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My Credit Card Strategy + What’s in My Wallet? Ricky March 6, 2019

My Credit Card Strategy + What’s in My Wallet?

I talk a big game when it comes to credit cards, but I realize I’ve yet to share with you guys my exact credit card strategy and the cards that I’m holding onto at the moment. In this post, I’ll talk about my general approach when it comes to applying for new credit cards, and I’ll also provide a rundown of the ones I currently have open and why I have them open (on both sides of the border!)

In This Post

How Often Do I Apply for a New Credit Card?

Back when I first started collecting points, my general strategy was to apply for two or three new credit cards every quarter. I’d carefully maintain a running calendar of the various good offers I planned on getting over the next 12 months, spaced out over three-month intervals, and every time a new quarter rolled around, I’d knock out two or three of them.

Knowing that playing the game in two-player mode was a key method of scaling my earnings, I’d do the same for applying for credit cards in Jessica’s name, and together we’d bring in a nice chunk of bonuses on a regular basis to get us closer to our next big trip.

Among these two or three new cards every quarter, there’d usually be one or two American Express cards of some sort (say, the Business Platinum Card and the Bonvoy Card), plus one of the sweet deals from one of the Big 5 banks (like the TD Aeroplan or the RBC Avion).

I had decided to keep to a quarterly schedule mostly to keep things simple and reduce the amount of bandwidth that this stuff took up in my life. Nevertheless, I’d occasionally deviate from that schedule if an AMAZING deal came up.

Take the CIBC Aerogold for Business 35k + First Year Free offer, for example – that’s the calibre of offer for which I’d “break” the three-month cycle without hesitation, just to snag that bonus while as soon as I can.

Sometimes, I’d get declined for a new credit card. It happens to everyone from time to time – even recently, for example, I was declined for the HSBC World Elite MasterCard late last year. If a bank declined me for a reason along the lines of “too many recent credit inquiries”, then I took that as a signal to take my foot off the gas for a bit and lay low for a few months.

(Banks are often reluctant to disclose the exact reason you were declined, but I found that it helps to follow up relentlessly to ask for a reconsideration, press them on the reason for the decline, and perhaps even lose your temper a bit!)

Remember, this stuff isn’t an exact science. Instead, it’s all about interpreting signals and taking action upon them, and getting declined for “too many recent credit inquiries” is probably one of the clearest signals you can get.

Nowadays, I’ve earned much bigger volumes of points than I can spend, so I’m no longer as aggressive with the two to three new credit cards every quarter. However, if you’re new to the game, I’d say that’s a reasonable pace for you to follow as you look to rack up the bonuses, especially if you already have a long and established credit history.

Over on the US side, I’d say that my strategy is a little different. Sure, there are big bonuses down there, but many of them are either strictly once-in-a-lifetime (Amex) or have defined schedules as to how often you can get repeat bonuses (Chase, Citi), so there’s no real rush to apply for new cards if you don’t urgently need the points at the moment.

Instead, US credit cards is all about playing the long game and allowing your newly-minted credit file to mature over time. To that end, I find myself simply applying for a new credit card whenever I feel like it – basically whenever an offer comes along that’s good enough to motivate me to apply right then and there. 

And even with almost three years’ worth of US credit history now, I still have to contend with declined applications from time to time. For example, Chase approved me for the Sapphire Preferred over a year ago, but still won’t approve me for the Ink Business Preferred, even though I’ve applied three times already. Like I said, it’s about playing the long game…

What’s in My Wallet? 

With that said, let me share with you the credit cards that I (and Jessica) have open at the moment. We’ll begin with the cards that we actually use on a daily basis, beyond just opening it for the signup bonus.

Obviously, points earned through daily purchases are far inferior to the huge welcome bonuses out there, but it’s still good to maximize them if you’re going to be making those purchases anyway.


Amex Business Platinum

In addition to its incredibly generous signup bonus of 75,000 MR points and referral bonus of 25,000 MR points, I also value the Business Platinum Card for its 1.25x earn rate on all purchases.

