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Laurentian Bank Visa Explore Review
14 Jan 2019

Laurentian Bank Visa Explore | Credit Card Review

One of the more frustrating aspects of travel credit cards is that since travelling costs so much, the points you’re earning toward those expenses often feel like a drop in the bucket. Read out Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review to hear more about one card you can get that will help you earn points at rate that will actually help you get ahead.

Travel the world on points you earn by making automatic bill payments and paying any other travelling expenses.

 

General Information

You Are Interested If You want a solid travel credit card that gives you just about as much as you could possibly get without opting for the very highest-tier possibilities.
Brief Description The Laurentian Bank Visa Explore card assures consistently good points earnings for most users and bundles in some attractive benefits as well.
Main Requirements High annual fee aside, there are no explicit income requirements for this card, and you don’t need to have spectacular credit to get it either.

Card Details

Network Visa.
Provider Laurentian Bank.
Card Type This is intended to be a travel card, but you have a few other options for your reward points as well.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate The rate on standard purchases with this card is 19.99%.
Cash Advance Getting extra cash with this card will result in you being charged 21.99% interest on that balance.
Balance Transfer Balance transfers are also charged 21.99% in interest.

Eligibility

Income Requirements Despite the high-class stylings and price tag, this card is not considered a true exclusive option, so any income could potentially suffice for getting it.
Household Income Requirements Any household income could work as well.
Annual Fee This card costs $110 a year, although you can get additional cards for free.

Rewards

Welcome Bonus New cardholders who make their first purchase with this card in their first 60 days will receive 5,000 reward points and a credit for 50% of your annual fee (or $55, to be more precise).
How To Earn Points Using this card, you’ll get 3 points per dollar on preauthorized debit transactions, 2 points per dollar on travel purchases, transportation expenses and anything you buy in foreign currency, and 1 point per dollar for the rest of your spending.
Benefits The benefits on this card include emergency medical care coverage for when you’re travelling, trip cancellation insurance, delayed baggage insurance, public transportation vehicle accident insurance, auto rental loss damage and collision insurance for up to 48 consecutive days.

About Laurentian Bank Visa Explore

Main Features

The rewards this card offers are the most enticing aspect of this Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review, so we may as well open with them. This card will allow you to receive 3 points for every dollar you spend paying recurring bills through preauthorized debit charges, 2 points for travel, transportation (not including gas) and foreign currency purchases, and finally just 1 point per dollar for all other spending you do. This sounds good on its own, but it’s important to contextualize reward rates in terms of a typical budget. Let’s say you’re paying $750 in bills by preauthorized debit each month, $500 in travel and foreign exchange expenses ($6,000 a year broken into easy-to-analyze monthly amounts), and then charging an additional $1,000 a month in extra miscellaneous expenses. Under that framework, you would end up with a total of 4,250 points each month, or 51,000 points for the full year. A person who does not own a car and instead travels by train or bus can expect to earn a little more than this.

According to Laurentian themselves, that amount would be worth about $510 in terms of reward redemptions, which is definitely a respectable amount. To use those points, you can put them toward travel expenses, get yourself some gift cards from popular retailers, redeem them for merchandise, or pick out some financial products from Laurentian themselves (either a no-fee banking plan, a reimbursement of the annual fee for this card, or some investment products). There is no real cash back option, as any points put into investment purchases won’t make that money immediately available to you.

This card would look okay (if not terribly impressive) on its own, but up against the other offerings available from the very same provider, it suffers a lot. Its main competitor is the Laurentian Bank Visa DOLLARS card, which structures its rewards in a very similar fashion but swaps out the travel and transport category for groceries and gas. These are two much more common expenses for most people and generally allow cardholders to take advantage of many more opportunities to earn. Granted, the two cards are technically offering two very different types of rewards; however, when was the last time you heard anyone complaining about getting cash? Anything that the reward points this card gives you can buy can also be bough with standard currency, making it a useless distinction. There’s also the matter of the annual fee, which is nearly twice as high on this card as it is on the other one. This card is just overall less appealing than its sister card in most cases, making it hard to recommend.

However, most cases does not mean all cases, as we want to underline in this Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review. It’s certainly possible for some people to be such heavy travellers that this reward setup is more favourable to them than one centered around staple purchases would be. This might be especially true if they have a job that requires them to go pick up items or meet clients quite frequently, or if they run their own small business. If you’re one of these people, we certainly don’t want to discourage you from giving this card a try. You can still stand to earn a lot with this card, and as we’ll talk about a little more later in this Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review, there are other reasons to want this card as a high-volume traveller as well.

One thing this card has going for it that should be talked about in this Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review is its set of benefits. The star attraction in this case is the inclusion of up to $5,000,000 in emergency medical coverage for the cardholder and their immediate family, covering 15 days for people between 66 and 75 and a full 31 days for anyone under the age of 65. This is a far more generous time span than most cards will cover, and many don’t extend benefits like this to people over 65 at all. If you’re concerned about what might happen to you or your family as you travel or have reason to believe that extra caution is needed, this card might be worth it for you based on this one benefit alone. Besides that, this card also throws in some trip cancellation insurance and baggage insurance to make your travels go a little more smoothly, as well as some auto rental insurance and coverage for public transportation vehicle accidents. All of this adds up to a surprisingly solid round-up of benefits.

Conclusions

The main thing you should be taking away from this Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review is that this is a pretty good card, even in light of some unflattering comparisons that can be made with it. After all, there’s no shame in being just a little less versatile than the very best of what’s available. This card still allows its holders to earn plenty of points and makes it easy and pleasant for them to travel with its insurance coverage, and it does both of those two things much better than many comparable travel card options.

About Laurentian Bank

Laurentian Bank has gone through a lot of changes over the years, starting out as a small Quebec-only bank over 150 years ago and going on to earn a place in Quebec’s Business Hall of Fame. Their specialties are small business banking and real estate investment, but they’re no slouches when it comes to personal banking either. In fact, their current goal is start transforming many of their branches into what they call ‘financial clinics’ to offer better, more personalized service to their individual clients.

What We Think

We can’t give as definitive a verdict in this Laurentian Bank Visa Explore review as we’d like to, but that’s because things aren’t so simple with this card. It distinguishes itself from its competitors within the same provider’s card range by focusing on travel, but it will only really be attractive to people who travel more than most do. Like many cards out there, this is not an all-purpose solution, but a card meant for a certain type of person. Give it some thought to figure out if it really suits you, but if it does, by all means jump right in.