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Usage of my credit cards: An analysis, 2020
December 23, 2020
3:44 pm
User230
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Last year I posted an analysis of my spending:

https://www.highinterestsavings.ca/forum/credit-card-reward-programs/usage-of-my-credit-cards-a-analysis/

Here is the 2020 version:

Tangerine World MasterCard: 64%
The majority of the year I have used Tangerine. The 2% is better than the 1.5% from Rogers. I like how the card has all the information on one side. I like that the card is vertical.

I am currently decreasing my usage of this card in favor of the AMEX.

Rogers World Elite MasterCard: 18%
I decreased the usage. Mainly because of the 1.75% to 1.5% drop. They are also down grading people if they have lower usage. They also downgraded their card in terms of interchange fees. The online interfaces are not good.

I am decreasing my usage of this card in favor of the AMEX.

PC World Elite MasterCard: 15%
I decreased the usage of this card. Mainly because I buy less from PC stores. I only use this card at PC stores.

I am decreasing my usage of this card in favor of the AMEX.

American Express Simply Cash: 3%
I decreased my usage of this card. Mainly because most of my spending was under the 2% category for Tangerine this year.

I am increasing my usage of this card. I am finding there are less headaches to deal with when using AMEX. It offers okay rewards, and okay customer service.

Home Trust Visa: 0.1%

I have not done foreign travel this year.

Likely I will increase usage this year if I can travel again.

All numbers are rounded to the whole number except the Home Trust Visa credit card.

Ease of use in getting the data:

AMEX > HT > PC > Tangerine > Rogers

AMEX – Download the data and get the total without summing the values
HT – Download the data and sum the values to get the total
PC – Select all the categories and delete the payments. Sum the values
Tangerine – Use the category break down of your spend and sum the values using a calculator
Rogers – Need to download each statement and carry over the amounts which takes time and then sum the values. Takes way to long.

Position:
Main wallet (easy access): PC and AMEX
Specific task wallet (less easy to get to): Tangerine
Backup wallet (not easy to get to): Rogers and Home Trust

Rogers is a backup as they have reduced the rewards but not increased customer service. I find their operations is a mess often, Confusing at the best of times. There is a reason they offered high rewards for a while. They still do offer competitive rewards.

Home trust is a backup as I am not traveling outside of my home province.

Tangerine has its own wallet because they offer real good rewards (on three categories) and are not going to downgrade my card if I do not spend a certain amount (I can have a combo of cards).

I go often to the grocery store and need the PC MasterCard.

I find for the AMEX, compared to the others, it is easier to get information. Which is important.

I am caring less about rewards and more about eliminating potential headaches and the need to respond to time consuming issues. That means more usage of the AMEX and less of the other cards in the year to come.

Final thoughts:
I am likely to hold onto my PC MasterCard even if I am downgraded. Likely I will get rid of Rogers if they downgrade me.

Long term: Want three cards. Likely PC MasterCard, Home Trust Visa, and AMEX.
I think Tangerine, Rogers, and Home Trust are likely to downgrade their credit cards further overtime. Home Trust recently down graded but I don’t see them going much further if they want to keep at all competitive.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What is your usage of credit cards and what do you think of your credit cards?

Do not include actual numbers. Just percent. This is to avoid issues that could arise from using exact numbers.

The percent I state for each card, are the actual percent of my spend for that card.

December 23, 2020
4:27 pm
Kidd
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I might just be a simple person (we are NOT talking about my mind). I have one wallet and my debit and visa cards are plain jane TD.

I have plenty of opinions, which only seem to get me into trouble with Peter when i post them here.

December 23, 2020
5:17 pm
Winnie
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User230 said
I am caring less about rewards and more about eliminating potential headaches and the need to respond to time consuming issues. That means more usage of the AMEX and less of the other cards in the year to come.

I like rewards and had no headaches with any of my credit cards so far.

