Home Trust Preferred Visa Review

Ever since Chase closed all their accounts in Canada, there has been much debate about which is the best credit card with no foreign transaction fees. Although there are quite a few cards to choose from, there’s no clear winner since every card has different features which appeal to some, but not all.

In my Home Trust Preferred Visa review, I’m going to go over all the benefits of the card and explain why it’s still arguably the best credit card without foreign transaction fees. Of course, I’m also going to address the customer service issues that many people (including me) have experienced to date.

If you’re looking for a card with a huge signup bonus, you may want to check out my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Benefits

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • 1% cash back with no limits
  • Roadside assist membership
  • Visa Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Not available to residents of Quebec
  • 10 daily transactions limit
  • Can’t change your assigned PIN
  • No tap payments

What makes the Home Trust Preferred Visa (referral link) so appealing is the fact that it has no foreign transaction fees and no annual fee. This was the only card that offered both of those features until Rogers introduced their World Elite Mastercard. Note that the cash back rewards earned with the Home Trust Preferred Visa are redeemed in December and credited your account in January of the following year.

Considering this is a no fee card, all the benefits you’re getting are free. 1 % cash on all purchases, a roadside assist membership, Visa Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance, and purchase protection are all available to you at no cost. All you need to do is sign up for the card.

That being said, it’s hard to ignore the negative aspects of this card. Quebec residents can’t apply for the card and the daily limit of 10 transactions, as well as not being able to change your assigned PIN just seems silly to me.

Home Trust customer service issues

First off, Home Trust credit card customer service hours are Monday – Friday from 8am – 8pm EST which I find ridiculous. This card is popular with travellers so imagine someone trying to call in when they need immediate assistance while abroad in a different time zone – this would be a nightmare.

When Chase closed their accounts, many people instantly applied for the Home Trust Preferred Visa and approved applications have been an absolute crawl. That being said, Home Trust has made improvements to their approvals process and wait times for cards to arrive are much more reasonable these days.

Final word

My Home Trust Preferred Visa review is neutral. I still like the card compared to other credit cards without foreign transaction fees, but the customer service issues and the negative card features are a bit disappointing. To be honest, this card serves my needs now, but if a better card comes along, I would have no problem jumping ship. If you want to apply for the card, please use my referral link now.

Best Credit Cards Canada


By |2018-07-19T09:23:54+00:00March 26th, 2018|Credit cards, Personal Finance|

62 Comments

  1. Susan March 26, 2018 at 10:38 am - Reply

    About three weeks after I applied, I called to see if my application had been processed. They told me it would be another four weeks. As I was leaving for Morocco in one weeks time, they processed my application quickly so that I would have my card before I left. I thought that was great customer service!

    • Barry Choi March 26, 2018 at 10:52 am - Reply

      Susan,

      In this case, it is indeed good customer service. I have had heard from multiple people who called to ask about rushing their cards as they would be travelling soon and Home Trust couldn’t even confirm their applications yet. I’m glad that you had a positive experience.

  2. Freewheel307@gmail.com March 29, 2018 at 8:43 am - Reply

    It is exactly 8 weeks today since I applied . And nothing so far. I’d say the backup is 9 or 10 weeks now. Considering cancelling and getting the scotia passport instead.

    • Barry Choi March 29, 2018 at 11:04 am - Reply

      Freewheel,

      Honestly, that’s a great idea. I’ve already confirmed that Scotia will rush this card for anyone who is travelling soon. Even though the card has a $139 annual fee, you get $250 worth of points and lounge passes so it’s worth it for the first year. You could keep the Home Trust card when it finally arrives, and then decide later if you want to cancel it.

  3. boyWong March 30, 2018 at 2:10 am - Reply

    Just a side note for those of us who plan on using the card in the US for fuel. When asked for the ZIP code, the trick of using the numerical value of your postal code followed by 2 zeros did not seem to work. I called customer service (and waited 40 minutes before getting an agent) and asked if this was a known issue, they indicated that it’s not possible to pay at pump when asking for a ZIP code and that it is a security feature. 🙁

    • Barry Choi March 30, 2018 at 8:48 am - Reply

      boyWong,

      That’s a great reminder for everyone. I believe this issue still applies to ALL most Canadian credit cards. Whenever I get gas in the US, I just pay cash or with my card in person before filling up.

      • Barry Lundin April 6, 2018 at 12:22 pm - Reply

        I’ve been going to Texas for the winter for many years. I have always used my TD US Dollar credit for gas purchases at the pump with no problem. The card is a Canadian card in US $ so the comment re: ALL Canadian credit cards not working at gas pumps is incorrect.

