Cash back credit cards are great, but the low rates you’ll see on some of them can be a bit discouraging. Things don’t have to be that way, though. You’ll learn all about one of the best possible options for this kind of card in this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review.
Earn cash back at rapid rates just by buying necessities and paying your bills.
|You Are Interested If||You want a high-value cash back card that makes earning bonus points easier than most cards at this level.|
|Brief Description||The Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS card is a mid-range cash back card that caters to the spending habits of the common person.|
|Main Requirements||Because this isn’t designed to be an exclusive option, the requirements are fairly loose – pretty much any income and a fair credit score will do if you’re willing to pay the annual fee.|
|Card Type||This card provides cash back rewards.|
Fees and Interest
|Purchase Interest Rate||Most things you buy with this card will be charged 19.99% interest.|
|Cash Advance||Taking a little money out in advance will cost you 21.99% in interest over a year.|
|Balance Transfer||Any balance transfers you make will also incur 21.99% interest.|
|Income Requirements||No income requirements apply here.|
|Household Income Requirements||There are no household income requirements to meet either.|
|Annual Fee||If you want to get this card, it’ll cost you $65 a year.|
|Welcome Bonus||As a thank you for doing business with them, Laurentian is giving new cardholders $25 in cash back credit to start off with, as well as a credit for half off the annual fee (in this case, $32.50).|
|How To Earn Points||Every time you use this card, you’ll get cash back at different rates – 3% on preauthorized debit transactions, 2% on groceries and gas, and 1% on whatever else you might buy.|
|Benefits||This card comes with only basic purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.|
About Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS
The reward system overview is the main thing that many of our readers are probably looking forward to in this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review, so let’s get right to it. When you use this card to pay recurring bills with preauthorized payments, you’ll get a full 3% cash back, while paying for gas or groceries will get you a slightly reduced but still very nice 2%. These will be your major sources of rewards, but you’ll still get a 1% cash back rate on anything else you might buy. Once you have at least $25’s worth of credits, you can cash them out. This is done by giving you a credit on your statement for the next month, so it isn’t actually liquid cash by deposit like some cash back cards offer. Nevertheless, it’s effectively the same thing since you can still buy whatever you wanted with it and then be reimbursed after the fact. The only thing you can’t do is put it right into a savings account, but you could always put the credit toward necessities and stash away the money you would have spent instead.
It hardly needs to be said that the bonus reward categories on this card are excellent, but they’re paired with higher-than-average earn rates too. Literally everything you would get bonus points for buying with this card is stuff that you would be buying anyway even without it. Just by subbing in the card for whatever other payment you used to use, you’ll be generating a substantial amount of rewards for yourself. For instance, if you spent $500 on bills paid by preauthorized debit, $1,000 in gas and groceries, and $500 on everything else, you would get $40 a month for doing absolutely nothing else differently than usual. That’s $480 a year with almost no effort on your part! Of course, you should always account for the annual fee in your projections of a card’s value, so we’ll have to subtract $65 from that total for a final amount of $415 a year. That’s still extremely good for a card that is so easy to get and that is being used with such a modest budget. Remember also that this is just an example we used for this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review; many cardholders will spend more than the amounts we’ve quoted. Naturally, when this is the case, the amount of cash rewards you get also rises substantially.
There’s something extra you’ll want to know too if you already have debt that you need to take care of but are also interested in getting this card – if you follow through and apply, you can get 2.99% interest during your first 9 months on any balance transfers you make. You must be transferring a balance of at least $400 to qualify, and an additional 2% transfer fee will be charged at the time of the change-over. Despite this small extra cost, it will still be worthwhile to take advantage of this offer in most cases, at least if you were already planning to transfer a balance anyway. This is a standard offer available on all Laurentian Bank cards at all times, but it’s especially nice in the context of this one because this card is so enticing. This offer allows people with existing debts to transfer those balances over to this new card, take advantage of the temporary lower rate to pay them off, then start fresh while earning excellent rewards.
Unfortunately, there are a few downsides that are of note in this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review. The first is that the benefits included with this card are effectively non-existent. All you’ll get here is the basic warranty and purchase protection that all cards give you, and not a single thing more. For a mid-tier card, this is somewhat unusual, and it certainly makes it harder to justify the $65 annual fee. Something small like some auto rental insurance wouldn’t have been hard to include and would have made the benefits line-up at least a little less sparse. As we’ve mentioned above in this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review, though, the rewards alone will greatly outweigh that moderate cost, so it isn’t the end of the world to not get any extras on the side. Still, the fact that some free cards easily outdo this one in this category is not a thing to be proud of. On top of that, this card is somewhat restricted in its access – it’s only available in Ontario and Quebec. While those two provinces account for a good chunk of the total population of Canada, it’s still a shame that so many people living in the other regions of the country cannot even hope to get this great card.
The rest of this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review speaks to the fact that this card is excellent. Not only does it grant you coveted cash back rewards, but it’s also very generous with its rates and bonuses. The annual fee is not an ideal feature, but you can get more than enough in rewards to offset it without even being particularly diligent; the lack of benefits is not so easily mitigated, but it also isn’t as bad of a problem given the situational nature of most of what would be offered anyway. The fact that only residents of two specific provinces can get it is also a shame, but that doesn’t detract from the fact that it is a stellar option for a cash back card.
About Laurentian Bank
Laurentian Bank opened the doors of its first branch in 1846, making it one of Canada’s very first banks and operating exclusively in Quebec. They continued to operate only in that single province until 1980 when they finally branched out to the rest of the country. They have now merged with several companies over the years to become a financial powerhouse with over $950 million in revenue each year and an estimated 3,600 people on their staff.
What We Think
We’re pleased to end this Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS review on a highly positive note. This is an excellent cash back cards with possibly the best combination of bonus rates and categories available outside of premium cards. The only thing it disappoints on is benefits, and if you’re like most people and carry more than one card, that probably isn’t even a concern for you. Some people won’t be able to apply for one due to where they live, and others will prefer to go with a no-fee card in spite of the increase in value you can get here. For most people who can qualify, though, this card is going to give you one of the best deals you will find among Canadian cash back credit cards.