CIBC Aeroplan Card

CIBC AeroGold VISA credit card

Receive 15,000 Aeroplan Miles when you are approved for a new Aerogold Visa Card from CIBC.

Available only to Canadian residents, members continue to get rewards for everyday spending at a rate of 1 Aeroplan Mile for every $1 charged to your card, so you earn Aeroplan Miles with every net retail purchase.

Additional earning opportunities include:

  • Get 1 Aeroplan Mile for every dollar you spend
  • A 50% bonus of Aeroplan Miles on purchases at gas, grocery, drug stores and aircanada.com
  • 1.5 Aeroplan Miles for every dollar you spend at any Fairmont Hotels & Resorts worldwide
  • Earn 50% more miles at select CIBC Bonus Rewards establishments
  • Use your CIBC Aerogold Visa Card at over 150 participating Aeroplan Partners, and earn Aeroplan Miles twice when you present your Aeroplan Card

Interest rates

  • APR Intro: n/a
  • APR if balance paid in full 0%
  • APR Balance: 19.99%
  • APR Balance Transfer Intro: n/a
  • APR Balance Transfer thereafter: 11.99 to 11.99%
  • APR Cash Advances: 24.24%

Fees

  • Annual Fee: $120
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 4% ($10 min)
  • Cash Advance Fee: 4% (10% min)
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: 3%

Trip Peace of Mind

  • Fraud protection means zero liability for unauthorized use of card
  • Price protection for 60 days after purchase
  • Automatic warranty extension up to extra year
  • Out-of-province emergency travel medical insurance
  • Flight delay and baggage insurance
  • Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance
  • Auto rental collision and loss damage insurance
  • $500,000 common carrier accident insurance
  • Hotel/motel burglary insurance

Benefits

  • Car rental discounts of up to 25% at participating Avis and Budget locations with your CIBC credit card
  • Visa is accepted across Canada and at millions of merchants and bank machines worldwide
  • Pre-authorized bill payments with participating merchants
  • CIBC Auto Pay service automatically debits your credit card payment from a personal deposit account
  • Cash advances of up to $1,000 a day
  • Visa Infinite exclusive offers  on dining and wine events, live music, VIP benefits at luxury hotels
  • Visa Infinite Concierge available 24/7
  • Visa Checkout for online purchase security
  • Apple Pay
  • Contactless payment at point of sale

American Express Blue Card

American Express Blue Card
Blue Card from American Express

The classic American Express Blue Card provides cardholders a worry-free Amex credit card for everyday use.

Its basic package includes an effective 1% rebate on eligible purchases, some special discounts, monthly and yearly statements to track spending habits, and world-class American Express customer service.

Interest Rates

  • Purchases – 0% for 25 days if statement balance is zero
  • Purchases – 16.99%, 19.99%, 21.99% if statement balance is greater than zero
  • Cash Advances – 26.99%
  • Balance Transfers – 14.24% to 25.24% starting on transfer date
  • Late payments – 29.99% (for at least 6 months)

Fees

  • Annual Fee: $0.00
  • Fee on balance transfer: 3% ($5 min)
  • Cash advance: 3% ($5 min)
  • Foreign transaction: 2.7%
  • Late payment: up to $38
  • Returned payment: up to $38

Earn Rewards

  • 1 Membership Reward point per dollar on eligible purchases
  • 2 Membership Reward points per dollar on eligible travel purchase at AmexTravel.com 
  • Minimum to redeem: 2,000 points

Redeem Membership Rewards

  • Cash back on eligible purchases
  • Merchandise such as electronics, fashion, home goods
  • Online shopping at amazon.com, bestbuy.com, walmart.com, grubhub.com, and more 
  • Gift cards
  • Travel, including airfare, hotels, luggage
  • Entertainment
  • Donate to selected charities

Purchase Services

  • Theft and accidental damage protection, including cell phones
  • Return protection within 90 days of purchase
  • Free extended warranties (up to 2 years)

Travel Benefits

  • Roadside Assistance Hotline
  • Car rental and damage insurance (excludes liability coverage)
  • Global Assist Hotline (doesn’t pay for third-party costs)
  • Travel accident insurance on common carriers

Security Features

  • Fraud Protection
  • Advanced secure chip technology
  • Text alerts

Amex Card Benefits

  • Exclusive savings with Amex Offers
  • Amex mobile app
  • ShopRunner program members receive free 2nd-day shipping from participating merchants.
  • Guaranteed savings off MSRP on new vehicles using the TrueCar service, with some dealers allowing cardholders to place the entire purchase on their Amex card, up to their credit limit
  • Entertainment Access for cardholder-only events and places
  • Monthly and annual summaries
  • Free authorized users cards

For all the fine print and application visit the American Express Blue Card site.