That’s one of the best returns you can get on non-bonused daily spending, since the versatility of Amex MR points means that all your purchases are getting you a step closer to cheap business class flights via Aeroplan, cheap short-haul flights via British Airways Avios, or free hotel stays via Marriott Bonvoy.


Amex Cobalt Card.png

Amex Cobalt

It goes without saying that the Cobalt Card’s 5x return on groceries and dining is simply unbeatable, so it gets all my spending in that category.

Otherwise, the only other occasion on which I’d use my Cobalt would be when paying for public transit, which earns 2x MR Select points with the Cobalt Card, but isn’t a part of the bonus categories on any other card.

MR Select points, despite not being eligible for airline transfers, still have a variety of uses for those who travel often. To learn more, you can read my analysis on the optimal ways to redeem MR Select points from the Cobalt Card.


Amex Gold Rewards Card.png

Amex Gold Rewards Card

I signed up for an Amex Gold Rewards Card via Perkopolis, so I didn’t have to pay a first-year annual fee in exchange for the 25,000 MR points. I put my travel purchases on this card for the 2x MR points, although I could achieve the same thing on the Platinum Card after the recent round of changes – I’m mostly sticking with the Gold Rewards Card out of habit.

Meanwhile, this card is also great for drugstore purchases at places like Shoppers Drug Mart or Rexall, which also earn 2x MR points and aren’t a part of the bonus categories on any card.


Amex Marriott Bonvoy Card.png

Amex Bonvoy

I actually just signed up for another round of the Amex Bonvoy Card after the bonus increased to 60,000 Bonvoy points last week. I stay at Marriott hotels a fair bit, so I’ll be putting all my Marriott spending on this card for the 6x Bonvoy points return.

When you’re staying at a hotel you can often charge all sorts of expenses to your room tab, so it’s a nice way to earn extra bonus points on dining, activities, and transportation along your travels.


CIBC Aerogold for Business

The above cards are all issued by American Express, so I also keep a few Visa and MasterCard options in my wallet for when the retailer doesn’t accept Amex. One of them is the CIBC Aerogold for Business, whose signup bonus of 35,000 Aeroplan miles with a first-year fee waiver is pretty irresistible.

I redeem Aeroplan miles for travel very often, so I’m happy to be earning them on regular purchases even though it’s only 1 Aeroplan mile per dollar spent.


RBC Avion

Another Visa I keep in my wallet is the RBC Avion, which I got during the “flash” offer of 30,000 Avion points with a first-year fee waiver that we saw in November 2018 (nowadays it’s 20,000 Avion points and First Year Free).

Earning 1 Avion point per dollar spent is a great deal once you factor in the regular 20–30% transfer bonuses from RBC Avion to British Airways Avios, because it means I’m effective earning 1.2 or 1.3 Avios per dollar spent.

Depending on my mood, I use the CIBC Aerogold for Business and RBC Avion pretty interchangeably when I’m about to pay and the cashier utters those dreaded words of “oh sorry we don’t take Amex.”


RBC WestJet

I like to keep a MasterCard in my wallet as well, for those rare occasions when the retailer only accepts MasterCard (Costco and NoFrills come to mind).

Right now that’s the WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard, which offers 250 WestJet Dollars, a companion voucher, and free checked bags for a $119 annual fee.

I don’t fly WestJet too often, but the need for a cheap trans-continental flight does arise every now and then, and WestJet’s Member Exclusive fares are particularly good for that purpose.


HSBC World Elite

While I was declined for this card back when it offered a killer deal of 105,000 HSBC Rewards points, Jessica had been instantly approved (I don’t know what HSBC is playing at there, but I don’t like it).

As a result, she keeps this one as her go-to non-Amex option in her wallet, and the 1.5% back in travel rewards on general purchases is a decently compelling return.


What’s in My Sock Drawer?

