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31 Money Apps, Products, and Tools You Should Be Using

31 money apps, products, and tools you should be using

There are so many tools, products, and apps out there that it’s hard to know which ones to use. There’s so much choice that it’s easy to pass by some great money saving apps and tools without a second look.

It’s even harder to find stuff that works well for Canadians – nearly everything is targeted at Americans because of their larger population.

Even though I’m a tech-savvy guy, I still don’t use as many money tools as I probably should to truly maximize my money.

Some of it is due to privacy concerns – I don’t want to link up directly to my bank, credit card, or investing accounts. But, most of it is that initial barrier to entry of learning something new when what I already do works well enough.

It really helps when someone vets and recommends useful tools first before giving them a try yourself, don’t you think?

So here is a collection of apps, financial tools, and products I either use myself or think are worth using based on the reviews and features they offer.

You can find even more money saving deals and tools that I use everyday on our deals and tools page.

Best Money Saving & Personal Finance Apps

Keep reading » about 31 Money Apps, Products, and Tools You Should Be Using

Free Gift Card Offers (Up To $100 To Popular Stores)

Free gift card offers (Up to $100 to popular stores)

I've been touting free gift card offers on this site for a long time now: see here, here, and here. Most of them have been a free $100 gift card to Amazon.ca or another popular Canadian store in return for applying for an awesome credit card that earns you even more free money in cash back or travel rewards.

These credit cards usually also come with no annual fee (at least for the first year) and sometimes a hefty points sign up bonus to boot. Then, after the first year, there is no obligation to continue with the card if you decide it isn't for you. It's really a fantastic deal and one I've taken advantage of several times myself.

Since this has become a pretty regular thing, I thought I should make a permanent page that lists legitimate free gift card offers that I am aware of and will continue to update at the beginning of every month.

Proof That It Works

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What Is An Aeroplan Mile REALLY Worth?

What is an Aeroplan mile really worth?

With the news breaking that Aeroplan will be replaced as Air Canada's loyalty program in 2020 - its future has become increasingly uncertain.

We know the program will continue on after 2020, your miles are 100% safe, and there will still be some options for redeeming on industry leading airlines, one of which could still be Air Canada. That is what has been promised.

What we don't know is how the reward choices, flight redemption options, and reward value will change after 2020...

Will it still remain a true airline rewards program?

Will they find a new airline partner?

OR ...

Will it become more of a flexible travel rewards program like what bank travel credit cards tend to offer?

Ultimately, what everyone wants to know is "what are my miles worth today?", "what will they be worth after 2020?", and "is Aeroplan still worth it?".

Here you'll find a concrete answer to the first question, my predictions on the second, and a discussion about the third.

So - what are Aeroplan miles worth today?

Want to get the best value for your Aeroplan miles? Download the PDF version of this analysis.

The Quick Answer: 2.5 Cents

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Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017

The best credit cards in Canada

Can there really be one single BEST credit card?

Most people would say "no".

I agree, there is no one size fits all ... but, there is a one size fits MOST.

I've been honing my credit card comparison system that tracks and ranks credit cards by 50+ features for nearly 7 years now. I'm not just comparing points or rewards either. I'm figuring out the true value of each different reward point or mile and combining that with all the other features, insurance, and perks that each card offers so cards can be compared apples to apples. The result is one simple score out of 5.

All the research has been done and all the numbers have been crunched and updated. Finally, there can be one true champion that is best for most Canadians in 2017.

Of course, the decision of whether the winner meets your needs is all yours ... but you won't find a better starting point than this. (Not sure what to pick? Take this short quiz and find out.) Keep reading » about Best Credit Cards in Canada 2017

Best Credit Cards For Gas Discounts 2017

Best credit cards for gas discounts

Although electric cars are on the rise, the majority of us car owners are still pumping gasoline into our vehicles and it continues to be a big line item in our monthly budgets.

We've been fortunate in recent years that prices have dipped under $1 per litre ... but prices have been steadily creeping up again even with the cost of crude oil being BELOW what it cost in 1974. That won't last forever!

Credit cards are one tool that can be used to get a sizeable discount on those gas purchases because many cards offer bonuses specifically aimed at gas purchases.

Here are the cards that will help keep your wallet happy: Keep reading » about Best Credit Cards For Gas Discounts 2017

Which Aeroplan Credit Card is REALLY Best?

The best Aeroplan credit cards

Air Canada just dropped a big bombshell by announcing that they are clipping Aeroplan's wings by removing it as their official rewards program in 2020.

Aeroplan was in fact an invention of Air Canada themselves but was first spun off as a separate company and then completely sold to Amia in 2008. Since then, they've walked hand in hand and have been practically indistinguishable from one another. That's about to change... but is it a good or bad thing for Aeroplan collectors?

