daughter is still building seniority. Her S.O. works for Jazz so I qualify for reduced fare flights accompanied.


Used to get "free" family passes. Started off with DC3's, North Star's and Super Connies. At that time it was actually fun to fly.

While we're reminiscing.....my late wife had an association with Air France when we were in Riyadh...........not only did we get free tickets to wherever we wanted to fly with them, our tickets were stamped 'Upgrade If Available' and more often than not we flew first class.......sometimes a 'round about' route...Riyadh-Paris-Nairobi for example, (with a comped hotel in Paris), but it was a comfortable round about. :D
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Shine » 17 Oct 2011 02:37

bylo wrote:
Be aware that all points expire 7 years after you get them regardless of account activity. AP started this practice about 5 years ago so there will be a huge demand for seats next year and in 2013 as people who've been accumulating points for a "dream vacation" begin to see that dream turn into a nightmare. You should have gotten an e-mail about this in the past month or so (at least if you're in the tsunami of expiring points.) You may become a victim of that tsunami regardless.


This information does concern me. I recall getting a notice about keeping one's account active, however I do not recall getting any notice, email, letter, advising that all points will expire at some time.

So it seems that if the administrating agency is minimizing access to redeem points for flights, and also expiring those points at an arbitrary date, they are in fact breaching their contract responsibility.

A similar event occurred here in BC last year when BC Ferries tried to rule that advance purchased tickets that were not used could not be redeemed or credited to the consumer's account. BC Ferries backed down and so should Air Canada and AP.

There is a breach of contract here I think since individuals who originally accumulated points several years ago were not advised to redeem them within a specified time frame and the originator changed the contractual rules without consultation.

This should be lawsuit territory.

Then again, much smarter people than I have no doubt reviewed this. Sorry for the rant.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Bylo Selhi » 17 Oct 2011 08:33

Shine wrote:There is a breach of contract here I think since individuals who originally accumulated points several years ago were not advised to redeem them within a specified time frame and the originator changed the contractual rules without consultation.

This should be lawsuit territory.

It's been a while since I looked at the terms and conditions but as I recall there's lots of stuff like, "the points belong to AC", "the points have no cash value", "AC reserves the right to discontinue or change the program at any time", "terms subject to change at AC's whim", etc. In addition, the AC/AP with which we originally enrolled has gone through CCAA reorganization, etc. IANAL but I don't think those who are will have a legal leg to stand on.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby adrian2 » 17 Oct 2011 11:34

Shine wrote:This information does concern me. I recall getting a notice about keeping one's account active, however I do not recall getting any notice, email, letter, advising that all points will expire at some time.

The fact that you don't recall any notice or email does not make it so. There have been quite a few such warnings in the past 5 years or so. At least you read Bylo's warning above; I was preparing to write a similar one when I've realized that Bylo has already done it.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby newguy » 17 Oct 2011 11:57

TD travel card changed many years ago from expiry to no expiry. But who doesn't travel anywhere for 5-7 years anyway. They're so flexible it doesn't matter.

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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Bylo Selhi » 17 Oct 2011 13:09

newguy wrote:But who doesn't travel anywhere for 5-7 years anyway.

Suppose you're saving for a once-in-a-lifetime round-the-world dream vacation for which the flights cost 250k points per person. If you don't fly a lot, or even if you do but tend to use discount fare classes that only give 50% points or even none at all, then you won't be able to reach your goal before the earliest points expire. Even if you charge everything you buy, it's unlikely you'll be able to accumulate more than 25k points per year (plus flights.)
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby newguy » 17 Oct 2011 13:12

Bylo Selhi wrote:
newguy wrote:But who doesn't travel anywhere for 5-7 years anyway.

Suppose you're saving for a once-in-a-lifetime round-the-world dream vacation for which the flights cost 250k points per person. If you don't fly a lot, or even if you do but tend to use discount fare classes that only give 50% points or even none at all, then you won't be able to reach your goal before the earliest points expire. Even if you charge everything you buy, it's unlikely you'll be able to accumulate more than 25k points per year (plus flights.)

Well I, and I think you, would suggest a bank account of some sort for long term savings.

You're probably talking about aeroplan points which are harder to use. I can use TD travel points for golf trips or rental cars etc. I try not to 'lend' my money to banks (or government) for years with no return.

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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby AltaRed » 17 Oct 2011 13:31

Bylo Selhi wrote:
newguy wrote:But who doesn't travel anywhere for 5-7 years anyway.