Let’s move from the wallet to the “sock drawer”, which is a metaphor for where credit cards that are only good for their signup bonuses go to live out the rest of their miserable existence before facing cancellation. Cards that fall into this category include…


Amex Platinum

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh here, but with the Cobalt Card taking care of dining, the Gold Rewards Card taking care of travel, and the Business Platinum taking care of regular spend, I fail to see a place for the Platinum Card in my wallet.

After all, the recently implemented “3-2-1” earning system on the Platinum Card (3x on dining, 2x on travel, 1x on everything else) is matched, if not bettered, by using the above combination of Amex cards instead.

Sure, there’s considerable travel benefits on the Amex Platinum, but those are all offered by the Business Platinum as well, so as long as I keep the Business Platinum in my wallet, I have no real need for the personal Platinum. 

I had opened this card last year, when it still seemed to be possible to “double-dip” on the $200 travel credit and bring your net outlay down to $299 for the signup bonus of 60,000 MR points. Now that Amex has removed that opportunity (meaning I did end up having to pay $499 out-of-pocket on this card), I suspect I’ll be cancelling this card very soon.


Amex Business Gold.png

Amex Business Gold

The Business Gold is the other Amex card that I don’t tend to use much, because its measly 1x return on general purchases isn’t very competitive. The only time when I pull this card out of my sock drawer is when I need to make payments through Plastiq, because you can designate Plastiq as one of your “suppliers” on the Business Gold and earn 2x MR points as a result.

Having opened this card via the old Canada Post offers (may they rest in peace), I’ll likely be closing it before the first year is up and reapplying for the 40,000 MR points again sometime in the future.


CIBC Aventura

I got the CIBC Aventura for both myself and Jessica back when it had a nice bonus of 20,000 Aventura points (worth at least $200), as well as the NEXUS Card application fee rebate. Now that our NEXUS applications have been completed and our interviews scheduled, I have no real use for this card anymore, since Aventura points aren’t nearly as useful to me compared to, say, Aeroplan miles

The four Priority Pass vouchers on this card did come in handy when Jessica was travelling with three of her friends on a recent trip, though, I’ll give it that. 


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CIBC Aventura for Business

Like the personal Aventura, I applied for the Aventura for Business back when it offered 30,000 Aventura points and a first-year fee waiver and a $120 travel credit.

After using up all those perks, I have no real desire to accumulate Aventura points over other currencies, so I’ll be cancelling this card soon and reapplying if the offer is any good in the future. 


BMO SPC Cash Back

This is Jessica’s oldest credit card, which is a no-fee, no-frills product that we’re keeping around purely for the credit history impact of maintaining a high Average Age of Accounts (AAoA).


On the US Side…

Hopping south of the border, I have five open credit cards in total moment (three personal and two business). Like I mentioned, I have a much more laissez-faire attitude when it comes to US credit cards, since I’m happy to allow my credit history build up slowly over time and applying for nice bonuses when I feel like it, instead of aggressively targeting them like I do in Canada.


Amex Gold Card

The Gold Card was my first US credit card back when it was known as the Premier Rewards Gold Card, for a signup bonus of 50,000 MR points at the time.

I’ve paid the annual fee of US$195 on this card for a few years now, but since it recently went up to US$250, I might cancel it before the next year’s fee is due. The card does come with an airline fee credit of US$100 per calendar year, though, which helps to sweeten the deal a bit.

When the card’s transition took place early on this year, there was a limited-time opportunity to obtain a Rose Gold metal version of the card, and needless to say I jumped on that opportunity. I don’t keep this card in my wallet on a daily basis, but I’m almost tempted to do so for the flashiness alone.


Amex Business Platinum

The US-issued Business Platinum has been insanely beneficial to me.

Besides the signup bonus of 100,000 MR points (after a hefty US$10,000 minimum spending in the first three months), I also received one US$200 airline fee credit per calendar year, so that’s US$400 in total during one membership year, which goes a long way to offsetting the US$450 annual fee that I had paid (it’s since been increased to US$595). 

