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[Consolidated] Which Canadian credit card should I get?

[Consolidated] Which Canadian credit card should I get?

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Old Nov 24, 10, 11:57 am
  #1  
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Question [Consolidated] Which Canadian credit card should I get?

I'm wanting to get a new credit card where I can earn miles/points. I don't spend that much per year (so I know it will take a while to earn enough miles for a trip from North America to Europe), and I don't want to spent over ~$50 a year in fees. Which card would you reccomend? Thanks!
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Old Nov 24, 10, 12:11 pm
  #2  
mia
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Welcome to Flyertalk.

We need more information .

1) Where do you live, and which airline do you primarily fly?

2) Where do you want to go on an award trip, and in which cabin (economy, business or first)?

3) How much do you spend annually on credit cards?

4) Is American Express well accepted at the places you shop?
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Old Nov 24, 10, 12:20 pm
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I guess it's pretty obvious that I'm new here

I live in Canada, I usually fly Delta (and NWA before it became Delta), but that was because I had points with them and I wanted to get enough for a free flight. I've used that flight now, so I'm open to other airlines that fly from Canada (I think the biggest are Delta and Air Canada).

I'm wanting a rewards trip to Europe, economy class is fine (I'm cheap!).

Right now, I don't spend a lot on credit cards (I'm guessing around $5000 per year, but I'm looking to increase that).

American Express isn't well accepted where I shop.

Thanks!
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Old Nov 24, 10, 12:30 pm
  #4  
mia
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Originally Posted by Laura8 View Post
I live in Canada
Everyone is new to something. My task is to help you find the information you need. I have edited the thread title to mention that you need a Canadian credit card, Please mention if that's not accurate.

I think it would also be helpful if you mention the airport or city from which you fly because that may help others illustrate why one program is better than another for your situation.
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Old Nov 24, 10, 1:04 pm
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I would be flying out of Winnipeg (Manitoba), but flying out of Grand Forks or Fargo is an option.

Mia - thanks for the help!
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Old Nov 25, 10, 8:09 am
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Hi Laura,

I'm a Canadian in Calgary and my wife and I use free credit card points to book Aeroplan/Star Alliance trips, so I can tell you about those. We save our AE points up until we have enough for a mini-RTW in F as that seems to give the best bang for the buck (plus its an amazing experience in trans-oceanic F that we would never get to experience otherwise).

Currently for AE points there are these free (for first year) cards:

Amex Gold Rewards – Free for first year. 15K free MR rewards that can be converted 1:1 to Aeroplan. Get one for the SO as well and they can transfer into your Aeroplan for 30K miles. You get double miles on some stuff as well. You need to spend $500 in 3 months to get these points.

SPG Amex – Free for first year. You get 10K SPG points. When you get 20K points in your account you can transfer them to Aeroplan and get an extra 5K miles for a total of 25K. You need to spend $1K in 3 months to get the 10K bonus.

Amex Business Gold - Free for first year that gets you 25K Aeroplan miles for $3K spend in 3 months (x2 if you include the SO).

Do some searching for more details on each. We churn these cards to keep getting miles (signup, spend, cancel before 1 year is up, repeat) for free. We also have CIBC Aerogold VISA Infinite that we've had for many years. We don't churn this one so that we have a card with a long credit history. Try not to look at the 50-75K points signup deals our American brothers and sisters get as you'll become very jealous very quickly.

As you are accumulating CC points, keep an eye out for the transfer promos. For example right now you get bonus points when you move points into AE. Keep working these deals and it doesn't take long to build up the miles. We move our spending between the various cards and find that we easily meet the points requirements with our normal spending patterns. Good luck!
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Old Nov 25, 10, 9:26 am
  #7  
mia
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Originally Posted by Laura8 View Post
American Express isn't well accepted where I shop.
Originally Posted by RoninTech View Post
Currently for AE points there are these free (for first year) cards:
A problem is that all three cards mentioned are Amex-network and Laura8 has mentioned that such cards are not ideal. While it's possible to apply for an American Express card, use it just enough to earn the bonus, and cancel before the annual fee is due on renewal, this may prove challenging for someone spending only a few hundred dollars per month.

I think we need to focus on a Mastercard or VISA to use for everyday shopping. Is CIBC Aerogold VISA Infinite the best non-Amex card for earning Aeroplan miles in Canada? Are there Mastercard or VISA products for OneWorld (e.g. AA) or SkyTeam (e.g. DL)?
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Old Nov 25, 10, 9:56 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
I think we need to focus on a Mastercard or VISA to use for everyday shopping. Is CIBC Aerogold VISA Infinite the best non-Amex card for earning Aeroplan miles in Canada? Are there Mastercard or VISA products for OneWorld (e.g. AA) or SkyTeam (e.g. DL)?
Non-Amex cards of interest, with details for regular spending (as opposed to bonus/churning):

CIBC Aventura/Aerogold - $120 annual fee, 1 AP/$, 1.5x for gas/groceries/drug stores
RBC Avion - $120 annual fee, 1 Avion/$, 1.25x on travel, transferable to AA/BA/CX 1:1 (with 1:1.5 BA and 1:1.25 AA promos sometimes)
CapOne Delta - $120 annual fee, 1 DL/$
TD American Airlines - $120 annual fee, 1 AA/$

Also, a great candidate for regular spending (particularly for me, I have more miles than I can use right now) is the CapOne Aspire World - $120 fee, $350 "travel dollars" sign-up bonus, $100 "travel dollars" annual bonus, 2% back in "travel dollars". Mind you, "travel dollars" are tiered and only guaranteed 2% for redemptions against travel charges at exactly $150, $350 or >=$600, and no partial redemptions.