Chase Sapphire Credit Card Comparison Tool

Chase Sapphire Card
Chase Sapphire with Ultimate Rewards no longer takes new clients, but current cardholders can still use the card as before.

Chase currently offers a Ultimate Rewards card in two versions:

  • Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee)
  • Sapphire Reserve ($450 annual fee)

You can compare the three Chase Ultimate Rewards cards offer in the table below to see which one is best for you.

CHASE SAPPHIRE COMPARISON CHART

FEATURES REG PREFERRED RESERVE
Type VISA VISA VISA
Grace period 21 21 21
Annual Fee $0 $95 $450
Balance Transfer Fee n/a 5% 5%
Cash Advance Fee 5% 5% 5%
Foreign Transaction Fee 0% 0% 0%
APR Intro n/a n/a n/a
APR Balance 17.49%- 24.49% 17.49%- 24.49% 17.49%- 24.49%
APR Cash Advances 26.49% 26.49% 26.49%
REWARDS
Base  purchase rewards 1% 1% 1%
Dining (see notes) 2% 2% 3%
Travel (see notes) 1% 2% 3%
Annual bonus no no 50% UR
Minimum amount to redeem none none none
Redeem at UR portal 100 => 100 100 => 125 100 => 150
Redeem at ChasePay 100 => 80 100 => 80 100 => 80
Redeem at Amazon 100 => 80 100 => 80 100 => 80
PURCHASE SECURITY
Fraud Protection yes yes yes
Purchase Protection $500 per claim $500 per claim $10K per claim
Price Protection discontinued discontinued discontinued
Return Protection discontinued discontinued discontinued
Warranty extension 1 yr max 2 yr max 3 yr max
Free FICO score yes yes yes
Blueprint Financial Tool yes yes yes
Apple Pay yes yes yes
Mobile App yes yes yes
Visa Signature Concierge yes yes yes
Add authorized user fee $0 $0 $75
Shop through Chase yes yes yes
Credits – travel no no $300
Credits – global entry no no yes
Credits – travel no no $300
Points transfer no 1 to 1 1 to 1
Lounge access n/a n/a Priority select
INTRO (ONE TIME ONLY)
Bonus points ($4000 spend/3 months) n/a $500 $500
Bonus points (authorized user) n/a $50
INSURANCE
Auto rental collision yes yes yes
Trip cancellation up to $5K up to $10K up to $10K
Trip Interruption $500/12 hrs $500/12 hrs $500/6 hrs
Baggage delay yes $100 day/ 5 days $100 day/ 5 days
Lost baggage $3K per person $3K per person $3K per person
Roadside assistance fee fee 4 times
Travel accident death $500K $500K $1M

NOTES

DINING REWARDS

The restaurant category for extra reward points is broader than is generally believed, since it includes fast-food places, coffee shops, bars, as well as fine dining ones.

However Chase writes, “Please note that merchants that sell food and drinks located within larger merchants such as sports stadiums, hotels and casinos, theme parks, grocery and department stores will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in a restaurant category.”

So getting a Starbucks in a grocery store may not get points, but a free-standing shop will.

VISA has a handy locator that will tell you exactly which places earn, or don’t earn bonus restaurant points.

VISA supplier locator

Enter your location, pick the restaurant code, click search, and up to 50 places VISA lists as restaurants/bars pop-up on a map.

For example in Dayton, Ohio, places such as Arby’s, Carmen’s Deli & Bistro, Engineers Club of Dayton, Homestyle Chili, Kindred Hospital, McDonalds, Nutritional Services, Subway, Table 33, Uno Chicago Grill, are listed.

TRAVEL REWARDS

Although bonus rewards for travel aren’t applicable for the no-fee Chase Sapphire card, they could add up quickly in certain metropolitan areas such as New York City or Los Angeles.