        • Barry Choi April 6, 2018 at 12:23 pm - Reply

          Barry Lundin,

          Interesting, thanks for sharing.

    • Dave August 26, 2018 at 12:01 pm - Reply

      Went through the same senecio at stations with Home Trust, which worked using my amazon card. A real pain in US as it’s 2 trips inside to get pump going.

  4. Liz March 30, 2018 at 10:52 am - Reply

    Hi Barry,
    I can’t find the limit for the Home Trust card, do you happen to know?

    • Barry Choi March 30, 2018 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Liz,

      I’m not sure if there’s a default limit, but I was approved for $4K

  5. Liz March 30, 2018 at 11:35 am - Reply

    Thanks Barry!

    • George April 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm - Reply

      In the welcome package the letter where your card is attached to, the back page has the disclosure statement with your credit limit.

      That’s where mine is.

  6. Barry Lundin April 6, 2018 at 12:27 pm - Reply

    Got my Home Trust VISA credit cards the other day. Tried to activate them using the phone number provided. Response was “Cannot verify your location. please use your home phone.” I was using my home phone. I also tried three other phones (my cell, my wife’s cell and a cell phone we use in the U.S). None of them worked either. I have now been on hold waiting fro customer service rep for 37 1/2 minutes, and still waiting.

  7. Ava April 7, 2018 at 3:43 pm - Reply

    Just received mine this week; took about seven weeks. CC companies usually can’t wait to get the plastic to you so you can commence charging, so this was quite a surprise. The inability to change the Pin is ridiculous. I had never even heard of this company before but when amazon Visa pulled out there was no choice for a no-annual-fee card with 0 foreign transaction fee. Such as it is 🙂

    • Barry Choi April 7, 2018 at 3:44 pm - Reply

      Ava,

      Thanks for the update! Hang onto the card until something better comes along. At least that’s what I’m doing.

  8. Tim April 11, 2018 at 9:07 am - Reply

    I also applied for this card in January right after I was informed my Chase Amazon card would be closed in March. I got the Home Trust VISA in late March, so about 9 weeks of processing time. Fortunately, I did not have a trip coming up in this time.

    The comment about a 10 transaction per day limit does not appear in any fine print for the card agreement. I just did a check on both terms documents that cover the card’s characteristics. Are you sure this correct?

    • Barry Choi April 11, 2018 at 10:27 am - Reply

      Hi Tim,

      I’ve confirmed the 10 transactions per day limit from customer service myself.

  9. Lydia April 12, 2018 at 8:17 pm - Reply

    I applied in February and just got mine this week. In the interim, I was very put off by the details I read on this website (in the comments on that other post.) My husband and I decided to apply for the CIBC Infinite Dividend Visa instead. The fee is waived for the first year, and you get 4% cash back on gas and groceries, which helps to offset the foreign exchange fee. We received our cards within a week of applying. So far we’re very happy (with the CIBC Visa.)

    • Barry Choi April 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm - Reply

      Lydia,

      I don’t blame you for the frustration. I was a big fan of the Home Trust Card, but they simply can’t meet the demand.

  10. John Crookshank April 14, 2018 at 10:19 am - Reply

    I have the card. I applied in January and got it quite quickly. Credit limit was too low but has been increased without any request on my part. Getting through by telephone if you have a problem is ridiculously slow. If you use Quicken to track your accounts, at least in my version (2016 Cash Manager), Home Trust’s system and Quicken do not play well together. The account defaults to US currency and Quicken will not allow you to change it so transfers from 1 account to another are a PITA. Also, your PIN is assigned and according the the rep I l talked to, cannot be changed. I used the card for a recent trip to the US and it worked as advertised but some of issues I mentioned above make it a poor choice for use in Canada IMO.

    • Barry Choi April 14, 2018 at 12:53 pm - Reply

      John,

      I tried to call Home Trust today (Saturday) and found out they’re closed on weekends. Thank goodness I wasn’t travelling and needed immediate assistance. Home Trust is making things more difficult for customers than it needs to be. That being said, the card serves my purposes for now.

  11. NGS April 15, 2018 at 8:19 am - Reply

    Months of waiting for a response, an hours wait for the call center, emails that are not replied to and voice-mail boxes that are full. Then almost four months later i was declined with a credit score of 849? The credit score is too high i guess, they want those who will have outstanding balanced at the end of the month. And checking my credit report they never made an inquiry. Fraud??