There are no guarantees, but what is guaranteed is that this will create increased competition as Aeroplan works hard to keep the loyalty of its members and Air Canada wrestles to take them away. That fight is going to spill over into the credit card arena as well and you can expect sign up bonuses and perks to take off as we get closer to that date.

Through all of this, Aeroplan is committing to keeping your miles safe and allowing you to continue redeeming them for flights on Air Canada even after the 2020 deadline. What could change is the cost in miles for doing so. I expect the cost will increase substantially, so if you want to fly Air Canada or Star Alliance, you should try and redeem most of your miles before 2020.

Even though Air Canada flight rewards will likely become less desirable, that doesn't necessarily mean that Aeroplan will become less valuable overall. They will be working hard to find a good alternatives to Air Canada that won't get them universally panned by the critics and create a ton of bad press for them.

It's time to strap in, because this is going to be a bumpy and exciting ride!

Aeroplan Credit Cards Compared and Ranked for 2017

Who has the best Aeroplan branded credit card? Is it TD, CIBC, or American Express?

You might be surprised to find out that the top card for earning Aeroplan miles doesn't even have Aeroplan in its name. That's because there are several cards that allow you to earn points that can be transferred to Aeroplan miles that actually boosts the value of your rewards!

In all, 14 different Aeroplan credit cards have been compared and ranked in the table below from best to worst. Keep reading » about Which Aeroplan Credit Card is REALLY Best?

Which AIR MILES Credit Card Is Best For 2017?

The best AIR MILES credit card

AIR MILES has come under fire recently for the mismanagement of their expiry policy and the availability of desirable rewards for consumers. They eventually backtracked and cancelled their expiration policy entirely.

With all the bad press, they are trying harder than ever to please their customers and keep them informed. They've redesigned their website to make it easier to use, they're emailing program updates on a regular basis now, and they're beefing up their security as well to help protect your hard-earned miles from thieves.

That doesn't mean all the problems are gone - and whether or not you continue to collect AIR MILES is completely up to you.

But, if you are going to collect, you might as well choose a top AIR MILES credit card to help you earn and redeem that much faster.

AIR MILES Credit Card Comparison

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Starwood Preferred Guest Program Review

Starwood Preferred Guest Program review

With the negative press Air Miles has received the past few months and now Aeroplan set to undergo major changes in 2020…

Many consumers are starting to rethink their travel rewards program.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) is an incredibly flexible travel rewards program that allows consumers to earn “Starpoints” to use on either their next hotel stay or a plethora of other attractive rewards.

In fact, it’s my all time favourite travel rewards program that I once used to fly Maria and I to Paris for 10 days with most of the airfare and hotel expenses paid just with Starpoints.

Read on to find out why it’s so good:

SPG Membership Tiers

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Best No Fee Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada 2017

Best no annual fee cash back credit cards in Canada

Canadian banks love to gouge us with fees - even raising them while raking in record profits for themselves...

It's no wonder pretty much everyone hates fees!

I'm right there with you, I normally go out of my way to avoid fees too. I've been taking advantage of no-fee virtual banking basically since it began in Canada. I hopped right from a free student account into a no-fee President's Choice Financial account and have stuck with it ever since.

But, there are actually some times when it makes sense to pay a fee.

When dealing with cash back credit cards, simple math can show you if higher cash back rewards will cover the cost of a premium card's annual fee. If so, then it's absolutely worth it to pay the fee. Not only will you end up with more money in your jeans, but you'll also benefit from better insurance coverage and perks.

Even still, there are many people who want to completely avoid fees out of principal. Fees suck and you may even be worried that paying the fee will pressure you to overspend. If that's you, then this no fee cash back card analysis is just what you need.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards With No Annual Fee

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Best Cash Back Credit Cards in Canada 2017

Best cash back credit cards in Canada

You could be earning up to 3x the cash back by choosing the best cash back credit card compared to just walking into your bank and taking whatever one they offer you.

For example, if your family spends a reasonable $25,000 annually on credit, you would net $125 in cash after fees with the worst cards. The top ranked card on my list would earn you $411 every year - big difference, eh?

But, there's more than just max cash to consider...

You also need to think about annual fees, sign up bonuses, increased cash on purchases like gas and groceries, insurance coverage, and other perks. Not to mention subtle details like how the cash back is paid to you (statement credit, cheque, direct deposit), caps and tiers on your earnings, and how often the cash is paid out.

I've taken all these things into account - and more - with my unbiased ranking system. You won't find that anywhere else.

2017 Cash Back Credit Card Rankings

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