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No FX fee vs increased rewards on FX transactions
May 8, 2019
5:37 pm
Doug
West Kelowna
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Edit by admin: Split from a thread about the Scotiabank Gold American Express credit card

I prefer clear & transparent (i.e., no FX fee) versus using cash back rewards to "rebate" me the FX fee. Also, I'd note that the Rogers rewards are essentially useless to me since I'm not a Rogers customer nor am I likely to become one. Home Trust Preferred Visa is just cash back, as a statement credit (would be nice if they'd credit an external savings account, or potentially tie in with Oaken Savings Account! sf-cool).

As to MasterCard International's FX rate being "slightly better" than Visa International's, it's certainly possible, but unless you're exchanging a few thousand Canadian equivalent dollars, you're likely looking at pennies and nickels worth of savings. Roughly speaking, a 1% difference in FX exchange rates equates to $1.00 savings for every $100.00 converted. At HSBC, at the Kelowna and Westbank branches, as a branch-level decision, we used manually to add an extra penny (1%) onto the bank's selling rate and subtract an extra penny from the bank's selling rate so as to pad the branch's foreign exchange margin and boost the branch's profitability. Some other HSBC branches did this as well, and may still do it, I'm not sure. So, for instance, if the bank's USD selling rate was 1.10, we'd modify it to 1.11 before we quoted it to the customer.

If you are converting at least $25,000 Canadian equivalent with HSBC, though, you can request a Treasury rate and then you'd get the best rate (much better than even the bank's public foreign exchange rates published on the website), which were generally about 0.20-0.40 above the bank's mid-rate (also known as the staff rate). Broadly speaking, the spread most banks and credit unions take in Canada (that is the difference between their mid-rate and their published rates, not Treasury rates) is about 200 basis points, or 2%. If you're a business and have a business operating account with HSBC, you can even pay a monthly fee for access to HSBCnet and book Treasury rates yourself online (without a branch), benefiting essentially from the bank's mid-rate (about 5-10 bps over the Bank of Canada rates or rates you see on XE.com) and there's no minimum threshold, as far as I know.

Cheers,
Doug

May 8, 2019
5:59 pm
Briguy
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I'm not a Rogers customer either, but I get my Rogers cash back every time I log in to my Rogers Bank account online, I click " Cash Back Rewards " then "Visit Reward Summary" then "Pay with Rewards" then "Manage Settings" then set amount I want to redeem, then "Next Only" then "Apply". This is a lot of clicking of buttons, but better than Home Trust which only gives you cash back once a year in January. I prefer to have Rogers World Elite PLUS Triangle World Elite instead of just the Home Trust so I can get the higher cash back, more frequent cash back from Rogers, plus the roadside assistance plus potential for bill pay from Triangle .

May 8, 2019
6:03 pm
Doug
West Kelowna
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Briguy said
I'm not a Rogers customer either, but I get my Rogers cash back every time I log in to my Rogers Bank account online, I click " Cash Back Rewards " then "Visit Reward Summary" then "Pay with Rewards" then "Manage Settings" then set amount I want to redeem, then "Next Only" then "Apply". This is a lot of clicking of buttons, but better than Home Trust which only gives you cash back once a year in January. I prefer to have Rogers World Elite PLUS Triangle World Elite instead of just the Home Trust so I can get the higher cash back, more frequent cash back from Rogers, plus the roadside assistance plus potential for bill pay from Triangle .  

Can you redeem for straight cash, either to a linked bank account or as a credit card statement credit? That'd be essential for me. 🙂

Agreed that Canadian Tire has beefed up their credit card offering, particularly their World Elite card, in terms of cash back or quasi-cash back (Canadian Tire rewards/gift cards).

Cheers,
Doug

May 8, 2019
6:18 pm
Briguy
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Doug said

Can you redeem for straight cash, either to a linked bank account or as a credit card statement credit? That'd be essential for me. 🙂

Agreed that Canadian Tire has beefed up their credit card offering, particularly their World Elite card, in terms of cash back or quasi-cash back (Canadian Tire rewards/gift cards).

