Credit Cards

Best credit card overall irrespective of annual fee

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  • Jan 20th, 2018 11:42 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 5, 2018
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Best credit card overall irrespective of annual fee

Putting annual fee and any promotional offers aside, which credit card issued by a bank (i.e. not from Amex directly) is the best overall in terms of return (cash back or others), perks, insurance...etc?

Some candidates out there seem to be:
- Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite: 4% on gas/groceries, 2% drug stores/recurring bills, and 1% everything else.
- CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite: 4% gas/groceries, 2% Tim Horton's/Telus, 1% everything else

Any other suggestions out there?
41 replies
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Aug 24, 2016
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Best credit card for you? Me? The millions of other people in Canada?

There's no one "best card" out there that suits everyone's spending.
[OP]
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coolintheshade wrote:
Jan 9th, 2018 2:54 pm
Best credit card for you? Me? The millions of other people in Canada?

There's no one "best card" out there that suits everyone's spending.
I understand that. But what are the candidates out there for "best"?
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Dec 3, 2017
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These probably aren't the "best" but they're very good.

The MBNA rewards World Elite is a very nice card, it has 2% cash back (2pts per dollar spent; 1pt = .01) and plenty of insurance privileges for an annual fee of $89. There's also the VISA platinum rewards card from DUCA, it's very nice too with 2% cash back and lots of insurance and even price protection. It has an annual fee of $120 dollars but I think you have to be a DUCA member to get the card, other credit unions offer similar cards to this one so I'm sure a credit union near you could provide something similar.

As for no annual fee cards I like the Tangerine Mastercard for anything in the bonus categories, there's 6 to choose from (you can choose 2) and you get 2% cash back in the chosen categories and .5% everywhere else (the .5% isn't that good but the 2% is great), it has basic insurance that comes from a no annual fee MasterCard like purchase protection. I also like how this card will pay your cash back into a free Tangerine savings account monthly, allowing you to earn interest on your earnings plus you get another bonus category to choose. As for other no annual fee credit cards there's the Rogers Bank Mastercards, they offer 4% cash back on foreign purchases (covering the 2.5% conversion fee) and 1.5% cash back on everything for the fido card, 1.75% for the rogers card. The fido card has no annual fee but the rogers one does ($29), I'm including it here since that fee can be waived if you have a rogers service billed to the card. Neither cards offer insurance. If you want good insurance with no annual fee the Home Trust Preferred card is nice, has normal insurance plus rental car and roadside assistance with no foreign exchange fee. However the cash back isn't great at 1% and the card is somewhat difficult to get. Finally, a good annual fee free card with extended warranty and purchase protection is the BMO cash back card with a simple 1% cash back on everything.

As for cards with rewards points instead of cash back I don't really have many ideas as I mainly focus on cash back rewards cards.
I like credit unions.
Member with DUCA Credit Union. Accounts with Tangerine, BMO, and EQ Bank.
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Oct 26, 2016
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fred125 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2018 3:03 pm
I understand that. But what are the candidates out there for "best"?
The previous commentary still stands. Best is a highly relative term in the credit card world, and is unique to every person and their spending habits / how they will redeem rewards. As an example, even though you nixed AMEX, many might say that the SPG or Cobalt give them their highest returns if used properly, but if someone didn't care about redeeming for hotels / flights, then they become junk. I personally think the WestJet World Elite is huge value potential, but if someone doesn't think they'll be using WestJet with any kind of frequency, it's worthless. 4% on gas / groceries is nice, but if you're not spending a lot in those categories, it may negate their value against annual fees, whereas a general cash-back card that gets ~2% in all categories will out-shine it. So the best thing here would be to suggest where you spend the most money, and whether you have any intent / desire to use travel rewards, and go from there.
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So subjective
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jacnel wrote:
Jan 9th, 2018 3:13 pm
These probably aren't the "best" but they're very good.

The MBNA rewards World Elite is a very nice card, it has 2% cash back (2pts per dollar spent; 1pt = .01) and plenty of insurance privileges for an annual fee of $89. There's also the VISA platinum rewards card from DUCA, it's very nice too with 2% cash back and lots of insurance and even price protection. It has an annual fee of $120 dollars but I think you have to be a DUCA member to get the card, other credit unions offer similar cards to this one so I'm sure a credit union near you could provide something similar.

As for no annual fee cards I like the Tangerine Mastercard for anything in the bonus categories, there's 6 to choose from (you can choose 2) and you get 2% cash back in the chosen categories and .5% everywhere else (the .5% isn't that good but the 2% is great), it has basic insurance that comes from a no annual fee MasterCard like purchase protection. I also like how this card will pay your cash back into a free Tangerine savings account monthly, allowing you to earn interest on your earnings plus you get another bonus category to choose. As for other no annual fee credit cards there's the Rogers Bank Mastercards, they offer 4% cash back on foreign purchases (covering the 2.5% conversion fee) and 1.5% cash back on everything for the fido card, 1.75% for the rogers card. The fido card has no annual fee but the rogers one does ($29), I'm including it here since that fee can be waived if you have a rogers service billed to the card. Neither cards offer insurance. If you want good insurance with no annual fee the Home Trust Preferred card is nice, has normal insurance plus rental car and roadside assistance with no foreign exchange fee. However the cash back isn't great at 1% and the card is somewhat difficult to get. Finally, a good annual fee free card with extended warranty and purchase protection is the BMO cash back card with a simple 1% cash back on everything.

