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Amazon Visa to be completely cancelled
January 12, 2018
10:25 pm
Peter
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For those of you who still have the Amazon Visa, which was closed to new applications in April 2017, it will be completely cancelled soon:

"As of March 15, 2018, Chase will be closing all Amazon.ca Rewards Visa Card accounts. Please update your credit card information for your Amazon.ca account and for any pre-authorized payments before this date."

Reference: https://www.chase.com/online/canada/amazon-ca-home.htm

January 12, 2018
11:18 pm
Rick
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Ouch...I use it a lot for US purchases. Going to have to find something else. Ever heard of Home Trust Preferred Visa?

January 13, 2018
6:24 am
fabafter50
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Rick said
Ouch...I use it a lot for US purchases. Going to have to find something else. Ever heard of Home Trust Preferred Visa?  

Me too! That is bad news! Any other options that anyone knows of?

January 13, 2018
6:46 am
fabafter50
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This might be an option.
It's the Rogers Platinum Mastercard.
Unlimited cash back rewards
Earn 1.75% in cash back rewards on all your purchases in Canadian dollars, everywhere Mastercard is accepted. And earn 4% in cash back rewards on all your purchases made in a foreign currency, whether your purchase is made online or while travelling outside of Canada.

Kind of makes it a wash for the foreign fees.

January 13, 2018
7:08 am
Peter
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Currently, I think these are the alternatives in terms of waived or supplemented foreign exchange fee:
* Rogers Platinum Mastercard
* Fido Mastercard
* Home Trust Preferred Visa
* HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (but you need to be an HSBC Premier member)
* Meridian Visa Platinum Travel Rewards and Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards (but you might need to be a Meridian Credit Union member; they never responded to my business application last year)

January 13, 2018
8:12 am
Koogie
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Rick said
Ouch...I use it a lot for US purchases. Going to have to find something else. Ever heard of Home Trust Preferred Visa?  

I applied for it this morning. Seems to be for my needs the best replacement for the Amazon Visa.

* No annual fee
* 1% CashBack with no limits to your total rewards
* No restrictions on where you earn your rewards
* Roadside Assist membership at no extra charge
* No foreign currency conversion surcharges
* Purchase Security Insurance, so you can shop with peace of mind
* Visa Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance

January 13, 2018
8:41 am
Nehpets
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TD Canada Trust offers a $USD credit card for Canadian clients HERE

However, because of TD's acquisition of banks in the U.S branded as TD Bank, with branches up and down the East Coast, and their high profile cross border banking arrangement for Canadian clients, on opening an account in a U.S. based TD branch, Canadians are eligible for a U.S. based, no fee, TD credit card.

Cross Border Banking Info..TD US

I've been using TD cross border banking since it became available several years ago and can say from personal experience it works flawlessly, with online transfer capability with good customer service when needed.

January 13, 2018
9:52 am
Doug
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Peter said
Currently, I think these are the alternatives in terms of waived or supplemented foreign exchange fee:
* Rogers Platinum Mastercard
* Fido Mastercard
* Home Trust Preferred Visa
* HSBC Premier World Elite Mastercard (but you need to be an HSBC Premier member)
* Meridian Visa Platinum Travel Rewards and Meridian Visa Infinite Travel Rewards (but you might need to be a Meridian Credit Union member; they never responded to my business application last year)  

Interesting, but not surprising in the least. I've been predicting this since whenever Scotiabank its acquisition of the Sears credit card portfolio (and the JPMorgan Chase Bank Canada contact centre in Canada as well, a lesser known element of the transaction). They continued, I believe, to service the Amazon.ca, and possibly, Marriott, credit card accounts on a fee-for-service basis since then. I expect Scotiabank to eventually close that contact centre now once their horrible integration of the Sears MasterCard accounts into their core banking/credit card platform is complete. They didn't automatically add Sears accounts to existing Scotia OnLine profiles and didn't even give you the option to add it yourself; requiring you to create an unnecessary, extra profile. Separately, they've also made all former Sears MasterCard accounts grandfathered only (i.e., no new sign-ups) and I now expect them, too, to eliminate the no FX fee on those remaining accounts. sf-cool

This was most likely JPMorgan Chase Bank's slow, multi-year exit of retail banking and consumer credit cards in Canada, including dissolving several banking subsidiaries, much like Bank of America is also doing but somewhat further along. As such, I expect the same to happen to the Marriott Rewards Visa as well, if it hasn't already.

