Credit Cards

Best No Fee Travel Credit Cards in Canada 2017

Best no annual fee travel credit cards in Canada

The reason for that is annual fees are necessary to supply the increased rewards, insurance coverage, and perks that travel cards typically have.

While life on Mars is still being debated, fortunately Canadian no fee travel cards already have some life - but they may soon be on life support. There is an underserved need for this type of card though, especially if points and miles are brand new to you. Learning the ropes of travel rewards without the risk of high fees is valuable.

Once you've figured it all out though, then you'll want to graduate to a top tier travel credit card that racks up the rewards faster and gives way better perks.

Best Travel Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

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Best Travel Credit Cards in Canada 2017

Best travel credit cards in Canada

Incredible reward value, comprehensive travel insurance coverage, one-of-a-kind perks, and jet-setting worry free across the globe. Those are the promises of top travel rewards credit cards.

It all sounds very dreamy - until you start trying to compare their complicated rewards programs and features side by side to decide which one is right for you.

I've removed all the hassle from finding the best card by comparing every travel card available on the Canadian market for you.

My comprehensive scoring system developed over the past 6 years uses more than 50 factors to rank cards from best to worst. You need only look at one simple score to know which card will give you the best overall value.

And, you'll be flying off to your next vacation hotspot much sooner than you think!

With the #1 ranked card, you can pocket $1,334 worth of Aeroplan reward flights in the first year if you spend $2,083 per month on the card on stuff you would be buying anyway. That number factors in points earned both from spending and the 25,000 point sign up bonus you automatically qualify for.

2017 Travel Credit Card Rankings

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Canadian Rewards Programs: Are You Loyal?

List of Canadian loyalty rewards programs

Rewards programs are meant to create loyalty…

Repeat customers and repeat business are the name of the game.

But my experience has been that it doesn’t pay to be loyal. Shopping around for both the best prices AND the best rewards bonuses and perks is 100% the way to go...

IF you’re willing to invest the time.

A quick check shows that I am currently a member of at least 30 rewards programs. I don’t use them all on a regular basis - I have my favourites just like anyone. (Don’t miss my top 5 below.)

Then, there’s other times when rewards programs just aren’t worth it.

But, I do try to keep my eyes open for amazing opportunities in any one of those 30+ programs. If they make me an offer I can’t refuse - then I’ll take it!

That said, it’s hard to know what’s out there and targeted specifically at Canadians. I’ve put together a pretty comprehensive list below - please add any I missed in the comments!

Cash Rewards For Shopping Online

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Your Free Money - 14 Ways To Claim It Now

14 ways to claim your free money

Is free money too good to be true?

If someone comes up to you and offers you free money, no strings attached - what would you do?

I know. You’d probably keep walking in the other direction…But here’s the thing:

There is actually a ton of free money available to most Canadians just waiting to be taken advantage of.

But first - let’s answer a couple of questions...

Where does (legit) free money come from?

It could come from the government, your employer, a business looking for new customers - or simply by choosing to give your bank less money (because they have enough of it for goodness sake!).

What do I require from you to get access to all this money?

The willingness to spend a little time and take ACTION. You need to get organized and follow through on making some simple changes to your life. Then, watch the free money and savings start rolling in.

If that sounds good to you - then let’s get started.

A Note About Claiming Your Free Money

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Intro To Points And Miles For Travel Hacker Wannabes

Intro to points and miles for travel hacking

Travel hacking is like some sort of mystical promised land flowing with milk and honey…

It portrays a life spent floating in first class suites in the sky, free gourmet food and drinks galore, and unlimited hotel upgrades to fancy hotel rooms complete with turn down service and a chocolate on your pillow every night - all practically free - *sigh*...

The truth is, achieving all of that is a lot of work and requires jumping through all kinds of hoops. Many beginners get put off by the crazy language barrier (hello acronyms!), the insane points strategies, and the attention to detail it takes to pull it all off.

The upside is you CAN start small and work your way up.

This guide will ease you into the points and miles game. You'll learn to earn miles faster and redeem them smarter so you can jet off on your next vacation much sooner than you ever thought possible. Keep reading » about Intro To Points And Miles For Travel Hacker Wannabes

12 Easy Ways To Increase Your Credit Score

12 ways to increase your credit scoreCredit scores are important - really important actually - but most people don’t even know what theirs is. Don’t let that be you…

Even if you don’t know your score, there are some basic things you can do to keep it healthy.