Suppose you're saving for a once-in-a-lifetime round-the-world dream vacation for which the flights cost 250k points per person. If you don't fly a lot, or even if you do but tend to use discount fare classes that only give 50% points or even none at all, then you won't be able to reach your goal before the earliest points expire. Even if you charge everything you buy, it's unlikely you'll be able to accumulate more than 25k points per year (plus flights.)

That is a moving target in itself. The number of points required to travel have crept up. That won't change with all the travel/Avion cards. Anything other than a cashback card is foolhardy in my opinion.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Bylo Selhi » 17 Oct 2011 14:07

newguy wrote:You're probably talking about aeroplan points which are harder to use.
Yes.
I try not to 'lend' my money to banks (or government) for years with no return.
This isn't quite the same. In any case, as AltaRed says, airline frequent flyer programs are a moving target. They devalue the points (need more for a free flight, need to pay extra fees and fuel surcharges.) They reduce the number of available seats on each flight so it's harder to collect even when you have the points. They add restrictions (point expiration) so that it becomes harder and harder to get a "free" flight unless you're a Elite status frequent flyer.

Like AltaRed I switched to a cash-back card a few years ago. Once I use up my existing AP points I'll stop collecting them in earnest (and start flying WestJet from Waterloo Regional airport rather than Pearson whenever possible.)
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby newguy » 17 Oct 2011 14:39

Bylo Selhi wrote:Like AltaRed I switched to a cash-back card a few years ago.
I keep thinking about it every year after I use my points. The only thing is I get 5* for booking travel through TD and that is usually my biggest point gain for the year and I can't use them until the next trip or whatever. It's also 1.5¢ per dollar and 5* that for travel with no maximum (doesn't matter to me). Can a cash back card match that? It's almost a cash back card because you just call them and say which line on your statement is travel and they apply a block of points to it.

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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby AltaRed » 17 Oct 2011 15:04

It depends on the card. Premium cards pay 2% cash back. But I'd stay away from anything tied to a specific travel scheme, e.g. Aeroplan. AP sucks. I'd rather hold their corporate bonds.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby westinvest » 18 Oct 2011 00:24

I think that all depends on how you value the rewards. As discussed above, the price of a regular economy ticket vs using AP points yield a value of 1-2 cents a point, so you're probably as well off with a cash back, particularly given the restrictions and hassles for an AP ticket that you mentioned. If you want to fly in a premium cabin the value per point might go to 6 cents a point or more, IF you indeed value the extra comfort, leg room, etc. For me, the value of a good nights sleep on an intercontinental run makes those AP points more valuable than 2% cash back, but that's just me. If I book an economy ticket for 60k points to Europe and barely break even vs a paid ticket, that's not good value for my AP points, but if I fly business class for an extra 30K points, the value of the ticket I get has gone from $1200 to $6000, so the incremental value of those 30K points is significant - but again only if you value the extra benefit.

Even if I book Air Transat the few extra inches of leg room in Club Class will cost $600 extra, so an extra 20-30K AP points to fly business class is a fair deal. The other travel cards that use your points to buy travel don't give you any leverage to fly anything but economy.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Taggart » 18 Oct 2011 02:13

I don't even bother using cards to obtain free or upgraded travel. Too much hassle. I use them for what others say is the lowest value. Aeroplan points for Esso car washes, and Air Miles for Metro supermarket. I'm getting at least $600 "cash" back per year just by using an MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard. That in itself will easily pay for a discounted flight within North America.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby CROCKD » 21 Oct 2011 18:08

Article on Frequent Flyer points from the Melbourne Age. Main subject Qantas : just substitute Air Canada.

Points of contention

As the ACA's Choice magazine observes in its latest survey, travellers achieve more overall savings if they just shop around for the best fare.
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It has become confusing

Postby Benchwarmer » 23 Oct 2011 14:40

Taggart wrote:Yes, true if the merchant has paypass. Most of them don't, and the one's the do, a lot of the terminals don't work even if the purchase is under $50. It used to be, you just swiped, but now they want you to insert the newer chip card and press in your pin number. Most you insert from the bottom, but a few others it's from the top. One grocery store made me swipe and then insert the card. I said to the cashier, "you gotta be kidding?" It would help too if the screens were all the same format, but they aren't. Aggravating what I have to do for an extra fifty bucks every couple of months. :lol:


I agree that it has become confusing.

- Do I give the credit card to the clerk, or not?
- Do I swipe, tap or insert? Or some combination thereof, as happened to Taggart? Just because there are Paypass terminals, does it work or not work?
- Do I enter a PIN or not? With the PCF Mastercard there is no PIN, but some merchants insists on one (I found out afterwards that in such a case, you can enter one generic PIN!).
- Do I sign or not? In some cases it is under $100, other times it is under $50, in some cases never (McDonald's). And it is not consistent even at the exact same store.