Wasn't aware of that Home Trust Visa in particular. The HSBC Premier World Elite also has a $75,000 annual gross household income requirement, though for many people, that's likely not a major concern. The one caveat to that one, though, is their poor credit card platform (it's arcane). They've improved its visibility within HSBC online banking, to be sure, but it's still handled by HSBC's so-called WHIRL credit card platform from the legacy HSBC Finance systems, so bank branch staff don't have access to your credit card accounts, other than to view a balance, which is 24-48 hours delayed, and take payments. 🙂

The Meridian membership likely would not be a concern for business members as you could open it in your personal name, Peter, and when you make your payments, just make them towards yourself. I believe the CRA is more concerned with the receipts and related documentation that show it is for business purposes, no?

As it stands, my "top picks," in the space, I guess would be:
- the Fido MasterCard; or,
- the Home Trust Preferred Visa

A final point: Meridian co-owns their Visa portfolio, which is a small base having let CUETS Financial (i.e., TDCT) rebrand their MasterCard accounts from "Meridian" to "CUETS Financial"), with Collabria Financial so Collabria is worth investigating separately for similar credit cards, including business ones.

Cheers,
Doug

January 13, 2018
10:05 am
Doug
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fabafter50 said
This might be an option.
It's the Rogers Platinum Mastercard.
Unlimited cash back rewards
Earn 1.75% in cash back rewards on all your purchases in Canadian dollars, everywhere Mastercard is accepted. And earn 4% in cash back rewards on all your purchases made in a foreign currency, whether your purchase is made online or while travelling outside of Canada.

Kind of makes it a wash for the foreign fees.  

I just checked, with that attractive 1.75% amount you noted. That applies to the Rogers MasterCard, which carries an annual fee. The Fido MasterCard, which has no annual fee, is 1.5% plus 4% in FX transactions. Also, worth noting rewards are not true "cash back" (someone should challenge them on this!) as they must be redeemed for Rogers/Fido online purchases (i.e., new phone/accessories) or possibly as Rogers/Fido cell phone bill credits. Useless if you're a Bell or Telus wireless customer. sf-cool

For these reasons, my "top picks" have been adjusted:
1. Home Trust Preferred Visa
2. Meridian Credit Union powered by Collabria Financial Visa that Peter mentioned
3. HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard

Cheers,
Doug

January 13, 2018
10:06 am
voodoo22
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Thanks for that information. I just had my new Amazon card sent to me last month. Funny they're going to cancel it now.

I got the HomeTrust Visa last year and have been happy with it. It seems their exchange rate is not quite as good as Mastercard often, but with no plans to be a Rogers customer the HT card is a boon for us while it lasts.

A note that lots of people on the web complain about getting rejected for the HT card. No one knows why, but many hypothesise they are strict and review applications closely. Who knows.

January 13, 2018
10:06 am
Rick
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fabafter50 said
This might be an option.
It's the Rogers Platinum Mastercard.
Unlimited cash back rewards
Earn 1.75% in cash back rewards on all your purchases in Canadian dollars, everywhere Mastercard is accepted. And earn 4% in cash back rewards on all your purchases made in a foreign currency, whether your purchase is made online or while travelling outside of Canada.

Kind of makes it a wash for the foreign fees.  

Rewards are kind of limited unless you are a Rogers subscriber. Went with Koogie and applied for the Home Trust Visa. Did not know they were associated with Oaken.