Cheers,
Doug  

Can redeem it on your web browser for straight cash back of 1.75% toward your next Rogers credit card statement. If you load the app on your phone you get additional functionality and can redeem it towards your next purchase, which is what you do with PC Optimum card at Loblaws but with PC Optimum you don't need the app.

https://rogersbank.com/en/how_to_redeem_your_cash_back_rewards

May 8, 2019
7:19 pm
Doug
West Kelowna
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Ah, okay, that's good at least, thanks Briguy. I didn't prefer to take a Rogers Bank credit card statement credit. I actually thought they'd make you take it in Rogers merchandise, or as a Rogers bill credit. 😉

And I thought you said you were a Rogers customer? You rated Rogers a 1/10 for customer service quality versus Achieva and Hubert as 10/10, remember?

Cheers,
Doug

May 8, 2019
7:28 pm
Briguy
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Doug said
Ah, okay, that's good at least, thanks Briguy. I didn't prefer to take a Rogers Bank credit card statement credit. I actually thought they'd make you take it in Rogers merchandise, or as a Rogers bill credit. 😉

And I thought you said you were a Rogers customer? You rated Rogers a 1/10 for customer service quality versus Achieva and Hubert as 10/10, remember?

Cheers,
Doug  

I used to be a Rogers Internet user and switched to Carrytel because I got tired of talking to customer retentions at renewal time. I also switched from Rogers mobile to Koodo because I got more data at a better price at Koodo. So now my only Rogers product is their credit card., which I'm loving so far.

May 8, 2019
7:38 pm
Doug
West Kelowna
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Briguy said

I used to be a Rogers Internet user and switched to Carrytel because I got tired of talking to customer retentions at renewal time. I also switched from Rogers mobile to Koodo because I got more data at a better price at Koodo. So now my only Rogers product is their credit card., which I'm loving so far.  

LOL, kinda funny! And, I bet the Rogers Bank uses different call centres than the Rogers cable/Internet/wireless divisions. 😉

I've heard Koodo is quite good...I'm with Telus Prepaid, but am looking at Telus' other discount flanker brand, Public Mobile.

Cheers,
Doug

May 8, 2019
7:52 pm
GICinvestor
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Tip for Telus Prepaid. If you don’t use your phone a lot.

Whine about your plan, ask to unlock your phone if it isn’t (cuz you are moving to another carrier), or say you have found a better deal. Hope they hook you up with the retention department.

They may offer you Talk 100 for $100 a year.
Talk 100 gets you:
10 cent a minute calling
50 cents for texting
50 cents on top of 10 cents for long distance.
3 free voice mails
Whine a bit more and they will give you and spouse free calling to each other.

May 8, 2019
10:04 pm
Doug
West Kelowna
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GICinvestor said
Tip for Telus Prepaid. If you don’t use your phone a lot.

Whine about your plan, ask to unlock your phone if it isn’t (cuz you are moving to another carrier), or say you have found a better deal. Hope they hook you up with the retention department.

They may offer you Talk 100 for $100 a year.
Talk 100 gets you:
10 cent a minute calling
50 cents for texting
50 cents on top of 10 cents for long distance.
3 free voice mails
Whine a bit more and they will give you and spouse free calling to each other.

I just switched to the Talk and Text 100 plan a couple years ago, but it's a current plan so don't need the retention department.

Cheers,
Doug

May 9, 2019
3:24 am
Briguy
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Doug said

GICinvestor said
Tip for Telus Prepaid. If you don’t use your phone a lot.

Whine about your plan, ask to unlock your phone if it isn’t (cuz you are moving to another carrier), or say you have found a better deal. Hope they hook you up with the retention department.

They may offer you Talk 100 for $100 a year.
Talk 100 gets you:
10 cent a minute calling
50 cents for texting
50 cents on top of 10 cents for long distance.
3 free voice mails
Whine a bit more and they will give you and spouse free calling to each other.

I just switched to the Talk and Text 100 plan a couple years ago, but it's a current plan so don't need the retention department.