Besides airline tickets and hotels, the travel category includes tolls and parking which can quickly add up in Manhattan, where the average monthly garage bill is about $400 or almost $5,000 per year, and the George Washington Bridge toll is $15 or up to $3800 per year.

Earning 2% on $7,800 nets $156, or more than the $95 annual fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred card.

REWARD POINTS NEVER EXPIRE, BUT…

Under certain conditions Chase will take all your hard-earned points away.

Your points don’t expire as long as your account is open, however, you’ll immediately lose all your points if your account status changes, or your account is closed, for any of the following reasons:

  • You don’t make the minimum payment on your account within 60 days of the due date
  • You fail to comply with this or other agreements you have with Chase
  • We believe you may be unwilling or unable to pay your debts on time
  • You file for bankruptcy
  • We believe that you’ve engaged in fraudulent activity related to your account or the program
  • We believe that you’ve misused the program in any way, for example:by buying or selling points
  • By moving or transferring points to an ineligible third party or account
  • By repeatedly opening or otherwise maintaining credit card accounts for the purpose of generating rewards

In other words deadbeats and people who churn accounts at Chase will be unceremoniously booted out of the program.

Since the original Chase Sapphire cardholders can still use their cards Ultimate Rewards card, the choice on whether to upgrade to the premium versions depends on whether paying annual dues makes or breaks the deal.

Discover It Cash Credit Card

5% rebate on restaurants has arrived

Discover it credit card users save 5% (up to $1,500) at restaurants (activation required) from July 1 through September 30, 2018.

discover-it-credit-cardRestaurants  include fast-food (McDonalds), cafeterias, cafes, full-service places.

All other purchases earn 1% cash rewards made with your Discover it card.

The Discover It NHL credit card also offers 5% rebate on restaurants for this quarter.


New Account Incentives

  1. Get 0% financing on all your purchases for 14 months from the date of account opening to help spread out the bill for a large purchase, plus 1% rebate on its cost.
  2. For new account holders Discover matches cash back rebates at the end of your first year, that’s up to 10% cash back (limits apply).

Note: if the account is closed before 12 billing cycles, there will be no match.


You can redeem your rewards several ways

  1. Statement credit no minimum amount to qualify
  2. Direct deposit to your bank account
  3. Use on purchases at Amazon.com,
  4. Buy featured gift cards with $5 added to certain ones, i.e. $20 gives you a $25 gift card at Burlington, while a Dell $50 gift card can obtained with only $45 cash rewards
  5. Donate to participating charities

All these perks are given to the cardholder with NO annual fee!

Other Discover it Credit Card benefits include

  • Get cash over your purchases, up to $120 per purchase every 24 hours, without ATM fees, at select retail locations, such as Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Walmart
  • Free price protection up to $500 per item and $2,500 per year on eligible, identical items purchased within 90 days (see note below)
  • Should you lose your card, you can freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch with the Discover App on your smartphone or the discovercard website
  • 24/7 $0 fraud liability guarantee on unknown purchases
  • Free monthly FICO scores from Experian to monitor your credit rating
  • Text alerts on account activity
  • Free Social Security number and new account alerts in case of unauthorized access
  • Automatic payments available so you never miss a payment
  • Paperless statement option
  • Year-end expense report and summary

Note: Price protection is like price matching between sellers and is also useful for grocery, clothes, and other items that frequently change price or are available at other places for less money. Note services, clearance, out-of-business, and such are excluded.


The fine print (subject to change):

  • Annual fee: $0
  • No interest if balance paid in full with 25 days
  • Fee for balance transfer: 3% ($5 min)
  • Fee for cash advance: 5% ($10 min)
  • Fee for foreign transaction: 0%
  • Fee for late payment: $0 first time; $35 after that
  • Fee for returned payment: up to $37
  • Fee for going over your credit limit: $0
  • APR: purchases 13.74% to 24.74%
  • APR: cash advances 26.74%

Bonus Discover Deals gives cardholders 5% or cashback rewards all-year around when used for online purchases with selected merchants.

  • Apple (5% off)
  • Walmart (5% off)
  • Kohl’s (5% off)
  • Macy’s (5% off)
  • Papa John’s (25% off)
  • 1-800 Flowers (15% off)
  • Avis (25% off weekly rental)