I wrote about my favorite credit card, The MBNA SPG Credit card, a while back and now I’m wondering what is your favorite credit card?

I’m a fan of the no fee, high reward type cards.  The reason why I like the MBNA SPG credit card so much is because of the potentially high return on your dollars spend through the card.  From my reward redemptions thus far, I have returned around 3-5%.  Of course, this card is suited best for people who like to stay at hotels when they travel.

One particular redemption that they offer that I like is the flights and nights award.  For 70,000 points (approximately 2 yrs of spending for us), you can fly 2 people with their airline partners anywhere in North America, and get 5 nights in one of their 4 star hotels.  Their 4 star hotels can cost anywhere from $200-$500USD/night and a flight for 2 across the country would cost us at least $1800.  Assuming the hotel value is worth around $1,500CAD (5 nights x $300/night) + $1,800 = $3300.  Since the SPG credit card is a 1:1 point system after bonuses, my return is: $3300/$70,000 = 4.7%.

I’ve recently been asked by a reader about decent VISA credit cards in Canada.  In my opinion, there aren’t many decent NO FEE VISA cards in Canada.  The only exception being the CIBC Dividend card which gives 1% cash back after you spend $3000.  Other than that, in order to get a sensible return on your spending, you have to resort to fee based VISA’s like the CIBC Aerogold , or the RBC Avion both of which are $120/yr for primary and $50/yr for secondary cards..

Well, that’s my Saturday speel.  Back to my original question, what is your favorite rewards credit card and why?

Note that these rewards based credit cards are only effective if you pay off the balance in FULL every month.

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54 Comments

  1. The Biz of Life on August 26, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    In the US, I use the Amex Blue Card for the cashback awards…. up to 5% on gas and groceries…. 1% on other purchases. Pay it off religiously every month. My annual cashback award is typically large enough to put a big dent in one month’s charges.

  2. harry on September 30, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    Folks,
    (thinking about ditching my Aerogold CIBC VISA) I came across this on-line discussion, in search of a better (meaning more aligned with my own real needs) card. I found it very interesting/quite enlighting. Great place to improve on my financial knowledge.
    Up to one point though (a question) – which is related to the practicality/feasibility of continous hunting for the best card deal. Is it any problem when switching every so often (cancel, and aply for new) from one card/bank to another? I guess one’s personal credit rating may suffer, perhaps?

  3. Dean on November 16, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    Sears Rewards are the worst. You get 1 point for every dollar you spend, but in order to get a 50 dollar (Sears) Gift Card you have have to redeem 5000 points. Saving 1% for spending 5000 dollers is not being very frugal imho. The worst thing is the points expire, and so do the gift cards!

  4. Doug Hilderley on July 15, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Canadian Tire Gas Card (MC) -no fee- get gas discount at CTC stations ONLY
    -based on card usage – I buy EVERYTHING on the card up to $1000 each month and then get 8 cents a litre off , directly at the pump as it rolls back
    the price upon inserting the card (Has limit of $700 gas per month) Between my daughter and I, we reach the max.

    After reach $1000 on above card, I switch to CIBC Aerogold for Aeroplan miles as I fly to Thailand twice a winter. Combined with flying Air CANada (shorter flight as only one changeover) plus the miles given by A/C, I get the fourth flight almost free ($300 administration fees) instead of average of $1400. I buy all items at Aeroplan stores if prices comparable and then build up double points.

    Like you, I never pay interest. In 50 years, I paid a couple of bucks once as I missed the pay date.

  5. TJ on November 3, 2012 at 12:44 pm

    I’m hearing a lot lately about this (low) fee rewards Scotiabank Gold American Express Card which offers 4x Scotia Rewards points for every $1 you spend at gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment. Any readers/card users who can share some insight on it?

  6. FrugalTrader on November 3, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    @TJ, the only issue with AMEX is acceptance. When I had the SPG amex, I tried to put as much as i could on the card, but could only get up to $1k/month on average, which is less than half of our normal spend.

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