The card also comes with 10 free Go-go in-flight wifi vouchers, free Boingo hotspot access, two US$100 statement credits with Dell, and a complimentary year of global WeWork access, which as you can imagine has been invaluable for me as a self-employed individual.

And besides all those perks, one of the great things about US credit cards is the fact that there are no FX fees, so I actually do keep this card in my wallet to use when I’m travelling abroad.

Of course, this only makes sense when you have access to USD at a fair rate; otherwise, you’d still incur an FX difference when converting your CAD to USD to pay off your bill. In that case, you can read my article on the best Canadian credit cards with no foreign transaction fees.


Amex Bonvoy

Formerly known as the Amex SPG Card, this card is no longer available to new applicants, so good job if you managed to get it before it got discontinued.

I plan to keep this card around forever in order to build up my US credit history, since the annual free night certificate that’s worth up to 35,000 Bonvoy points should easily outweigh the US$95 annual fee.


Amex Bonvoy Business

The US-issued Bonvoy Business Card remains open to new applicants, and you can earn a bonus of 100,000 Bonvoy points after spending US$5,000 in the first three months. Furthermore, if you sign up before March 28, 2019, you can get a first-year fee waiver with a US$95 annual fee in subsequent years. After that, the annual fee will be increased to US$125 with no first-year waiver.

If you’re interested in jumping on that deal, by the way, I’d be grateful if you considered applying via my referral link!

Like the personal version, I plan on keeping this card around forever by making good use of the annual free night certificate to justify the US$95 annual fee.


Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase approved me for a Sapphire Preferred card back in November 2017, and I obtained a signup bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending US$3,000 in the first three months.

As above, if you’re considering giving this card a go, you can apply via my referral link to help support the site.

There’s a First Year Free offer on the card, but I’m happy to keep paying the reasonable US$95 annual fee on this card in order to build up my history with Chase, and I’ve also been using the card as a Visa option along my travels abroad because it has no foreign transaction fees.

Now if only Chase will start approving me for other products as well…


Conclusion

My philosophy for earning points has always been to focus on the huge signup bonuses instead of spending too much time thinking about which cards to use for which purchases. Having said that, it’s still worth developing an over-arching strategy and figuring out which cards provide the best returns for the majority of your spending, and then simply keeping those cards in your wallet and using them when the time is right.

In this post I’ve shared my approach for both claiming the signup bonuses on new credit cards and maximizing your returns on your regular spending, and I hope you find it helpful in guiding your own actions. 

Top Offers

American Express Business Platinum Card

75,000 American Express Membership Rewards points
upon spending $7,000 in the first three months

  • 1.25x MR points on all purchases
  • Points transfer to Aeroplan and British Airways Avios at a 1:1 ratio
  • Unlimited Priority Pass access
  • Marriott Gold Elite status
Signup bonus
75,000 MR points
Annual fee
$499
56 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Christina

    Hi Ricky,

    Love your blog, thanks for all the work you put into it! I’m curious which card you would use for recurring bills? I’ve been a cash-back affectionado, and just switch to the points & miles game. It seems most categories travel rewards give a better return than cash back. Recurring bills seems to be the exception, at least so far I haven’t found anything that matches the 4% from Scotia Momentum? Thanks for any suggestions.

  2. Avatar
    jacqueline hildebrandt

    Ricky, what is your opinion regarding the superstore credit cards? I find them the very best value for groceries and gas.

  3. Avatar
    josee

    Hello Ricky, a new update post would be welcome! Thanks

  4. Avatar
    sandra macgregor

    hi Ricky. Great blog and this article was wonderful the way you were so transparent and had so many helpful hints. Quick question. Doesn’t it cost you a small fortune in annual fees to keep all these cards cause not all of them have annual fee waivers? Do you normally cancel those with high annual fees after a year? thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Late reply, but yes I do cancel most of these cards before I have to pay the second year’s annual fee. I’ll then reapply a little bit later to get the bonus again.

