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O or E???...That's just wrong
April 19, 2017
12:57 pm
JustMe2016
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christinad said
I think its a choice as to how much you value your privacy versus more return/convenience. If people valued their privacy, they wouldn't be opening multiple accounts at different institutions and opening themselves up to more privacy breaches. I'll bet its better from a privacy perspective to limit your digital footprint but people don't want to lose dollars. Similarly with credit cards there are ways you can protect yourself. For example, my understanding is you are supposed to only use 1 of your credit cards for online purchases. If I did some digging, i'll bet I could find more privacy tips. Yes, some might require some inconvenience or loss of interest. Its a choice.  

The number of accounts one has at different institutions is of no importance as long as the financial institutions have competent individuals to manage their systems. It is much easier to break into one's home computer than breaking into a financial institution. So a single account is enough for being a target of identity theft. Always have redundancy in your protection. Just like investing, never put all your eggs into one basket. sf-wink

There is a relatively simple way to limit how much snooping gov. and businesses are doing; pay cash.

Also, like someone once said; with dogs, they insert a chip under the skin to track its movement. With humans, they insert the chip in their cell phones.

P.S. For the record; we have about 20 accounts in 8 financial institutions.

April 19, 2017
3:21 pm
Bill
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Norman1 & Loonie, I found the link and the previous thread re credit card rewards categories.

JustMe2016, I wasn't referring to you or anyone else here when I reported my observation about some folks' attitudes re privacy and use of social media, and I also have no online social media identity. Using cash is best for privacy, but Sweden has almost stopped its use - even most bank branches don't have or take cash. A few years ago I saw something on Finland where they use their phones for all purchases, even from vending machines, and then it's all on their monthly phone bill. Seems like cashless is coming sooner of later.

April 19, 2017
4:46 pm
Loonie
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So, will the banks be buying up the telecommunications companies, or will it be the other way around?
I hope the government will put a stop to this, although I have very little confidence that they will lift a finger.
Smartphones are expensive. Not everyone wants one or can afford one. It shouldn't be necessary to buy into this in order to use your own money.
It's already creeping in here. Did you ever try paying cash for gas at Costco? No can do.

Bill: The credit card categories are established by Visa and Mastercard. I haven't attempted to check, but perhaps Visa has a different code for Walmart Superstores than MC.

April 19, 2017
6:11 pm
Top It Up
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One only needs a credit card and a debit card to participate in a cashless society.

I'm seeing more and more smaller vendors using Square to accommodate their customers.

April 19, 2017
7:16 pm
Norman1
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Bill said
Norman1 & Loonie, you say it's all about the store's coding category and that all WalMart Superstores are coded as Grocery. So why when I go to the same Superstore with my VISA card, which gets me 4% on groceries, do I get the Visa card's non-grocery rate of 1% (no matter what I buy)? My experience goes against what you're saying. (If this was covered in another thread, can you provide the link? Thanks.)  

Loonie said

Bill: The credit card categories are established by Visa and Mastercard. I haven't attempted to check, but perhaps Visa has a different code for Walmart Superstores than MC.

Bill, would there be a way get the Merchant Category Code (MCC) of those Visa purchases at the Walmart Superstore that only got 1% back?

PC MasterCard shows the text of the MCC (like Grocery Stores & Supermarkets) of the charges on their web site. PC MasterCard also has the actual MCC in the TSV download of those transactions. Maybe your Visa card has something similar.

Another possibility is that you had reached an annual limit for the 4% cash back. For example, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card offers 4% back on gas station and grocery store purchases. But, there is a $25,000 annual limit:

3. You will earn 4% cash back on the first $25,000 you spend annually at gas stations and grocery stores. 4% cash back applies at merchants which are classified in the Visa Inc. (Visa) network as Grocery Stores & Supermarkets, Service Stations (with or without ancillary services), and Automated Fuel Dispensers (Merchant Codes: 5411, 5541 & 5542). Some merchants may sell these products/services or are separate merchants who are located on the premises of these merchants, but are classified by Visa in another manner, in which case this added benefit would not apply.

