The Credit Cards I Use
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.
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 sign up bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. However, if you use my referral link, you get 75,000 points on a $7,000 spend.
WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard
As stated above, I was originally going to product switch to this card but once I decided to keep my Avion card, I applied for the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard. I’ve been flying WestJet on a pretty regular basis for a while now so the included companion voucher and free checked baggage were very appealing. I also have gold status with WestJet so when I use this card on WestJet flights, I’m earning an incredible 10% cash back in WestJet dollars.
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.
Marriott Bonvoy American Express
Previously know as the Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express, the card has now been rebranded to Marriott Bonvoy to lineup with the reward program’s new name. With the Marriott Bonvoy American Express, you earn 5 points per $1 spend at Marriott properties which is an incredible earn rate. 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. I also love how this card gives you an annual free night certificate that can be used for a room worth up to 35,000 points. You get a sign up bonus of 51,000 points when using my referral link as long as you charge $3,000 to your card in the first three months of cardmembership. The regular offer is 50,000 points on a $1,500 spend.
KOHO credit card
With KOHO, 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 CASHMONEY, you get an extra 1% in cash back and I get a $20 commission. Want to learn more about KOHO? Read my KOHO review now and find out how you can earn up to $60 for free.
When STACK Mastercard was first launched, I didn’t pay much attention to it since I already had a no foreign transaction fee credit card. However, once I started reading the benefits of the card, I realized that it’s the best credit card for travel. Not only do you not pay any foreign exchange fees on purchases, but you also don’t pay any exchange fees when using local ATMs. The ATM may charge you a one time use fee, but in the end, there is no cheaper way to get cash when you’re travelling. I basically try to use this card exclusively whenever I travel outside of Canada as it’s more convenient than a US credit card.
RBC Visa Infinite Avion
I originally signed up for the RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card because it had a nice 25,000 points sign up bonus and the annual fee was free for the first year. My intention to transfer those points over to WestJet Rewards later and then product switch from this card to the WestJet RBC World Elite Mastercard, but then I realized that RBC Rewards is pretty flexible since they have multiple transfer partners such as British Airways Avios and a fixed travel program. I ended up keeping this card just to diversify my points.
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.
Hey thanks for the info. I just signed up for amazon.ca rewards visa after reading your post. I’m travelling abroad next month, so it will come in handy.
For my no-fee credit card that I use on a regular basis, I use CIBC Dividend – up to 1% cash back on your purchases throughout the year. Since I use it for almost all of my purchases, I get several hundred dollars back each year.
I used to use the PC Mastercard and redeem the points worth the value of xmas dinner groceries with it at the end of the year, but they annoyed me with bad customer service so I’ve since relegated it as my backup card.
And definitely pay balance in full.
The Amazon card id great but only use it for purchases in a foreign currency. I never use it for anything else.
The PC Plus points system is a bit stupid with the manual loading of offers but can offer value. One other card to consider is the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card is also one of the best cash back cards available but currently I’m too lazy to switch over.
Yes, my plan will be to use the Amazon card during international travel only. But is there any disadvantages to use it domestically?
No disadvantage, just the rewards aren’t as good. You’re better off using one of your other cards.
We have that TD card too and put everything on it. I like the idea of a card for travel without extra exchange charges.
Yes having a forex free card is essential. It adds up to a few hundred dollars every vacation.
I have the Capital One Aspire Cash credit card. I like the travel insurance it provides with no annual fee.
The Capital One Aspire card is one of the best ones available but it will be discontinued soon and they have yet to announce the details about the replacement card. Having travel insurance included is a HUGE bonus, a lot of people don’t realize how important having travel insurance is.
A self-admitting points whore!!! Have you considered the Capital One Aspire Travel World Mastercard? It basically pays 2% on all purchases and has a $120 annual fee but pays 10,000 miles per year, so the net fee per year is basically $20. It will be the next card I get
That card is going to be discontinued shortly. The main reason I use a TD card is because I get it for free. I should seriously think about just getting a different card that gives me the maximum benefits that I enjoy.
I just signed up for the Amex Gold so I can churn some Aeroplan points.
I used to have the TD card but switched after Emily convinced me that $5000 was too much to have sitting in the account to have minimum fees waived. We weren’t using everything the account had to offer so we jumped ship and also switched to the Capital One card. Consider jumping in on the Capital One just in case it gets grandfathered? I sure hope it does!
$5K is a bit much but we have to keep it in there to waive fees anyways. Plus it gives us other benefits e.g. no fee with partner ATM’s, free cheques, bank drafts, US Account.
Maybe I should get the Capital One card, or I could just churn out whichever Aeroplan card has fees waived right now.
[…] my fellow blogger Barry, from Money We Have wisely […]
Hey Barry! When product switching does it have the same affect as canceling a card and starting from scratch or does it keep the credit history in tact? Also—for a no forex card do you use it when paying for something online in Canada that is in USD or strictly when you’re physically out of the country? Thanks for your thoughts.
TO be perfectly honest, I’m not sure. I keep my MBNA card for that reason specifically. Every other card I don’t care if I product switch. With my no forex cards, I use it ANY time I’m paying in a currency that’s not CAD even if it’s for 99 cents on Aliexpress.
Hi Barry..what do you mean by product switch from RBC Avion to the RBC WestJet card? Is it as simple as calling Visa to switch or is it cancelling the Avion and applying for the WestJet card?
YOu can literally call RBC and tell them you want to convert your Avion card to the RBC WestJet card. This essentially cancels your Avion card and you’ll get send the WestJet card. By doing a product switch, you avoid another credit inquiry and your length of use remains the same.
Barry, I plan to go to Europe this summer and have the Home Trust Preferred Visa. I agree with you that it’s not my favorite card and I ONLY use it for foreign currency purchases, saved $6 last week on an 89 Euro flight from London to Paris!
Would you have any concern over physically using the card? I’ve read a few comments about certain credit cards not working in all places in Europe. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
I’ve heard reports of the Home Trust card not working in some places in Iceland but haven’t heard of any issues in Europe. Just remember they’s a 10 transaction limit per day.
How do you keep track of all the payments on so many cards? Do you just make it automatic?
I’ve only used cashback credit cards. I travel about once or twice a year, either with friends or parents. I usually stay in hostels or airbnb. Do you think travel credit cards would be a good fit for me? The reason why I’ve avoided them is because I think that there are restrictions on what flights I can get. What if I can’t use my points for the flights that my parents or friends want? If I book the hotel for my friends using points, how do I work out the cost to have them pay me back? Has anyone else run into similar issues?
Rarely am I using all the cards at the same time. Most of them are situational with only 2-3 for day to day use. I tend to have a good grasp on my finances so I know which cards I’ve used. For cards I don’t use often, I keep getting paper statements as a reminder.
Certain travel credit cards do have restrictions, but a card like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite lets you book any flight, you get lounge access, and you don’t pay forex fees so it’s a good all-in-one travel card.
If you’re using points to book a hotel, just find out what the cash rate would have been and then divide that amount by how many friends are sharing the room. That’s how much it’ll cost per person.
From what I understand, the 1% cash is not for every purchase. Bus passes,cab fares and online shopping purchases are not eligible for the cash back reward. Am I correct?
Which card are you referring to?
Sorry for the oversight. In my last post, I forgot to mention that it is the Home Trust Visa credit card that I don’t think will give 1% cash reward for every purchase.
As far as I know, the Home Trust Preferred Visa earns you 1% cash back on ALL purchases.