Choosing a credit card that fits your budget and lifestyle can be a challenge for Canadian consumers.
But RateSupermarket.ca wants to make it a bit easier for you with the Finance Awards 2017, showing their picks for the best credit cards of the year.
With categories such as “Best rewards card” (Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite), “Best Card for Carrying a Balance” (MBNA True Line Mastercard), and “Best Card for Building Credit” (Capital One Guaranteed Secured Mastercard), officials say they want to narrow down the choices for Canadians.
“I think that first and foremost as the consumer, you need to have a basic understanding of what best fits your lifestyle,” Janine White, vice-president of RateSupermarket.ca, told Global News.
“For example if a customer typically carries a balance, then they’re likely in the market for a low-interest credit cards.”
But Scott Hannah, from the Credit Counselling Society, warned people to do their homework before switching.
“With all the credit cards, people should look at their own behaviour to make sure they have a credit card that suits them,” he told Global News.
It’s also prudent to make sure consumers are getting the best bang for their buck – and factor in the rewards.
“One of these categories has the best gas rewards card,” Hannah said. “But if you find for example that buying your gas at a Shell station isn’t the best deal, and you get a much cheaper deal down the street; even if you get one or two per cent back [on your credit card] you’re better off going down the street.
“It’s important you understand how the benefits work.”
Hannah explained that before you switch, you should contact your existing credit card company to see if they have a similar program or added incentives because often they don’t advertise what they can do.
“They may not be able to give you a credit card that maybe’s not quite the best in the category, but they may enhance it with giving you free banking, perhaps a safety deposit box, or waiving the annual fee on their credit card altogether,” he explained.
It’s really all about being a savvy consumer – and doing your homework.
The Best App is a new category for RateSupermarket.ca.
Drop is the winner for this year, which tracks your spending and gives you extra rewards on that spending. But White warns that apps aren’t the most important thing for Canadians to worry about if they’re worried about their finances.
She also warned that if you choose to use these apps, you’d be giving up your financial or spending data to get the rewards – and you should balance the risk yourself.
Here’s the list of best credit cards as compiled by RateSupermarket.ca
Best Rewards Card: Scotia Momentum VISA Infinite card
Best Rewards Card with No Fee: SimplyCash Card from American Express
Best Card for Carrying a Balance: MBNA TrueLine MasterCard
Best Card for Balance Transfers: MBNA Platinum Plus MasterCard
Best Card for Building Credit: Capital One Guaranteed (& Guaranteed Secured) MasterCard
Best Card for Students: BMO SPC CashBack MasterCard
Best Card with Travel Perks: Scotiabank Gold American Express Card
Best Card for Groceries: President’s Choice Financial Mastercard
Best Gas Rewards Card with No Fee: BMO Shell Air Miles MasterCard
Best Rewards App: Drop
For the full winners of the Best of Finance 2017, go to their website here.
© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.