The one that really bugs me is the Safeway self-checkout. The photos on display on their LCD bears no resemblance to the actual device - it is almost as if they want to make it intentionally confusing. I am tempted to just pay cash and forgo the 1% back. With the added advantage that they won't be able to track my spending habits at all.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby queerasmoi » 24 Oct 2011 14:40

My cousin is visiting from LA and she's treated me and her son to dinner on a few occasions. Each time she leaves her credit card and then goes to the bathroom, leaving the waiter stuck at the table with the portable machine, because nobody uses them in the US. She is still getting used to it.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Nemo2 » 24 Oct 2011 14:46

queerasmoi wrote:My cousin is visiting from LA and she's treated me and her son to dinner on a few occasions. Each time she leaves her credit card and then goes to the bathroom, leaving the waiter stuck at the table with the portable machine, because nobody uses them in the US. She is still getting used to it.

She's hoping that you'll take the hint and pick up the tab while she's absent. :wink:
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby queerasmoi » 26 Oct 2011 14:17

Nemo2 wrote:
queerasmoi wrote:My cousin is visiting from LA and she's treated me and her son to dinner on a few occasions. Each time she leaves her credit card and then goes to the bathroom, leaving the waiter stuck at the table with the portable machine, because nobody uses them in the US. She is still getting used to it.

She's hoping that you'll take the hint and pick up the tab while she's absent. :wink:


Haha. She's my Mom's age and has done very well for herself. I'm barely employed at all. Not happening ;)
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby queerasmoi » 11 Nov 2011 22:10

My Mom's MBNA travel rewards card is getting restructured. I forget the details but I think it turns out against her favour, of course.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby CROCKD » 02 Dec 2011 15:22

Are there any disadvantages or impications for cancelling a credit card no longer required?

What is the usual procedure for doing so?
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Nemo2 » 02 Dec 2011 15:28

CROCKD wrote:Are there any disadvantages or impications for cancelling a credit card no longer required?

What is the usual procedure for doing so?
There's this
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby CROCKD » 02 Dec 2011 16:06

Nemo2 thanks for the informative reference.

Credit cards.

Credit Card Time Credit Limit
Credit Card A ca. 40 years $14.3 k
Credit Card B ca. 5 years $24k
Credit Card C 10 months $8k

The credit card I don't use is CC B as I originally got it as it provided travel medical insurance in the gold version at a good price. Then I got too old to qualify.

Credit card C is a travel card from a major bank.

I never have any balances and pay everything in full each month.

As a result of reading the article rather than cutting up CC B I will leave it sit moribund as it is now and likely renew it when it expires 12/12.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby deaddog » 05 Dec 2011 23:26

As a result of an asset purchase by TD Bank Group which is now complete, CUETS Financial—a
division of MBNA Canada Bank and the issuer of your credit union MasterCard credit card—is
now a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.

I wonder how long it will take before they cut the travel health insurance from 74 back to 65?
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Taggart » 09 Mar 2012 13:41

I don't think it's just a question of what is the best credit card any more, but what is the best loyalty card to be used in conjunction with it. Canadian Tire is attempting to drop it's long running CT money in order to get customers to apply for it's Options MasterCard to be used along side their Advantage loyalty card. Loblaws has a new loyalty program in the works to bring out a new credit card in 2013 to replace their PC MasterCard. I can't help notice the increase on products with Air Miles attached to them at my local Metro stores. I go more for the items I normally purchase, that are sale priced though. Apparently, down in the U.S., Target Stores gives their customers a 5% discount on their purchases, so it'll be interesting to see if they do the same once they branch out to Canada.
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Re: Best Credit Card

Postby Bylo Selhi » 09 Mar 2012 14:37

Taggart wrote:Apparently, down in the U.S., Target Stores gives their customers a 5% discount on their purchases, so it'll be interesting to see if they do the same once they branch out to Canada.

Fair warning to any Tarzhay marketing types who may be lurking:

I'm the type of consumer who avoids shopping at stores with policies like that or stores that require a "club card" to get their best prices or stores that offer 10% off if you get their credit card(*). Same goes for Sears where those with a Sears-brand credit card get preferential prices and return privileges. (Although Sears has many more serious customer service problems.)

I've got more than enough plastic in my wallet already. I don't want more. I share my buying habits with enough companies already. I want to share any more. And I'm prepared to withhold my patronage in order to have it my way.

(*) One exception was Home Despot when we needed $10k worth of building supplies for a reno. I used their card just for that and then cancelled it. I hope the hassles of opening and closing a credit card were worth it as much to them as they were to me ;)
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