• Last Updated:
  • Mar 11th, 2018 3:56 pm
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Poll: AF or no-AF?

  • Total votes: 93. You have voted on this poll.
Only no-AF cards
 
21
23%
Only cards with AF
 
3
3%
Mix of both
 
27
29%
Primarily no-AF, but one card with AF
 
22
24%
Primarily cards with AF, but won't cancel no-AF cards
 
7
8%
Churn whatever's good
 
13
14%
[OP]
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May 8, 2009
15419 posts
13859 upvotes
Going to the Moon

AF or no-AF?

There have been some cool polls here in CC forums. Thought there'd be room for another one.

Do you rely on no-AF cards in your deck, only cards with AF for maximum return, or a mix of both?
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52 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 24, 2017
6236 posts
4750 upvotes
Mix of both. Rogers MC + Home Trust Preferred VISA is a must combo for me, no annual fee.

For domestic purchases, Cobalt for food related, SPG for everything else.
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Deal Expert
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Sep 21, 2010
15185 posts
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Montréal
I like to keep it simple, so no AF for me at all. I suppose there are some net benefits for certain AF cards, but I can't be bothered to work it out and make that 'quota' in order for it to be a net gain.
Hard work, inheritance, interest on interest accumulating, and stock and real estate speculation. It's all good.
[OP]
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May 8, 2009
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Going to the Moon
I have two grandfathered MBNA cards (no-AF) that I'll never cancel. Got both TD CBI and TD FCT with AF. Will do the downgrade/upgrade game on the FCT card, and haggle or churn the CBI card to avoid paying the AF.

I feel safer carrying roadside assistance (got that on TD CBI), and cards without AF have too many disqualifiers on their extended warranty policy, making their extended warranty kind of pointless.

Worst case scenario, cancel all AF cards and go back to using MBNA. :lol:
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Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2010
756 posts
167 upvotes
Toronto
I have an AF card in order to get the travel insurances, and a no AF card for purchases in foreign currency.
[OP]
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May 8, 2009
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Going to the Moon
travelgeek wrote: I have an AF card in order to get the travel insurances, and a no AF card for purchases in foreign currency.
Meridian + Fido?
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Member
Sep 4, 2017
479 posts
144 upvotes
My list is here: A mixture of both for me.

1. Capital One MC-AF $59
2. BMO Preferred Rate MC-AF $20
3. CT Options-NO AF
4. RBC Cashback-NO AF
5. CIBC Dividend Platinum-$99 (Free first year)
6. Scotiabank Momentum- $39
Deal Addict
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May 7, 2017
1097 posts
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Can we add AF waived :D I never would pay AF unless I am getting big benefit out of it. For example TD CVI was waived with AI account. HSBC Premier was given back with TEC.

I feel in a limbo wrt the poll lol
Deal Addict
May 13, 2005
3618 posts
3493 upvotes
Montreal
You should add AF with FYF option...
Deal Addict
Nov 8, 2017
1556 posts
879 upvotes
no.

Why should I pay them to use their product?
Deal Addict
Feb 4, 2003
3173 posts
1428 upvotes
My main go to card is my Capital aspire grandfather card, $20 for all the extra benefit is worth it.

I'm still not sure how the SPG card comes into play for me, not sure if it is worth the AF vs my aspire?
Deal Fanatic
Dec 16, 2005
6098 posts
4124 upvotes
zzricezz wrote: My main go to card is my Capital aspire grandfather card, $20 for all the extra benefit is worth it.

I'm still not sure how the SPG card comes into play for me, not sure if it is worth the AF vs my aspire?
SPG is a very niche card. It is a perceived value and locks you into Starwood properties (ie no air bnb).

Paying an extra $100 in AF is not really worth it.

People will tell you that you will get 3-4% return but those are not easily found and you will really have to make your travel plans around getting that "value". Not only that, their perceived return of 3-4% doesn't take into account discounts you might get on sites like Hotwire or loyalty credits on sites like Orbitz.

