Credit card companies are competitive and will go to great lengths to distract you with sign-up bonuses or teaser cash-back rates that vanish after just a few months. How do you find the right card for the long term? We know it’s hard work to find the perfect match, so MoneySense has done it for you.
The task of comparing different rewards systems from dozens of issuers and hundreds of cards would make anyone wish they had a Masters in Data Analytics. Because of that, many of us stick with the same credit cards year after year, missing out on better deals on points and rewards.
To capture Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2017, we tapped our credit card tool, which is powered by our partners at Ratehub. The methodology takes into account a multitude of factors, including welcome bonuses, flexible travel with no restrictions, the ability to transfer rewards between cards, great cash-back value, amazing insurance packages, and more.
For this package we ran the numbers for six card categories (travel vs cash-back etc.) based on $2,000 in monthly spend (or $1,000 for the student category). Everyone’s card needs and usage are different and change over time, so we encourage you to use the tool as well.
Our assumptions on the monthly spend are as follows—groceries at $500, gas ($200), restaurants ($200) and bill payments ($125), travel ($125), entertainment ($225), pharmacy ($75) and other purchases of $500. (For student cards we assumed a lower $1,000 total monthly spend.)
That allowed us to tally up the magic number—that is, the annual net reward in dollar terms (we excluded sign-up bonuses) to identify the top three cards in each of the six categories.
We also threw in an honorary mention in each category because some cards should also be considered based on specific individual preferences.
Remember, credit cards are just a tool. If you use them wisely and never carry a balance, you can get valuable rewards to help stretch your family’s budget. If you pick the right card for you—and pay it off each month—you’ll ultimately come out a winner.
More from Canada’s Best Credit Cards 2017:
- Credit card pairs to fast track rewards
- Credit card terminology deciphered
- Juice your credit card rewards points
- 7 serious strategies for rewards fanatics