If you’ve had the same credit card in your wallet for the last 5 years, chances are you’re leaving money on the table. Canadian credit cards are competing vigorously for your business, offering more rewards, easier redemptions, better perks and lower interest rates than ever before.
However, sifting through the hundreds of available credit cards can seem like a daunting task. Here are a few tips to help you find the right card for you.
1. Do you keep a credit card balance from time to time?
If you keep a credit card balance from time to time, you’ll want a low interest credit card. No matter how large your rewards, if you’re paying 19.99% interest, it will wipe out the value of your rewards earnings, and then some.
The best low interest credit cards come with no annual fee and offer fixed rates as low as 9.99%. Some card can even go as low as 5.99% depending on your credit worthiness.
2. Do you already have a credit card balance?
If you already have a credit card balance, you’ll want to explore shifting your high interest credit card debt to a low interest balance transfer card.
You should look for balance transfer with promotional rates as low as 0% and as long as 12 months. This will give you a full year to pay down your credit card balance interest free.
3. What kind of rewards do you want?
If you pay your credit card bill in its entirety every month, then you should be focusing on a rewards card. The first step is to determine what type of rewards you want.
Are you interested in earning rewards towards airfare, hotel stays, cash back, free gas or the movies. If you’re a member of one of Canada’s loyalty programs, you may want to compare Aeroplan credit cards or Air Miles to help accelerate your earnings.
4. To fee, or not to fee
There are only two reasons you should get a credit card with an annual fee. The first is because it nets you more earnings, even with the fee, than a no fee alternative. The second, is because it has a benefit who’s value to you is greater than the cost of the annual fee.
For example, a credit card’s travel insurance package could be worth hundreds more than a $120 annual fee. Four free lounge passes can also be worth more than $120.
5. Where do you use your credit card?
Many credit cards offer extra points or cash back for different types of merchant categories like grocery, pharmacy, gas, restaurant, entertainment, recurring spend, travel, etc…
Understand where you spend your money to help determine which credit card maximizes your earnings.
Stop leaving money on the table. Take advantage of the great offers in the marketplace. There’s never been a better time to get a new credit card in Canada.
Marc Felgar is a credit card expert & online entrepreneur from Montreal, QC. He is the CEO and founder of http://www.GreedyRates.ca, which helps Canadians find the best credit card through online comparison tools, filters, credit card reviews and the latest deals and offers in the marketplace.