Cheers,
Doug  

Try switching to Public Mobile for 15.00 per month ( 13.00 with autopay ) for current special OF:
-WITH AUTOPAY-
100 minutes Canada wide talk
Unlimited int'l text
+ Bonus 250 mb data with auto pay
+ UNLIMITED INCOMING CALLS
https://www.publicmobile.ca/en/bc/plans/15for250MB-3Gspeed
( Discussion on RFD: https://forums.redflagdeals.com/public-mobile-public-mobile-13-now-includes-unlimited-incoming-calls-2282235/ )

You can make outgoing calls with Google Hangouts using your 250 mb data or preferably while you are on wifi, by downloading both the "Hangouts" and "Hangouts Dialer" apps on your Android phone.

https://support.google.com/hangouts/answer/3187125?co=GENIE.Platform%3DAndroid&hl=en

May 9, 2019
8:37 am
Doug
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Thanks, Briguy. Yeah, that's more than I've ever paid for a cell phone per month (used to top up $10.00 on Telus Prepaid pay-as-you-go), but you do get a fair bit for that price (including a small amount of data). So, not a bad deal at all. That'd probably be something I'd switch to, especially when I am working again and would likely use a cell phone more often.

I do like Google Hangouts, but recently, am less-than-enamoured with some changes Google made to Chrome that auto-signs me in to Hangouts on my Windows 10 PC based on the Google account signed into Chrome. I expect to, and should be able to, use Google Hangouts independently from my Google Chrome signed-in account!

Most of my texting I do from my desktop PC, using my U.S. Google Voice number (from Seattle, Washington), obtained when Canadians could still get U.S. Google Voice numbers. Only downside is my mom has a really crappy Telus postpaid plan that has her paying $80/mo. and doesn't include texting to international numbers outside of Canada! I tried to tell her that when you sign a contract, just to get a new-ish iPhone (upgraded from the iPhone 4 or 4s to an iPhone 7, as I recall), you're paying for that new iPhone in the form of mandatory monthly bill minimums. For how little data and talk she uses, I suspect a $30-35 Koodo or Public Mobile plan would serve her just fine.

Cheers,
Doug

May 9, 2019
9:00 am
GICinvestor
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If you want to save a few more bucks.

Subscribe to a voip service for home phone like VoIP.ms. You can port your existing number over to them.

Average monthly cost including taxes is $13 Cdn.
Lot more options are available including call block.

Then instead of Google Hangout.
Set up a sub account for each cell phone in your family if you like, on voip.ms.
Down load one of many apps to your cell phone and set it up. I use a free app called Zoiper.

You use your home number on Zoiper to make and receive calls from your home number over wifi or data. You will be billed from voip.ms the same as if you made the call from home. Your home number allows multiple inbound or outbound calls from it, so it can be done. The only hiccup I had, was to turn off multiple inbound calls to my ATA box.

May 9, 2019
2:54 pm
Briguy
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GICinvestor said
If you want to save a few more bucks.

Subscribe to a voip service for home phone like VoIP.ms. You can port your existing number over to them.

Average monthly cost including taxes is $13 Cdn.
Lot more options are available including call block.

Then instead of Google Hangout.
Set up a sub account for each cell phone in your family if you like, on voip.ms.
Down load one of many apps to your cell phone and set it up. I use a free app called Zoiper.

You use your home number on Zoiper to make and receive calls from your home number over wifi or data. You will be billed from voip.ms the same as if you made the call from home. Your home number allows multiple inbound or outbound calls from it, so it can be done. The only hiccup I had, was to turn off multiple inbound calls to my ATA box.  

Great ideas !!! Way too complicated for me though. You will need to buy an ATA device such as OBI 200 for 70.00 https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833617015&ignorebbr=1&AID=10657534&PID=749547&SID=rfdcb&nm_mc=AFC-C8JunctionCA&cm_mmc=AFC-C8JunctionCA-_-na-_-na-_-na&utm_medium=affiliates&utm_source=afc-RedFlagDeals.com&cjevent=ac7b371f72a411e9810c00000a240611

Doug can just put his google voice number on his OBI 200 at that point and get a free home phone line. And dial out on Google Hangouts on his phone, no need for voip.ms

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