My 2020 usage:
Tangerine MasterCard: 97%
(I like 2% rewards)
Capital One MasterCard: 2.9%
RBC Visa: 0.1%

December 23, 2020
6:29 pm
Loonie
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I don't have this kind of breakdown information. We use a Big Bank card with decent rewards and same reward rate for all purchases, with good insurance package, for almost everything. We have used the insurance and find them good to deal with. It is a fee-based card, which I know is anathema to many of you. We determined that since one of us does almost all the shopping, there was no need for both of us to have this card, so we cut back to one card, which is cheaper, and we haven't missed the other one.
Any time we have a complaint about the card, which is not very often, we ask for compensation in the form of the number of points equal to a year's renewal, and always get it without any hassle. - I imagine their math is the same as mine!
In my view, this is still the best card for us: no decisions required as to which card to use, one bill payment, useful insurance, reasonable rewards. Because the rewards are applied to travel (at the best rate), we will likely switch to another primary card at some point, but not yet. We haven't travelled much for a few years but we still use up the points in local excursions and hospital parking lots (which are reimbursed with the points.)

We have 2 special purpose cards which we don't use very often, and one card with a very high credit limit which we might not be able to get now as retirees - as a backup only as it has low rewards.

Increasingly, I lack the patience to manage multiple credit cards. As reward rates decrease, it becomes less and less attractive to me to bother. I also dislike the whole process of applying for new cards and having yet another bill to keep track of and arrange to pay.

If an FI offered everything we get in the major credit card we use, with higher rewards or no-fee that i thought were likely to last, I'd go for it, but so far none have come to light, and we've had this card for a long time. I think it's fairly priced so it's unlikely we'd find a better deal.

But, more power to those who have the patience and will to work out the details of card shuffling!

December 23, 2020
6:45 pm
pooreva
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Loonie said
with good insurance package, for almost everything. We have used the insurance and find them good to deal with.

.....

and one card with a very high credit limit which we might not be able tot get now as retirees - as a backup only as it has low rewards.

Do you mind elaborating how did you use insurance (I assume that is purchase insurance - loss or theft withing 90 days, or warranty extension up to 1 year).

What is 'high credit limit' for you? I have one card with $25,000. I doubt I will EVER reach $5,000 but it is nice to have 25K (maybe it hurts credit score??).

December 23, 2020
9:17 pm
Loonie
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We have used the car rental insurance extensively in the past, in the range of $20K total that we didn't have to spend - we rented cars every weekend for several years (about half the cost of ownership at the time as I was getting really good rates), 3-day weekend plus plane-car vacations of 2-3 weeks. Used the extended warranty this past year, close to $1000 for two repairs.
Unlike some credit card policies, this one offers primary car rental insurance rather than secondary; and there are no exclusions for computers on the extended warranty. The car insurance on the cheap o cards is usually secondary, i.e. almost useless
The cheap ones also tend to exclude computers from warranty coverage.
It's important to read the policies carefully.

The high credit limit means that it's more than I expect to ever need and I have never come close to reaching it, but not enough that I can book a trip to the moon!

December 24, 2020
4:10 am
Londonguy
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pooreva said

I have one card with $25,000. I doubt I will EVER reach $5,000 but it is nice to have 25K (maybe it hurts credit score??).  

Actually it's the other way around -- having high card limits (including ones you don't use) helps your credit score because your overall credit utilization ratio will be lower

December 24, 2020
5:20 am
Alexandre
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Not much changed for me since last year.

I got rid of RBC Visa card.

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite: 94%

Still my favorite credit card. The only one annual fee card I hold. 3% cashback gives nice reward. Lion's share of shopping goes through that card, also all recurring bills. Annual fee is offset by roadside assistance card offers: I don't have to subscribe to CAA.

AmEx Simply Cash: 1%

For Amazon and other Internet shopping only. Every charge on that card generates notification alert on smartphone. That helps me keep an eye on unauthorized CC charges.

Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard: 5%

I thought I do use Tangerine credit card very unfrequently, but checked last 12 months transactions and to my surprise they amounted to 5% of all expenses. Will keep it.

BMO Cashback Mastercard

Considering subscribing to that no annual fee card with 3% groceries cashback, to add to TD Visa if I start maxing on TD Visa groceries cashback.

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