Perhaps your purchases were made at a separate merchant in the same Walmart Superstore? I saw one superstore that had a McDonald's and an optician. The McDonald's and the optician may not put their credit card charges through the Walmart Superstore's credit card merchant account.

April 19, 2017
8:08 pm
Bill
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Norman1, my wife used our new CIBC Dividend VISA Infinite card at the nearby Walmart Supercentre for a few months (she's there about twice a week for various things) before we realized we were getting the 4% for groceries elsewhere but not there, just the regular 1%. Just figured it was because it's a WalMart, not a grocery store. Then when we got the Tangerine MC she picked Groceries as a 2% category and lo and behold she's getting 2% on all purchases at the same store. So it's not that she's hit the yearly max or that it's at the in-store McD's, etc.

When you start talking about MCCs and TSVs my eyes glaze over and I almost nod off - sorry, I'm no help there.

April 19, 2017
9:18 pm
Loonie
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Bill, you could try just asking your Visa issuer why you aren't getting the same type of reward from them as you get from MC. It sounds like it's worth 2% to you. I still think it's most likely the code that's different, although most are the same for both companies.

For those who think one credit card is sufficient...
I was in a restaurant last week which ONLY takes Visa. We've been going there for years and I don't remember this being an issue before, so I think they must have ditched MC. What they told us was that the fees were too high with MC. Perhaps Visa is offering some merchants a deal at the moment. It's a very competitive market. Margins are very small unless you don't pay off the bills, but they definitely add up.

April 19, 2017
10:06 pm
Norman1
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Yes, one could call up the CIBC Visa Customer Service that is listed on the back of the card. Have the reference number of one of those Walmart Superstore charges and ask them what the merchant category is on that charge.

The category will be "Grocery Stores, Supermarkets" or "5411" for a grocery store. It would be something like "Discount Stores" or "5310" for a regular non-superstore Walmart store.

April 19, 2017
10:23 pm
Top It Up
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From the can't ever please everyone crowd ... first they're lamenting that they could't use cash to pay for their gasoline fill-up, they had to use a credit card, then they lament they could only use a Visa only CC at a restaurant to pay for their meal ... they never mentioned whether the restaurant would've accepted cash.

April 19, 2017
10:28 pm
Norman1
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The CIBC Dividend VISA Infinite card drops to 1% cash back on everything for the rest of the year after one charges $80,000 or after one charges $20,000 for gas, grocery, TELUS, or Tim Hortons purchases:

1 … The 4% and 2% cash back offers are only available on the first $80,000 in net annual card purchases (meaning all card purchases by all cardholders, at any type of merchant) or $20,000 on gas, grocery, TELUS or Tim Hortons purchases on your account, whichever comes first; after that, net card purchases at all merchants, including grocery stores, service stations/automatic gas dispensers, TELUS or Tim Hortons will earn cash back at the regular rate of 1%. The $80,000 limit and the $20,000 limit will reset to zero after the day your December statement is printed. …

April 20, 2017
5:38 am
Bill
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I'm aware the rate drops to 1% after the $20K or $80K limits have been hit, it's been 1% on the Supercentre purchases since day one.

April 21, 2017
5:42 pm
Norman1
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Bill said
I'm aware the rate drops to 1% after the $20K or $80K limits have been hit, it's been 1% on the Supercentre purchases since day one.  

That only leaves the possibility that the Walmart Supercentre's merchant category is other than 5411 (Grocery Stores, Supermarkets).

But, if it wasn't 5411, then your wife would not be able to get 2% cash back when she uses her Tangerine MC at the same store! sf-confused

It is possible that Walmart submits their Visa charges through a different merchant account than their MasterCard charges. That would allow for them to have a different merchant category for their Visa charges than for their MasterCard charges.

Walmart Canada and Visa Canada did come to a confidential settlement in January over the credit card fees paid by Walmart for their Visa charges. In return for a lower commission rate, Walmart may have agreed to a different merchant category that won't trigger higher Visa card cash backs.

Someone would have to use their Visa card at a Walmart Supercentre and see what merchant category the transaction comes through with.

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