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  1. #1
    Frosh Canuck
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    I am a big fan of credit-cards with rewards programs, points systems and so-forth, and I'm always looking to see what the best deals out there are. I've recently been looking closer at 3 in particular, PC Financial (which I've had for a while), MBNA Smart Cash Master Card (which has some damn catchy bus ads ), and Shoppers Optimum Master Card (I love SDM and have had the SDM card for a while, but have been annoyed with them recently for discontinuing online access, so I re-visted the terms).

    Also, I will ad a disclaimer here - I know a lot of people around here aren't fan of credit cards, and try to avoid them which is fine. I use them to avoid bank fees from using my debit card too much, and I always keep my balances paid off, so I'm not acculmulating a tonne of interest.

    Also, all three of these cards are no annual fee, which is nice.
    Onto the breakdown:

    PC Financial:
    Points: 10 points per dollar spent
    Redemption: 10 000 points for $10 worth at any PC Grocery store. Minimunm redemption is $20 (20 000 points)

    Rate: 1% (To get $10 you have to spend $1000)
    Other: PC offers online access to accounts and balances.

    Shoppers Drug Mart Optimum Mastercard:
    Points:
    This card gives different amounts of points depending on if you shop at SDM or not: http://www1.shoppersdrugmart.ca/en/Mastercard.aspx
    AT SDM - Up to 25 points per dollar - 15 for using the MC, plus another 10 for showing your Optimum card.
    Elsewhere - 5 points per dollar

    Redemption: is based on the SDM Optimum Points chart, at the low end, 8000 points = $10, at the high end 95 000 points = $170. You get a better value at SDM for redeeming higher amounts of points, but even at the low end, 8000 points for $10 is a better value. Plus even without also using the optimum card, you get more points for using the SDM card.

    Of course, none of this takes into account bonus points, bonus redemptions and other promos SDM has all the time.


    MBNA Smart Cash:

    Earn: 3% on gas and groceries, 1% on all other retail purchases. for the first 6 months, the redemption on gas and groceries is 5%.

    When your account reaches $50 or more owed to you they send a cheque.
    Online access to account.


    My verdicts:
    MBNA Smart Cash seems to be a better deal than PC financial, but you have to wait longer to get your reward/redemption.

    The SDM card is worth it for people who shop there a lot, especially if you combine it with their sales, and bonus points offers.


    If you want to add a similar comparrasin for other cards, go ahead. I might add more here later.
    This thread is currently associated with: Pharmaprix, Shoppers Drug Mart


  2. #2
    CaToonie aemi's Avatar
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    MBNA Smart Cash is my favourite too, (I don't have one yet) but I am wondering if they can change the 3% at any given moment? I presume they are able to.
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  3. #3
    CaLoonie
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    Moneysense magazine wrote an excellent article on the different types of reward cards.

    http://www.moneysense.ca/2011/08/26/...it-cards-2011/

  4. #4
    Financial Advisor ashedfc's Avatar
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    Unless you pay your entire credit card balance to zero every month, these rewards are meaningless.
    Try & go to zero balance at every credit bill that's the best reward..

  5. #5
    Junior Canuck carebearhamm's Avatar
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    My ??? would be the annual fee for each of the cards. I was reading the fine print on the SDM and it seemed that the annual fee was the same as the fee points you get. I might be wrong.

  6. #6
    Contradiction in progress sweet sparrow's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by carebearhamm View Post
    My ??? would be the annual fee for each of the cards. I was reading the fine print on the SDM and it seemed that the annual fee was the same as the fee points you get. I might be wrong.
    I think all the cards being discussed are no-fee. (I've had all of them.)

  7. #7
    Frosh Canuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by sweet sparrow View Post
    I think all the cards being discussed are no-fee. (I've had all of them.)
    Yup, I mentioned that in my post that all the cards I was discussing are no-fee.

  8. #8
    Frosh Canuck
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    Quote Originally Posted by ashedfc View Post
    Unless you pay your entire credit card balance to zero every month, these rewards are meaningless.
    Try & go to zero balance at every credit bill that's the best reward..
    I said as a disclaimer when I started the post, that I pay down my credit cards in full every month.

  9. #9
    Financial Advisor ashedfc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caliza View Post
    I said as a disclaimer when I started the post, that I pay down my credit cards in full every month.
    Good for you. At least the bankers can't take advantage of your credit card use..

    My reply (which wasn't Reply with Quote) was guided towards individuals who maintain a balance, & are looking for rewards.

  10. #10
    Senior Canuck chillys-willy's Avatar
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    The Moneysense article discussed which were the best credit cards depending on your situation. ie. those who pay off their credit card balances vs. those that do not.
    Just joined Kiva.org, an organization that funds micro-loans to people in developing countries. I love the idea that the $25 I saved in groceries can be given to a fish woman with 5 children in the Philippines to help grow her business.



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