As for cards with rewards points instead of cash back I don't really have many ideas as I mainly focus on cash back rewards cards.
+1
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fred125 wrote:
Jan 9th, 2018 2:43 pm
- Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite: 4% on gas/groceries, 2% drug stores/recurring bills, and 1% everything else.
- CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite: 4% gas/groceries, 2% Tim Horton's/Telus, 1% everything else
Meridian Cash Back Visa Infinite has the same earning categories as the Scotia card above, with much better insurance package, and even better redemption (cash out to statement credit any time in $50 increments, instead of waiting for November), for the same $99 annual fee. This card seems to be flying under the radar, there is very little RFD discussion if it. I applied for it a few days ago, If I am approved I will cancel both my Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and Scotia Amex Gold.
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There is no one best card and you can't even answer the question if you don't factor in annual fee. You have to know what type of spending you will do and if the return outweighs what you pay for the card to know whether or not it is a good card for you. For example the Amex Platinum or the various Infinite Privilege cards are probably about the best out there when it comes to benefits. But then once you include the fact that it the fees are high (ie $699/yr for the Amex Plat, $399 for RBC Infinite Privilege), you have to decide whether the added benefits are worth that money vs lower fee or no fee cards.

My personal card use and travel habits make the Westjet World Elite MC and the SPG Amex the best cards for me, but there are other people who would say those are no good for them, because they don't fly Westjet, don't want to use Amex, whatever.
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Kiraly wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 9:55 am
Meridian Cash Back Visa Infinite has the same earning categories as the Scotia card above, with much better insurance package, and even better redemption (cash out to statement credit any time in $50 increments, instead of waiting for November), for the same $99 annual fee. This card seems to be flying under the radar, there is very little RFD discussion if it. I applied for it a few days ago, If I am approved I will cancel both my Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite and Scotia Amex Gold.
Why do you have both the Momentum Visa Infinite and Amex Gold?
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fred125 wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 10:20 am
Why do you have both the Momentum Visa Infinite and Amex Gold?
I got the Momentum a few years ago and have been paying the AF. I got the Scotia Amex for FYF and the welcome bonus, was intending to cancel one of the two Scotia cards before 2nd year annual fee came due and keep the other. But the Meridian card is a good replacement for both.
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CrazyPete wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 9:59 am
There is no one best card and you can't even answer the question if you don't factor in annual fee. You have to know what type of spending you will do and if the return outweighs what you pay for the card to know whether or not it is a good card for you. For example the Amex Platinum or the various Infinite Privilege cards are probably about the best out there when it comes to benefits. But then once you include the fact that it the fees are high (ie $699/yr for the Amex Plat, $399 for RBC Infinite Privilege), you have to decide whether the added benefits are worth that money vs lower fee or no fee cards.

My personal card use and travel habits make the Westjet World Elite MC and the SPG Amex the best cards for me, but there are other people who would say those are no good for them, because they don't fly Westjet, don't want to use Amex, whatever.
Very well said!
My go to card is Scotia Amex.
It fits my spending, is accepted at many places I shop, and I maximize my cash back by purchasing prepaid MC at 7-11 which gives me 4% back there, and I use those prepaid at places that dont accept MC, like Costco.
The net return after paying the activation fee on the prepaid is 2.5%. Still better than my Fido MC which is my back up card.
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without parameters on definition of "best", I would say amex centurion because you can be baller status.
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Kiraly wrote:
Jan 10th, 2018 2:59 pm
I got the Momentum a few years ago and have been paying the AF. I got the Scotia Amex for FYF and the welcome bonus, was intending to cancel one of the two Scotia cards before 2nd year annual fee came due and keep the other. But the Meridian card is a good replacement for both.
Are you going to join Meridian and become a member by also opening a bank account to get the Visa?
Cards:HSBC WE MC 1.5%/3% travel 0 FX MC acceptance 31 day med AF $49
CTC WE MC 3% grocery, 3.54% CTC, RA, billpay
Bank: Alterna (2%+, no fees)
Brokers: IB (For. stocks/low comm)/Reg. RBCDI(service, USD)
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minimalist wrote:
Jan 11th, 2018 1:53 pm
Are you going to join Meridian and become a member by also opening a bank account to get the Visa?
I don't know if it's necessary. I applied online for the Visa, and not being a member didn't disqualify me. Application is pending; If I am told I need to open an account, I will.

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