  5. Avatar
    Jason

    Love the blogs Ricky – nice to have a mentor like yourself in the know. In terms of promotions – my memory is fuzzy but I think I’ve seen conversion bonuses for things like IHG to Aeroplan. Are these just run certain times of the year – or can you share any standout conversion bonuses to wait for?

    Thanks from a new subscriber!

  6. Avatar
    Alfred Wong

    Hi Ricky, thanks for this article!

    I have a quick question about the US credit cards. How were you able to apply for both Canadian and US cards? I ask because I travel to the US quite often. While a no foreign transaction card is handy (Scotiabank Passport), I would not mind picking up a US card purely for the points and benefits.

    Thanks!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      If you google "Getting US Credit Cards for Canadians" then you can read my article on the subject.

      The article needs a bit of an update (hopefully coming soon), but the general principles still hold true.

  7. Avatar
    Asher

    What did you do with your Aventura points ? Did you spend enough to have enough to book something or use it for a discount fare? ($200 from Aventura + business Aventura) that you got?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I used some of it to redeem merchandise at 1.5cpp+ (during a Black Friday event, I think it was). I then redeemed the rest for positioning flights from Toronto to NY at roughly 1.1cpp through the Aventura Travel Redemption Schedule.

  8. Avatar
    Anna

    Thanks for sharing what’s in your wallet Ricky … And Jessica getting immediate approval with the HSBC card 🙂

    Another fantastic read!

  9. Avatar
    Jules

    By the way, I’ve had the CSP for 3 years now and applied for the INK preferred two days ago. No instant approval and my fingers are crossed! Waited a year to get under 5/24 for it.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Let me know how it goes!

  10. Avatar
    Jules

    Couple of clarifying questions:
    1) are you being denied for Chase personal cards as well or just the INK preferred? I assume you’re under 5/24.
    2) if Chase Personal cards are an option, have you considered the great combination of the Chase IHG rewards club and more recent IHG premier card? Combined, they offer me 2 free night certificates, 10% refund on points and 4th night free on award bookings, and platinum status.
    3) considering how much you travel and spend in foreign currency, how do you manage to churn CAD cards since the vast majority have punitive FX fees?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Just gave the IHG card a shot, so we’ll know very soon. I do suspect they’re stricter on the business cards than the personal ones.

      I limit my foreign spending to USD cards and Canadian products like Stack and HSBC WE. I rarely, if ever, put foreign charges on the other Canadian cards because of that pesky 2.5% surcharge you mentioned.

  11. Avatar
    Dan

    Thanks for the great post. You mentioned you have US amex biz plat. Do you mind if you can share how you applied?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I applied through an Amex US small biz rep for the 100k / $10k spend offer. If anyone’s interested, send me an email.

  12. Avatar
    Martin

    Thanks for a really helpful post, Ricky! I wonder how you go about optimizing the points you get from 2-player mode: it was great to just transfer SO’s SPG points from CCs to my account and redeem for hotels, but less clear now that there’s a transfer limit. For Aeroplan, it doesn’t matter so much whose account you book the flights from, but it’s less appealing for Marriott, where I’d lose out on status benefits if Player #2 used points to redeem a stay.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yeah, Marriott’s 100k limit is tough, although it does account for almost two of Player 2’s Bonvoy signup bonuses. As I recall, the sending limit is 100k, while the receiving limit is 500k, so that might make things easier as well.

      Otherwise, I just keep the points in Player 2’s account to transfer them next year and/or redeem them for quick overnight stays at places like Fairfield Inns where status doesn’t matter as much.

  13. Avatar
    DMoon

    Are there any that you plan to keep, particularly on the AMEX charge cards so you can maintain your MR?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I’ll probably continue cycling through the Amex cards while keeping at least one account open to hold my MR, although there’s a case to be made for keeping my Business Platinum since the referrals basically pay for themselves.