  12. MM April 15, 2018 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    I think that ten transactions / day is a ridiculous feature. It should be okay on an normal day, unless I’m shopping (and I go to US quite often for that purpose), in which case I might be SOL pretty early during my trip.

  13. Corinna April 19, 2018 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Hi there

    me and my husband applied for HOME TRUST VISA card two months now, they didn’t approve yet and now asked us to send them a copy of our Driver licence or passport. We are quite concern to give out our so personal information. Anyone can advise us , is it their standard procedure? Have you all been asked for that info other than proof of other docs such as utility bill or cell phone statement etc/

    • Barry Choi April 19, 2018 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      Hi Corinna,

      It’s for verification purposes, I also had to do the same. However, I was able to provide a recent credit card statement. Was that not an option for you?

  14. Corinna April 19, 2018 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    yes, we are asked for the recent credit card statement too. We need to provide three things: credit card is one of them, and driver licence or passport is another one, and gas bill or cell phone bill is the third thing. Is there anyway we don’t have to provide our ID (driver licence)?

  15. Corinna April 19, 2018 at 5:32 pm - Reply

    ok thanks for your feedback and verifying. as long as it is legit and they won’t sell our personal info. I am fine with it.

  16. Anna April 19, 2018 at 10:30 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know the actual wait time now? It says on their website that “If approved, you will receive your new Preferred Visa in 2 – 4 weeks.” I’m reading above that recent applicants took up to 8 weeks to get their card. Any changes recently to their wait times? Leaving to Europe in 4 weeks so not sure if I should chance applying for the card at this point.

    • Barry Choi April 20, 2018 at 7:30 am - Reply

      Hi Anna,

      It’s highly unlikely that you’ll get the card in time. I would advise getting the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card instead. It does have a $139 annual fee, but you can get $250 in points as a sign up bonus and it comes with yearly lounge access. Read my review at the link below and please use my affiliate link if you think it’s a good fit for you.

      https://www.moneywehave.com/scotiabank-passport-visa-infinite-card-review/

  17. Justin W April 23, 2018 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Hometrust’s customer service is utter garbage.

    I don’t suspect they’ll fix that since they have no incentive to, but it’s just trash. I wrote this while sitting on hold waiting to talk to someone for help. 31 minutes.

    And god help you if you need to use that giant pile of crap website to manage your card, too. Oh boy.

  18. Nickie April 24, 2018 at 8:40 am - Reply

    I applied for the Home Trust Preferred Visa on January 31st and as of today, April 24th – have not heard anything from them (11+ weeks wait time). Totally unacceptable!

    As I have an upcoming oversees trip in the middle of May fearing I will be left without a replacement card for the Chase no forex trx fee card, 10 days ago I applied for the new Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card, and have been approved and am expecting the card any day now.

    If you have an upcoming trip and need a card .. forget about Home Trust… and go for the alternative.

    • Barry Choi April 25, 2018 at 11:49 am - Reply

      Nickie,

      I totally agree with this statement. That being said, I’m in Rome now and have had no issues using my Home Trust Card.

    • Henry May 26, 2018 at 1:21 pm - Reply

      Wonder if applications are first-in-first-out … I applied on Jan 25th, contacted HT multiple times and as of Thursday May 24th still received no meaningful status updates. I don’t know for sure if it is just queuing issues or something wrong with my specific application. Even their CSR do not know.

      • Barry Choi May 26, 2018 at 1:25 pm - Reply

        Henry,

        Weird, you would think it would be first come, first served. I applied in January and got my card in March. What did the CSR say about your application?

        • Henry May 26, 2018 at 2:19 pm - Reply

          The front line CSR took my status inquiry, called back after several days and say the update was “no update” ! I suspect there may be communication break down between their front line and back-office team. Just sharing my experience and vent my dissapointment, that’s all, Barry.

          • Barry Choi May 26, 2018 at 2:44 pm

            Henry,

            TBH, it’s been a complete gong show with them. You might be better off applying for the Scotiabank Passport Infinite Card. It has an annual fee of $139, but it comes with a signup bonus worth $250 when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. You also get 6 free airport lounge passes each year.