But, why should you even care?

Credit scores are increasingly being used for more than just loan applications - that’s why. I’m talking employers, landlords, and service companies.

Can you imagine missing out on a high paying job, the apartment you love, or even utilities and services like your cell phone because you didn’t take care of your score? Keep reading » about 12 Easy Ways To Increase Your Credit Score

How To Get A Credit Card Annual Fee Refund

How to get a credit card annual fee refund

Have you ever considered signing up for a credit card but decided against it because of the annual fee?

I use two main cards right now for almost all spending and they both have annual fees - Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite ($99) and the Capital One Aspire Travel World Mastercard ($120). When I got these cards I considered the annual fees and still decided having them would pay off.

The Scotiabank card pays 4% cash back on gas and grocery purchases, and you’d need to spend over $200 per month on gas and groceries alone for the card to be worth it. I easily meet this threshold and last year I earned about $500 with this one card.

The Capital One card has an annual fee of $120 but when I applied for it also came with an annual bonus (no longer available) of 10,000 reward miles worth $100 - that means the annual fee is essentially $20. Not bad for a card that pays 2% back on all spending with no category restrictions.

Annual fees need to be taken into account when determining which card is right for you, but there is also the possibility of having your annual fee waived or refunded.

How To Get Your Annual Fee Refunded

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Capital One Trying To Appease Disgruntled Costco Members

Capital One trying to appease disgruntled Costco members

Capital One’s recent credit card launch into Costco stores was really successful … maybe too successful actually!

Since day one they had an influx of new customers signing up for the Capital One Platinum Mastercard exclusively for Costco Members and it turns out that the volume was a little more than they were prepared to handle.

Shortly after the card was launched, we published a generally favourable review of the card’s features. Not long after, negative comments from disgruntled customers started pouring in quantities never before seen on HTSM.

That’s why when I was at the Canadian Personal Finance Bloggers Conference in October, I decided to approach Laurel Ostfield, the Director of Communications for Capital One Canada when I learned she happened to be attending the conference.

Laurel took the time to go through the reader comments with me one by one and informed me that they were already aware of many of the issues and had been working to resolve them as quickly as they could. She agreed to coordinate an interview for me with a representative of the Costco Mastercard within a few weeks of the conference.

She delivered on that promise and I recently spoke with both her and Simon Maycock (Vice President of Partnerships), who is responsible for the Costco credit card rollout.

I came prepared and went to bat for all the frustrated Costco customers who left those angry comments on the review. In response, Simon and Laurel were equally ready to demonstrate that they were not only taking each and every complaint seriously but they were taking real action to fix the problems.

Related: The Best Cash Back Credit Cards In Canada

What Was Everyone Complaining About Anyway?

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Saving Money On Currency Conversion

Saving money on currency conversionsTravel can be expensive and one of the extra costs is currency conversion. When you pay for purchases in a foreign currency there is almost always an extra cost involved. If you are travelling for a long time or spend a lot of money when travelling, your costs can be significant. Whenever I travel I always try to think ahead about how I can save costs on converting my money. I tend to avoid converting cash at the big banks because they are usually more money and I avoid converting currency at an airport because it’s the most expensive option.

Cheapest Exchange Options

Here is a quick guide to the cheapest ways to convert cash (beginning with the cheapest and ending with the most expensive option). Keep reading » about Saving Money On Currency Conversion

Review: SimplyCash Preferred From American Express

simplycashpreferredcardfromamericanexpress.jpgI recently reviewed the regular Simply Cash Card from American Express, which is one of the most underrated no-fee cash back credit cards in Canada. This card, the Preferred edition, is like the big brother to no-fee card in that it has higher cash back and more perks, but comes with an annual fee of $79 to account for them.

You’ll get 1.5% cash back on ALL purchases, which is a really good rate, and the annual fee is less than all of its main competitors. Everything else with $79 or less earns less cash back or has a tiered cash back system, which typically also means less overall cash back. Unfortunately, there are a few competitors with slightly higher annual fees in the $90-$120 range that offer more cash back.

However, this card definitely fills a nice niche that you will begin to appreciate as you peruse the pros and cons below. The sign up bonus that is effectively worth $400 is also nothing to sneeze at because none of the other cash back cards come close to this - they typically come in at around $100, if a bonus is offered at all.

Quick Facts

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