      1. Avatar
        DMoon

        For those that don’t have the luxury of keeping the business plat (no stream of referrals), thoughts on keeping the Personal Gold since there are many DPs pointing towards AMEX cracking down on the welcome bonus on subsequent applications (seems like a huge hit or miss)? Because of the versatility of MR I feel like it’s a huge benefit to keeping at least some AMEX charge card as a daily driver while churning other high AF cards for the WB (not enough DPs on business/personal plat and business gold regarding churning) so you have an account to park the MR at if one doesn’t have an immediate trip to burn it on.

        The Cobalt is a stronger card for a daily driver for sure however, but it’s MR-S.

  14. Avatar
    Mo

    Regarding multiple credit card application in a short window. If I apply for an Amex (Eq check), can I apply for an TD Visa (TU) within a really short period, i.e. same day/within a few or within a couple of weeks without much concern of too credit inquiries?
    Basically is it a strategy to alternate applications with providers who use different credit bureaus?
    I was just approved for an Amex last night. Is it safe to attempt the TD Aeroplan infinite promo already or should I wait?

    1. Avatar
      Banker

      Credit Card inquiry will appear at the CB right away.
      What you can do is simply apply for the different cards you want, using different computers, or at lease different browsers, and you need to submit the applications at the same time. Perhaps at this point, the CB won’t catch the other check and your score should be the same.

      1. Avatar
        Mo

        Now, are you referring to multiple applications from the same institute ( ie 2 from cibc) or 2 apps from different institute ( td and CIBC) at the same time?
        Again, does it matter which credit bureau the financial institutions run their checks through?

        1. Avatar
          Ricky

          If the issuers inquire from different bureaus, then one inquiry won’t be visible to the other if you apply one after the other.

          If you wait for the first new credit card to report a statement to the bureaus, then it’ll show up on both bureaus’ files and the second new application will be affected.

          1. Avatar
            Mo

            OK. I just checked Borrowell and CK and I haven’t seen my latest opened cards monthly report posted on there (been about 1.5 weeks since approval).
            I will wait for my next round 2 player of applications and give this a shot. Could potentially have 4 new cards in a very small window.
            Add a product switch with that, and things could be look very nice

            1. Avatar
              Ricky

              Go get ’em!

              1. Avatar
                Mo

                CIBC is easily offering a product switch to the Aventura Visa. But since its not a new application, they will only offer me 20,000 Aventura points, but I have to pay the AF.
                Apparently the only way they will drop the AF is if its a new application. I haven’t been able to find a rep that will bite and give me a promotional credit or manually apply the rebate.
                Any thoughts? Should I try to do the product switch in person through my branch rep that I trust?

  15. Avatar
    Mo

    Thanks for the great info! keep it coming!

  16. Avatar
    Bobbie

    I’m new to the game and starting to get nervous about having so many cards. I’m up to 6 total and only using the 2 that have yet to meet the MSR. But, after reading this article, there’s nothing to worry about is there?

    Do you cancel cards and eventually reapply for bonuses? If so, how long do you hold onto a card before cancelling / wait to reapply?

    Thanks for the tips!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      There’s nothing to worry about. As long as you’re comfortable with keeping everything organized, then you can have as many cards as you want.

      Generally a 6 months / 6 months holding and waiting period is considered "safe". Some people go for 6 months / 3 months.

  17. Avatar
    Erice Amedjkouh

    Ricky, I am so thankful for your info and your generosity sharing it all! You are my free travel guru :-). But with all the leatning I am doing I keep stumbling on the same question: how do you keep getting sign up bonuses for the same Amex cards? … Have you got a link for me to understand that trick? 🙂
    MERCI!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      There’s no trick – you just apply 🙂

  18. Avatar
    Kunal

    Appreciate the insightful post Ricky. Keep it coming! Just entered the US market with the discontinued US SPG as per your recommendation and looking forward to grabbing that Bonvoy Biz 100k offer too. What I love is the fact that you can use all the US premium cards for local spend here without incurring any FX fees as you have stated besides the few basis points that TD makes off me to transfer to USD but well worth it considering all the cat 7 bookings I’ve made over the weekend 😉 Thanks again!

