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Home Trust Preferred Visa Card Review
17 Dec 2018

Home Trust Preferred Visa Card | Credit Card Review

When you’re shopping for cash back cards, you might consider looking at more than just the reward rates as criteria to make your decision. This Home Trust Preferred Visa card review will give you plenty of details on an option that offers more than just reward money.

Get 1% cash back, no foreign exchange fees, and plenty of other benefits, all for no annual fee.

 

General Information

You Are Interested If You want a credit card that will provide a steady intake of cash back rewards and as many extra freebies as you can get.
Brief Description The Home Trust Preferred Visa is a free cash back credit card that is easy to use and understand and also comes with many nice bonuses.
Main Requirements A modest income and fair credit will suffice to successfully obtain this card.

Card Details

Network Visa.
Provider Home Trust.
Card Type This card is an entry-level cash back card with some unusually nice benefits on the side as well.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate Normal purchases are charged at 19.99% interest per year.
Cash Advance Any cash advances you receive will be charged 21.99% in yearly interest.
Balance Transfer Any balances you transfer over from other cards will also be charged 21.99% in interest.

Eligibility

Income Requirements About $15,000 a year in income could be enough to qualify for this card.
Household Income Requirements Home Trust does not consider household income separately from individual income when deciding who can get this card.
Annual Fee This card does not carry any annual fees.

Rewards

Welcome Bonus There is no welcome bonus available for this card at this time.
How To Earn Points Cardholders get a simple 1% cash back on all purchases charged to this card with no category or retailer restrictions.
Benefits In addition to the typical set of credit card benefits (purchase protection and extended warranties), this card comes with a huge range of useful but unusual benefits, including rental collision and loss damage insurance, purchase security insurance, hotel reservation guarantees, emergency card and cash replacement services, complimentary Roadside Assist membership, and no foreign exchange fees to be paid.

About Home Trust Preferred Visa Card

Main Features

This Home Trust Preferred Visa card review will begin, as usual, with an examination of the card’s interest rates. At 19.99% interest on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances and balance transfers, you aren’t getting a deal on potential interest fees here, but that’s to be expected on a card that isn’t advertised a low-rate option. This is a card for people who do not make a habit of paying only the minimum on their credit card bills; do not make the mistake of choosing this card when you would be better off with one with lower interest rates.

Another critical part of any Home Trust Preferred Visa card review is covering what the reward system does and how it works. In this case, it’s fairly clean-cut; you’ll get 1% cash back on every single one of your purchases made with this card. There are no bonus categories to take advantage of here, so it doesn’t matter where you shop or what you buy. This might prove to be a bit disappointing to those who really like to maximize their reward intake by careful spending, but for others, it should come as a big relief. Figuring out the intricacies of how much money you’ll get back with a particular spending pattern can get complicated. With this reward scheme, all you have to know to figure out how many rewards you’ll get it how much you will be spending on your card each month. If you spend $1000 a month, or example, you’ll always get $10 in rewards each month and $120 total over one year, no exceptions. That’s the kind of consistency you can count on – the only thing that might affect your total yield at the end of the year is any changes you make in your own spending habits.

As for how you get your rewards, this card works a little differently than most cash back cards. Rewards are redeemed automatically just once each year, always at the end of December. The credit from this redemption will show up on your statement for the month of January. This is a more rigid system than most and that isn’t ideal, but again, it’s easy to understand and the redemption process happens automatically, so you’ll never miss out on your rewards.

As for benefits, there’s a lot to cover in this Home Trust Preferred Visa card review. Home Trust advertises this card as being notable for what it doesn’t include, which is a good way to summarize some of its main benefits. As previously mentioned in this Home Trust Preferred Visa card review, this card has no annual fee, which is a big plus for many people. The other big thing that cardholders will enjoy, though, is that there are no foreign exchange fees on purchases made in currencies other than CAD. This might sound like a small thing at first, but think about it: you’re saving about 2.5% of the cost of each applicable item you buy. If you do any travelling or frequently purchase things online that are coming from different countries, it can quickly add up. Even if you don’t think you would regularly use this benefit, it can be nice to know that no matter where you go or what you buy, you’ll never be hit with an unexpectedly large bill inflated with all those FX fees at the end of the month. Since this is far from the only reason to consider this card, those who want it for other reasons can be happy knowing they have the option to shop internationally at a lower total cost if they ever choose to do so.