            This would allow you test out the card for a year and then decide later if you want to cancel it before you have to pay the annual fee. Maybe by then, Home Trust card would have arrived or maybe a better card would have been released.

            https://www.moneywehave.com/scotiabank-passport-visa-infinite-card-review/

  19. Sheldon April 25, 2018 at 10:07 am - Reply

    Give Home Trust a chance. I am sure they did not plan for Chase to desert their customers. I agree that there have been a lot of startup problems and things have been slow, but it is nice to not have a card from one of the big banks. Problems with the other cards too. The big banks have all of these sign up bonuses for people who have never been a customer. AMX offers 4 times points at restaurant. One of my favorite restaurant is in an hotel and it is coded as a hotel and not a restaurant. Unless you spend your points on travel, the rebate is less than 1%. and you pay an annual fee.
    I use this card for foreign currency outside of the US. For US it is best to get a US dollar either from a Canadian bank, some US banks will issue cards to Canadians. The problem with a card in Canadian dollars is refunds or hotels that process your deposit rather than as a pending charge. You then buy US dollars for the deposit at the buy rate and then get the refund at the sell rate.

    • Barry Choi April 25, 2018 at 11:51 am - Reply

      Hi Sheldon,

      This is 100% accurate. I spoke to Home Trust and they told me that there was no way they could have known that Chase was pulling out of Canada so quickly. It’s not exactly easy for a company to add staff when this increased interest is likely temporary. I’ve been using the card in Rome now for a week and have had no issues.

  20. Will May 1, 2018 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    Hey guys they must have more people working on applications because I applied about 3 weeks ago and I have mine and my wife’s cards in my hand . Does anyone know how they calculate their exchange rates because it states it’s set by Visa international,which is what the current rate is or ??

    • Barry Choi May 2, 2018 at 12:09 am - Reply

      Will,

      It’s possible that they have increased their manpower so cards are getting delivered much quicker now. As for the Visa rate, I don’t believe it’s published anywhere but it’s pretty close to the actual exchange rate at any given time as far as I know.

  21. Louise May 9, 2018 at 12:59 pm - Reply

    Does anyone know how if you get charged for cash advances when using the Home Trust preferred visa card? We plan on withdrawing money from an ATM when in Europe. Is that possible and do you know if there will be fees for doing so?

    thanks

    • Barry Choi May 9, 2018 at 2:29 pm - Reply

      Louise,

      NEVER use your credit card to withdraw from ATMs as you’ll be charged a cash advance fee of 22% + interest. You’re better off using your regular debit card at one of your bank’s partners.

    • d September 17, 2018 at 3:05 pm - Reply

      FYI got a cash advance in Thailand and paid C$ 7.37 cash advance fee from home trust visa. also paid B 220 = C 8.80 at Bangkok bank’s ATM total a whopping $16 to withdraw about C$ 500 in Thai baht! exchange rate was worse than I was getting on credit card purchases. I avoided credit card interest charges by immediately paying online all outstanding balance on my card but definitely a terrible way to access funds.

      • Barry Choi September 17, 2018 at 3:08 pm - Reply

        D,

        Credit cards charge crazy fees for cash advances. Your best bet is to use debit when you can to get cash.

        • d September 17, 2018 at 3:40 pm - Reply

          thanks but your answer is not necessarily correct. FYI international ATM fees are similar whether you use credit or debit. the trick using a credit card is to avoid the interest charges by paying off all pending balance on the card. the overseas bank also charges a bank fee depending on the country same for any transaction regardless of credit or debit. I would advise never to take your debit card to any 3rd world country as your home account is exposed to elevated risk of theft and could take months or years or never to rectify. using a credit card allows you to dispute any fraudulent charge and while waiting resolution you don’t pay anything. its cheap free insurance

          • Barry Choi September 17, 2018 at 3:43 pm

            D,

            Fair points. My bank does not charge me for foreign ATM withdrawals since I have a premium account with them. I never considered potential fraud if my account was accessed as a result of me using a foreign ATM.

  22. Bobby May 22, 2018 at 1:37 am - Reply

    Worst credit card ever, for travel and customer service. Why have a transaction limit per day, especially when you are travelling. I didn’t know about this until my transaction limit was reached and my purchases were declined, not very good when you are traveling aboard.

  23. johnny August 1, 2018 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    Applied in March, asked for more info in May,nothing happened….. asked for more info today.. ha..I almost forgot about it.. ask them to drop my application.

  24. vikds August 3, 2018 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    There is an off-hours & weekend bare service out of the US for automated info, and human service for, I believe, for emergency like lost card. This is the case with Home Secured cards.