EDIT: RBC Avion has a current offer for first year free, 20K Avion after first spend.
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Old Nov 25, 10, 9:58 am
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The Capital One Delta Mastercard with a 25,000 point sign up bonus.

http://www.capitalone.ca/lp/delta-sk..._01_T_CNLPDWIN

May be an option for at least a year. Not sure about income requirements.
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Old Nov 25, 10, 10:47 am
  #10  
mia
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It's interesting that $120 seems to be the prevailing annual fee for Canadian issued affinity cards. That's 2.4% of a $5,000 annual spend and cancels the benefit any rewards earned with a one mile per dollar card, aside from introductory bonuses and fee waivers.
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Old Nov 25, 10, 11:27 am
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It's interesting that $120 seems to be the prevailing annual fee for Canadian issued affinity cards. That's 2.4% of a $5,000 annual spend and cancels the benefit any rewards earned with a one mile per dollar card, aside from introductory bonuses and fee waivers.
Yes, I generally only get them for the bonuses and/or for the 1st year no fee.

However, the CapOne Aspire World can be considered a $20 fee card, in a way. And since it comes with lots of insurance coverage (travel medical, trip interruption/cancellation/delay, baggage loss/delay, extended warranty for up to 2 additional years, etc.), it's a great value, IMHO.

EDIT: Should also mention, supplementary cards are free on the Aspire, they are not on most of the other cards mentioned in this thread. But travel medical only covers primary cardholder + immediate family.

Last edited by nabeelj; Nov 25, 10 at 11:43 am
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Old Nov 25, 10, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by drwilliams View Post
The Capital One Delta Mastercard with a 25,000 point sign up bonus.

http://www.capitalone.ca/lp/delta-sk..._01_T_CNLPDWIN

May be an option for at least a year. Not sure about income requirements.
I did some research and this one looks good...but it has an income requirement, and right now I don't make that much money (I may in the future, but not yet...)
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Old Nov 26, 10, 7:46 am
  #13  
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Originally Posted by mia View Post
It's interesting that $120 seems to be the prevailing annual fee for Canadian issued affinity cards. That's 2.4% of a $5,000 annual spend and cancels the benefit any rewards earned with a one mile per dollar card, aside from introductory bonuses and fee waivers.
Canadian banks are all about fees. But then again, they are all solvent and aren't costing Canadian taxpayers trillions.
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Old Jan 3, 11, 7:18 am
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Canadian Credit Cards That Allow Points Conversion to Airline Miles (1:1 or better)

Just starting a Canadian specific thread on this since the information seems to be merged with US based cards which we can't necessarily get up here...


Accumulation of points that can be converted 1:1 or better
American Express Platinum Card (Annual Fee: 399$)
American Express Gold Card (Annual Fee: 150$, free first year)
RBC Visa Infinite Avion (Annual Fee: 120$) - CX/BA/AA
RBC Visa Platinum Avion (Annual Fee: 120$) - CX/BA/AA
Citi PETRO-POINTS MasterCard (Annual Fee: 0$) - CX

Direct accumulation of Miles
CIBC Aerogold VISA Card (Annual Fee: 120$) - Aeroplan
CIBC Aerogold VISA INFINITE Card (Annual Fee: 120$) - Aeroplan
CIBC Aero Classic VISA Card (Annual Fee: 29$) - Aeroplan
CIBC Aerogold VISA Card for Business (Annual Fee: 180$) - Aeroplan
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum Card (Annual Fee: 499$) - Aeroplan
American Express AeroplanPlus Gold Card (Annual Fee: 120$) - Aeroplan
American Express AeroplanPlus Card (Annual Fee: 60$) - Aeroplan
American Express AIR MILES Credit Card (Annual Fee: 0$) - AirMiles
American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card (Annual Fee: 50$) - AirMiles
RBC British Airways Visa Platinum (Annual Fee: 165$) - British Airways
RBC Cathay Pacific Visa Platinum (Annual Fee: 150$) - Cathay Pacific
RBC WestJet RBC MasterCard (Annual Fee: 39$) - Westjet Dollars
RBC WestJet RBC World MasterCard (Annual Fee: 79$) - Westjet Dollars
BMO Gold AIR MILES MasterCard (Annual Fee: 99$) - AirMiles
BMO AIR MILES MasterCard (Annual Fee: 0$) - Airmiles

This list is far from being complete so your help is appreciated.

I'm currently looking at replacing my credit cards with a VISA for worldwide use and an AMEX for all I buy at Costco. The intent is to be able to accumulate either direct Aeroplan miles or the ability to convert rewards points into Aeroplan which is why I'm currently building this list.

Last edited by kiloohm; Jan 3, 11 at 10:48 am Reason: Updated based on nabeeij's comments
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Old Jan 3, 11, 9:36 am
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Originally Posted by kiloohm View Post
Fidelity Investments Signature VISA (Annual Fee: $0) - Air Canada Aeroplan
Fidelity Investments AMEX (Annual Fee: $0) - Air Canada Aeroplan
These are not Canadian cards.

Also, you missed the RBC Avion ($120 fee, 1:1 with CX/BA/AA, with occasional 1.5x BA and 1.25x AA promos) and the Citi Petropoints (1:1 with CX, no annual fee).
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