Quite often people ask me what credit cards I use. It’s not a weird question since I love talking about credit cards, so it’s only natural that I share what’s in my wallet. I actually wrote this post back in January of 2015, but it’s time for a much-needed update. It’s been 3 years since that post and since then I’ve signed up for many new cards and some of the old cards I used to love have been discontinued. Here are the credit cards I use and why I love them.
American Express Personal Platinum
The American Express Personal Platinum card is the main credit card I use. Yes, it comes with a high annual fee of $699, but I fully utilize all the benefits that it offers. I travel a lot, so the lounge access comes in handy and the hotel status upgrades have given me a lot of free additional perks over the years. Another reason I love the American Express Personal Platinum card is the flexibility of the American Express Membership Rewards points that I earn with the card. Membership Rewards points are worth a minimum of 1% in travel but they can be transferred to Aeroplan at a 1:1 ratio or Marriott at a 1:1.2 ratio which can offer even better value depending on what I’m booking. Read my American Express Personal Platinum review now and find out why it’s one of the best travel credit cards in Canada.
American Express Platinum Business
The American Express Platinum Business is very similar to the American Express Personal Platinum but it comes with a lower annual fee and some reduced benefits. As the name implies, it’s a business card so I only use this card for my business expenses. Interestingly enough, if you’re looking to ride the Amex train where you can earn enough points for a free flight around the world, the Amex Platinum Business card is the one you would start with since it comes with a monster 60,000 point signup bonus. If you want to read more about this card, check out my American Express Platinum Business review now.
PC Financial World Elite MasterCard
I do the majority of my shopping at No Frills which is owned by Loblaws and with the President’s Choice Financial MasterCard, I basically earn triple the PC Optimum points or 3% in cash back equivalent. Another advantage of this credit card is that it’s a Mastercard. Some of the merchants I shop at don’t accept American Express so I use this card instead. Although I don’t shop much at Shopper’s Drug Mart, you earn 45 PC Optimum points per $1 spent there which is essentially a 4.5% return. Shoppers Drug Mart often has some great promotions e.g. spend $75 and get 25,000 PC Optimum points so having this card is essential to fully maximize your return. Here’s my full PC Financial World Elite Mastercard review.
Home Trust Preferred Visa
Last year, CHASE decided to pull all of their cards out of Canada which meant I needed a replacement credit card without foreign exchange fees. At the time, the Home Trust Preferred Visa was a natural choice since it had no annual fee and had no forex fees. To be honest, I don’t love this card and I’m hoping a better card comes along. I have considered switching my no forex card to the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card or the Rogers World Elite Mastercard, but I don’t see a real need to make the switch yet. Read my Home Trust Preferred Visa card review now to find why this card is great if you’re looking for something simple.
Starwood Preferred Guest American Express
I love Starwood properties and now that they’ve fully integrated with Marriott, I use this card whenever I’m staying at one of their hotels since it gives me a higher earn rate. If you didn’t know, Marriott Rewards is one of the best hotel loyalty programs in the world so having this credit card is an easy way to earn points fast. The sign up bonus 50,000 points is good enough for 5 free nights at a category 4 property when you take advantage of their book 4, get the 5th-night free promotion. The Starwood Preferred Guest American Express card comes with a ton of benefits so make sure you read my review now.
MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard
The MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard is the most recent credit card I signed up for and I did it just for the sign up bonus of 30,000 Alaska Airlines miles. Even though Alaska Airlines doesn’t fly from my home airport of Toronto, I can use those miles for Cathay Pacific flights which are very valuable to me. For example, a roundtrip ticket from Toronto to Hong Kong in premium economy with Cathay Pacific costs 70,000 Alaska Airlines miles, by signing up for the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard, I’m always halfway to getting a sweet flight. The card does come with an annual round-trip companion voucher for $121 USD which can be a sweet deal if you live in Vancouver.
KOHO credit card
Okay, KOHO isn’t technically a credit card, but I still use it. With this card, you preload your funds which essentially makes it a prepaid card that uses the Visa network for transactions. It’s a handy card if you’re looking to manage your spending while earning cash-back rewards on your purchases. Now you’re probably wondering why I’m carrying a pre-paid card when I have so many credit cards, well it’s mainly because of the referrals. When you sign up for KOHO using my KOHO referral code CASHMONEY20, you and I will both get $20 when you activate your card. Want to learn more about KOHO? Read my KOHO review now and find out how you can earn up to $60 for free.
RBC Visa Infinite Avion
The RBC Visa Infinite Avion is the most recent credit card that I signed up for. At the time, it came with a 15,000 point signup bonus and I would get another 5,000 points if I spent $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. Since the card also had a first year free offer, I was essentially getting $200 in travel for free. My plan is to transfer those points over to WestJet Rewards later and then product switch from this card to the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard.
Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard
I don’t use my Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard as much as I used to, but since I’ve had this card for quite some time, I have grandfathered benefits which I prefer to keep. But why would I keep a card that I don’t use? Mainly as a precaution in case I decide to stop using Amex cards or I start travelling less and I can’t justify spending $699 a year on my Amex Platinum card. Although the card is no longer available to the public, Capital One does have the Aspire travel Mastercard which will appeal to some people.
TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite Card
This credit card is a joint card that my wife and I use. In the last year, we’ve barely used this card since I prefer to maximize our points individually on one of our American Express cards. My wife and I communicate on a regular basis about our finances so there’s no real need to have a joint card anymore, but we’ll keep this card active since we a TD All-inclusive banking plan which waives the annual fee for this card.
MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus MasterCard
I used this cash back MasterCard before picking up my PC Financial card but since then I’ve stopped using this card completely. Although I don’t charge anything to this card anymore, I decided to keep this card active since it’s my oldest credit card. My keeping this credit card active, it helps increase my credit score.