Among the other benefits we need to cover in this Home Trust Preferred Visa card review is the purchase security insurance you’ll get, which may entitle you to a payout if a new item you purchased is lost, damaged or stolen within a particular time frame (usually 30-90 days). This benefit pairs particularly well with the lack of foreign exchange fees, since both cater to people who travel often – you’re most likely to have those kinds of problems with your purchases during the hustle and bustle of a trip. You can, of course, still use it when shopping at home too, though.

One more thing you’ll receive that nearly every customer is sure to appreciate is the complimentary Roadside Assist membership that this card includes. With this benefit, you’ll never have to worry about what would happen if your car broke down when you’re out on the road. With just one call, you can get someone to deliver you some gas, help you change a tire, unlock your car when you’ve accidentally locked your keys inside it, and even get your car towed if it’s within a certain distance of a service center. Since car-related emergencies can happen to anyone at any time (as long as they drive, that is), this benefit is an excellent inclusion that will provide a little extra peace of mind to virtually every cardholder.

All of this might sound like a lot, but believe it or not, these aren’t the only benefits we have to cover in this Home Trust Preferred Visa card review. You also have access to some nice extra perks like guaranteed hotel reservations if you ask for them and emergency card replacement in case you’ve lost your card at a time when you need it most. These are smaller courtesies, but they only add to the appeal of this stellar card.

That said, there are a few less-obvious potential complications to getting this card that we want to point out as part of this Home Trust Preferred Visa card review; we think it’s fair to know as much as possible about what you’re getting into if you want to apply for one. The main issue that customers have reported having problems with is that actually getting a card with Home Trust can be a bit of a slow process at times. Unlike many companies today who are all about making things as quick as possible for their applicants, Home Trust does things the old-fashioned way. They state that it can take between 2 to 4 weeks to find out if you’ve been approved after submitting an application; reports state that it used to take even longer than that until just recently. However, Home Trust has also taken steps to mitigate this problem and future applicants can expect to have an easier time during the application process.

Further, there are another handful of mildly annoying aspects to this card. Unlike virtually every other credit card out there, this one does not allow you to change your PIN from the default one you are given when you first receive it. Since it is absolutely critical that you be able to remember your PIN without having to pull out a written reminder of what it is (doing that poses a major security risk), this can be a very significant problem. While a PIN number is always short and you’ll probably be able to get it down after just a few uses, having the option to change it to something you would find easier to remember would be nice.

Further, you can only set up auto-pay parameters to make the minimum payment each month, not to pay your entire balance. This means that if you want to exhibit perfect credit-holding behaviour and not pay any additional fees, you’ll need to keep on top of your bills manually. This isn’t the end of the world, but it’s an unpleasant drawback all the same. Lastly, you cannot make more than 10 transactions per day with this card. Most people will not have occasion to do this, but there may be the odd time or two (especially when travelling) that this becomes a problem. If you have concerns about this potential issue, it makes sense to always carry a backup method of payment just in case.

Conclusions

As we’ve pointed out in this Home Trust Preferred Visa card review, there are many things to recommend this card. Home Trust’s current lack of instant brand recognition forces them to compete more aggressively in terms of rewards and benefits to attract their customers, and this is of great benefit to their customers. They’ve included not only a generous and reliable cash back rate with none of the restrictions that other cards often carry, but also a slew of other goodies that you would usually only see in higher-tier cards. As long as you’re willing to put up with some small inconveniences, this is definitely a card worth considering.

About Home Trust

Home Trust began its life as the Home Savings and Loan Corporation in Ontario back in 1977. By this point, they have grown to provide service to millions of Canadians all across the country. They specialize in providing online banking services and mortgages, especially for people in  non-standard credit or employment situations. They were recently able to secure significant amounts of funding (about $400 million in total) from several companies run by Warren Buffet, indicating that they are likely to be a brand on the rise in the years to come.

What We Think

To cap off our Home Trust Preferred Visa card review, we want to emphasize that we wholeheartedly recommend this card to anyone on the lookout for an entry-level cash back card. You can find better deals if you have a high income, good credit score, and are perhaps willing to pay an annual fee, but many people would rather not choose a card with such hefty restrictions. In those cases, this card is a great way to get solid rewards and enjoy premium benefits without paying a dime in fees to do it. There’s a lot to love about this card and few drawbacks to be aware of, making it one of the all-around best choices for a cash back card in Canada.