  19. Avatar
    Manny levesque

    HSBC is a pain in the …… I applied for the card to take advantage of the generous signup bonus to Quebec resident and the no FX fee. I was instantly approved ,even received my credit limit. A few days later I contacted HSBC since I had not received the online registration code I was suppose to get within three business days only to be informed my account was now frozen . Representative told me I was suppose to go into a branch and provide two form of ID and bank statements which I did. 12 phone calls later and 2 more visit to the branch my account has now been unfrozen ????‍♂️

  20. Avatar
    BG

    Very helpful post! I’ve come to the same conclusion: churn CAD and apply for US when needed. I find the large spending requirement a hindrance for US cards.

  21. Avatar
    Steven

    A piece of your strategy seems missing…you’ve listed more than $60,000 in MSR (not including US cards). I find it hard to believe this is all organic spending..

  22. Avatar
    Sods

    Do all your Marriot Cards (Canada and US) go to the Same Marriot Account, and the free night certificates too? So it all just piles up in the centre and can be combined any way you need it?

    Can two people have CC’s that point to one Marriot Account?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      Yes, correct! I don’t believe two people’s credit cards can link to the same Marriott account, though.

      1. Avatar
        banker

        Two people with the same account worked with Aeropln. Didnt work with Avois. I think it should work with Marriott.
        FYI, I thought the free night and the elite nights are per Marriott account, not per the CC, I maybe wrong.

  23. Avatar
    Randy

    What do you use to convert your CAD to USD?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I actually earn some income in USD so that takes care of that. If that weren’t the case, I’d be using one of the various Canadian No FX Fee cards for my foreign spending.

  24. Avatar
    Steve

    Great post Ricky – but was surprised at the exclusion of an Alaska card – perhaps you’re between sign-ups?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      This is a long story, actually. Ask me at one of our meetups and I’ll spill the beans…

      1. Avatar
        Jay

        Sounds like someone flew too close to the sun with MBNA.

        1. Avatar
          Teddy

          I’m so curious too!

  25. Avatar
    Dana

    I managed to get the US SPG card before it disappeared (yay!) but what’s the latest on using GT for more than one card? Have heard mixed DPs.

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I’ve heard mixed DPs as well. Seems that you need to do a second GT from a different Canadian Amex card to have any chance of success.

  26. Avatar
    jessalyn Watt

    Thanks for the in-depth post, Ricky. I have to ask, what you use when travelling? You must have a no foreign transaction card like the Rogers World Elite, no? I use it for all foreign transactions, including online shopping in the States. And now that they’ve changed the cashback option it seems like the way to go for those sorts of purchases, no?
    I’d love to hear what you think.
    Cheers!

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      I mentioned in the article that I mostly use my US credit cards for foreign spending, since they don’t have foreign transaction fees. Of course, I could also use Canadian no-fee cards like the HSBC World Elite or the Scotia Passport as well.

      You can read more about the best Canadian No FX Fee cards here: https://princeoftravel.com/blog/best-credit-cards-no-foreign-transaction-fees

      I also keep a Stack Prepaid MasterCard, which has No FX Fees, for foreign ATM withdrawals: https://princeoftravel.com/blog/stack-prepaid-mastercard-the-new-best-prepaid-card-in-canada

  27. Avatar
    Jessica

    OK OK, let’s not forget that the BMO SPC card gives me a 10%-15% discount at most fast food places! 😉

    1. Avatar
      Heather

      I’d take that action. ????

  28. Avatar
    Chris

    Hey Ricky! Nice post and nice new profile picture 🙂 thank you for the valuable information again. On a side note, I was wondering what kind of wallet you use to carry all those cards?

    1. Avatar
      Ricky

      It’s from Fossil, although I don’t recall the exact make. It’s pretty old now and has been pretty beat up by all that plastic, so I gotta replace it soon.

Ricky

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