  25. Malcan September 1, 2018 at 6:16 am - Reply

    After waiting over a month after my online application for the card, I finally received an email from Home Trust that my application was approved. A week later, two cards arrived, one in my name and the other in my wife’s name. I found it unusual that they knew my wife’s name and that a card was automatically made up for her without my asking for it in the application. Not that I was displeased that she received a card because we both had the Chase cards. It is just perplexing that Home Trust would automatically send two cards to one spouse’s application for a credit card. What if the spouses are separated and are not in good terms?

    It is now two weeks since the arrival Home Trust Visa cards and we still have not received the pins in the mail. I phoned Home Trust and the representative asked me a “secret” question in order to verify my identity. I gave him the correct answer, but what is perplexing is that I have never answered that “secret question” with Home Trust. I have had answered that “secret” question with other financial institutions, but never with Home Trust or the Home Capital Group. So they must have had access to my past dealings with other financial institutions.

    Still waiting for the arrival of the pins in the mail. But the above unusual experiences with them are putting me on guard with them. .

    • Barry Choi September 1, 2018 at 8:14 am - Reply

      Hi Malcan,

      Financial institutions do not share information so it’s not possible that they would have a secret question and answer with them unless you provided it somewhere.

      Why the PIN is taking so long to arrive is another question.

  26. Andreas September 5, 2018 at 11:39 am - Reply

    I got the Home Trust Preferred Visa for a trip to Iceland. I discovered while there that there are two machines merchants use to read your card (Verifone and Ingenico). The Home Trust Preferred Visa did not work in the Verifone machines. “Pin Accepted – Transaction Declined”. Unfortunately, 90% of the machines in Iceland are Verifone, so 90% of your purchases will not work. I contacted them during and after the holiday and they said they were aware of the issue and have opened a ticket with VISA but have no other info.

    • Barry Choi September 5, 2018 at 1:16 pm - Reply

      Andreas,

      Thanks for sharing, I had no idea about those issues in Iceland

  27. Tommy Jones September 23, 2018 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    exactly the same thing happened to me in Iceland this month. Same answer from HomeTrust. Lost out onthe 2.5% exchange fee.

  28. Sarah October 12, 2018 at 1:31 am - Reply

    So now we have two Canadian cards that have no FX conversion fees and no annual fees . HomeTrust visa and Brim financial mastercard. I have both cards but I just received my Brim MC this week. it’s a great card with lots of features.

  29. Katy October 23, 2018 at 10:05 pm - Reply

    Wow, I am so unimpressed with this card and company. On paper it sounds great, but in reality they’re a) super slow to provide the card, b) still won’t let customers change their PINs, and c) aren’t tappable cards. For the last two reasons I just called to cancel my card because I never use it since the assigned PIN isn’t memorable. After answering all the security questions, they told me they’d cancel my account but I needed to send the cut up card back to them “to confirm that it was me who requested the cancellation.” I told them to ask me whatever security questions they wanted to make themselves comfortable that it’s me requesting it, but that I wouldn’t be sending the pieces of the card back to them, and thought it was a strange request. She went ahead and cancelled anyway. Very confused with this company.

    • Barry Choi October 24, 2018 at 8:55 am - Reply

      Katy,

      ALl your points are valid. I think not being able to change your PIN is ridiculous. I saved it in my phone since I’ll never remember it myself. That being said, I still use the card since it doesn’t charge me any forex fees.

      • Katy October 24, 2018 at 9:48 am - Reply

        Yes, I was happy to see the comment above about the Brim MasterCard. I’ve applied for that one now instead and will hopefully have better luck!

        • Barry Choi October 24, 2018 at 4:22 pm - Reply

          Katy,

          I’m not a fan of BRIM but that’s been mainly due to their lack of communication before their launch.

  30. Katherine Williams December 9, 2018 at 2:23 am - Reply

    STEER CLEAR! Not a positive experience.
    Friendly enough customer reps on phone, but took like over four months to hear back. Then, for the first time ever, I was asked for more info because they couldn’t confirm some stuff and told me I had two weeks to respond. Yeah, I agree two weeks is a long time, but seriously, if the company took over 16 weeks to make first contact?!?! And the email I received was akin to phishing asking me to submit personal info online. So, I phoned in and was told not to submit online and that the person would look into whether the request for info was valid and get back to me. It’s been about three months now. And I don’t think anyone’s getting back.

    Regardless of the potential cost savings this credit card purports to offer, I would caution those considering this card that the administrative errors I encountered during my application were a good warning to have BEFORE entering into a relationship with this company.

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