January 13, 2018
10:09 am
voodoo22
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Doug said
Also, worth noting rewards are not true "cash back" (someone should challenge them on this!) as they must be redeemed for Rogers/Fido online purchases (i.e., new phone/accessories) or possibly as Rogers/Fido cell phone bill credits. Useless if you're a Bell or Telus wireless customer.
Doug  

I have read that you can get a statement credit once a year if you call in. So for people who are unable to get any of the better solutions you list, this may be their only option if they don't mind calling in once a year.

"You may also redeem your Rewards in the form of an annual statement credit to your Account by calling Rogers Bank at 1 855 775-2265."

I've heard this applies to both, but a quick search found the rogers platinum terms stating that above:

link

January 13, 2018
10:35 am
Loonie
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voodoo is correct from my understanding- and it applies to both Rogers cards.
My notes, from previous research, say that it appears as a credit on your January bill if you didn't use it for Rogers purchases.
The downside of the Rogers card from my point of view is that they are not set up for automatic paying of your CC bill from a bank account. They said a couple of months ago that they were "working on it". For me, this is an important feature as it prevents accidentally forgetting to pay your bill on time.

January 13, 2018
11:24 am
Doug
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Rick said
Rewards are kind of limited unless you are a Rogers subscriber. Went with Koogie and applied for the Home Trust Visa. Did not know they were associated with Oaken.  

Really? Yes, Home Trust is the parent company of Oaken Financial and Home Bank. Oaken issues direct-to-consumer deposits under the Home Trust and Home Bank CDIC member issues. Home Trust and Home Bank issue deposits under their respective issuers through deposit brokers, primarily in broker-held nominee form through FundSERV, using the "Home Trust Deposits" moniker. 🙂

Agree with you on the limited rewards option, Rick, even with an "on request" one-time annual "credit card statement credit". I think you made the right choice.

Cheers,
Doug

January 13, 2018
11:27 am
Doug
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Loonie said
voodoo is correct from my understanding- and it applies to both Rogers cards.
My notes, from previous research, say that it appears as a credit on your January bill if you didn't use it for Rogers purchases.
The downside of the Rogers card from my point of view is that they are not set up for automatic paying of your CC bill from a bank account. They said a couple of months ago that they were "working on it". For me, this is an important feature as it prevents accidentally forgetting to pay your bill on time.  

Wha!? Odd that two different credit cards from the same issuer would not be set up for pre-authorized debit. PC Financial was that way for the longest time until about 5 or 6 years ago but at least it applied to all their credit cards. Now, they market the heck out of it. 😉

Some companies are ... a little slow. 😉

As far as the rewards go, though, it would appear Fido's is 1.5%/4% still while Rogers is 1.75%/4%, with an annual fee (again, also a bit odd!). Which one do you have, Loonie? If the latter, you don't mind the annual fee?

Cheers,
Doug

January 13, 2018
12:46 pm
fabafter50
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Thanks everyone, these are a couple of really good options!

January 13, 2018
1:31 pm
Loonie
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I don't have any of them, Doug. Am waiting for Rogers to get its act together. We are spending very little in foreign currency, so not a big deal right now.
I have no categorical objection to fee-based cards. It all depends on the net at the end of the year. High usage may justify a fee-based card.

January 13, 2018
3:08 pm
Save2Retire@55
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Oh well. It was a good credit card for foreign transactions. Time to let it go.
I am going to check the alternatives pointed out here and see what to get next.

January 13, 2018
4:55 pm
Doug
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Loonie said
I don't have any of them, Doug. Am waiting for Rogers to get its act together. We are spending very little in foreign currency, so not a big deal right now.
I have no categorical objection to fee-based cards. It all depends on the net at the end of the year. High usage may justify a fee-based card.  

Ah, okay, yeah was wondering where you stood on that re: transaction volume versus rewards. 🙂

I agree, I don't do a lot of FX transactions (maybe $120 per year?), mostly in domain name registrations. I use Uniregistry, which literally is based in the Cayman Islands, both its head office and contact centre, not just for tax reasons. LOL sf-cool

Cheers,
Doug

January 13, 2018
5:10 pm
Loonie
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I don't really understand the thinking of people who object in principle to fee-based cards. Makes no sense to me. Like so many things, "it all depends".

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