As an example, I went to Abbotsford last month. There were hotels.com gift cards for 15% off. On top of that there was a 10% off coupon. I ended up paying $80 a night after tax.

SPG doesn't even have a property in Abbotsford.

I also just came back from Vancouver. Scored a deal at the Pacific Rim for $190 after tax. The equivalent SPG property would have been at least 12000 pts which would be a $12k spend. That's a 1.6% return.

To me SPG points arent that useful or worthwhile and you have to pay $120 for the card. I have had about 18k SPG points for almost a year and have done 6 trips. None of the trips gave me at least 2% value or didn't have a property that was convenient. So I couldn't use the points.

Points that you have to sit on is not useful.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
13825 posts
17947 upvotes
Vancouver
User455957 wrote: no.

Why should I pay them to use their product?
I used to feel the exact same way until I did the math. By paying a $100 annual fee I could be getting an additional $400/year in cash back. I kicked myself for not doing the math earlier.
Sr. Member
Sep 6, 2016
756 posts
295 upvotes
Ok mix of both

Cobalt 5% on grocery
AmexPreffered 2% - with $79 of fee - to eliminate AF I have to spend only $3750/ Spent $15000/year., got $221 (If I used 1.25% nonAF I would get only $187.5)

For other no AF 2% MasterCard
Sometimes with AF card your return higher
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Sr. Member
Sep 6, 2016
756 posts
295 upvotes
User455957 wrote: no.

Why should I pay them to use their product?
to get more money Smiling Face With Open MouthSmiling Face With Open MouthSmiling Face With Open Mouth plus more benefits
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 4, 2011
5055 posts
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Montreal
mech9t5 wrote: SPG is a very niche card. It is a perceived value and locks you into Starwood properties (ie no air bnb).

Paying an extra $100 in AF is not really worth it.

People will tell you that you will get 3-4% return but those are not easily found and you will really have to make your travel plans around getting that "value". Not only that, their perceived return of 3-4% doesn't take into account discounts you might get on sites like Hotwire or loyalty credits on sites like Orbitz.

As an example, I went to Abbotsford last month. There were hotels.com gift cards for 15% off. On top of that there was a 10% off coupon. I ended up paying $80 a night after tax.

SPG doesn't even have a property in Abbotsford.

I also just came back from Vancouver. Scored a deal at the Pacific Rim for $190 after tax. The equivalent SPG property would have been at least 12000 pts which would be a $12k spend. That's a 1.6% return.

To me SPG points arent that useful or worthwhile and you have to pay $120 for the card. I have had about 18k SPG points for almost a year and have done 6 trips. None of the trips gave me at least 2% value or didn't have a property that was convenient. So I couldn't use the points.

Points that you have to sit on is not useful.
The other thing to keep in mind for SPG points is that they are transferable to many airline partners (with most airlines having a transfer ratio of 20k SPG = 25k miles). A lot of folks like having that flexibility to use their points, and attribute a certain amount of value to the ability to convert. Another way to look at it is that it is a good way to buy hard-to-come-by points (such as Lufthansa) if you need them.
[OP]
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May 8, 2009
15419 posts
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Going to the Moon
bend3r wrote: Can we add AF waived :D I never would pay AF unless I am getting big benefit out of it. For example TD CVI was waived with AI account. HSBC Premier was given back with TEC.

I feel in a limbo wrt the poll lol
You still have cards with AF, but qualify for AF waivers. Adding this to the poll would just overcomplicate it, hence the ability to discuss in thread.

I got two cards with AF, both FYF. We all have strategies to offset AF (bite the AF but get much more back in rewards/CB, haggle for waiver, downgrade/upgrade, get waiver from other product, etc.).
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Deal Fanatic
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Oct 1, 2011
6337 posts
1504 upvotes
I strongly prefer no annual fee cards.

Ones I have now with AF:
- Cap1 Aspire World ($20 grandfathered as mentioned) -- too many perks for such a low fee
- Chase Marriott - was going to close this but they're doing it for me
- Amex Gold - FYF, will downgrade before the year renews

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