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Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card Review
6 Jan 2019

Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card | Credit Card Review

When you’re looking for a rewards card, it’s important to choose one that makes sense for your lifestyle and budget. Our Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review will tell you more about a credit card option with a slightly unusual bonus category setup.

Pay your bills with this card and watch it pay off for you with triple the reward points.

 

General Information

You Are Interested If You want an elite rewards card and have a budget that skews heavily toward automatically debited bills.
Brief Description The Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite card is a high-level rewards card that places particular emphasis on recurring debit payments.
Main Requirements This is a premium card that calls for a high income and good credit to be approved.

Card Details

Network Visa.
Provider Laurentian Bank.
Card Type This is a flexible rewards card that allows you to choose between travel, cash back and merchandise rewards.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate As in most cases, the purchase interest rate on this card is 19.99%.
Cash Advance You can borrow some cash with this card at a 21.99% annual interest rate.
Balance Transfer If you transfer any debts from other cards to this one, they will also be charged 21.99% in annual interest.

Eligibility

Income Requirements An individual applying alone must make at least $60,000 a year to qualify for this card.
Household Income Requirements If a household’s combined income is more than $100,000, a member’s application may be considered on this basis.
Annual Fee There is a $130 annual fee to be paid to have this card, as well as an additional $50 fee for each extra cardholder.

Rewards

Welcome Bonus If you apply for this card right now, you’ll get 5,000 reward points to get you started and also get half of the $130 annual fee (plus half of any of the additional cardholder fees that apply) refunded to you for this year through a statement credit.
How To Earn Points You could get 3 points for each dollar spent through pre-authorized debits, 2 points for each dollar spent on gas, grocery, transportation, travel or foreign currency purchases, and 1 point for all other spending.
Benefits This card carries plenty of bonus insurance, including auto rental collision and loss damage insurance, up to $2,500 in delayed baggage insurance, up to $5,000 in trip cancellation/interruption insurance, $500,000 in Public Transportation Vehicle Accident insurance and up to $5 million in out-of-province medical insurance coverage for the cardholder and their family. You also get access to Visa’s usual Infinite benefits, including 24/7 concierge service, Luxury Hotel Collection benefits, a Dining Series membership and admittance to the Visa Infinite Experiences program for exciting events.

About Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card

Main Features

To kick off our Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review, we’ll start with examining the interest rates that apply to this card. Paying 19.99% on normal purchases and 21.99% on balance transfers and cash advances isn’t ideal, but it’s only to be expected. Always keep these rates in mind when using your card and do not spend more than you can pay off in one month and you’ll never have a problem with these rates.

Next up in our Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review: the rewards. All types of rewards are available, from merchandise and travel to the coveted cash back option (here delivered as a statement credit on your next monthly bill and not as true liquid cash, but it’s effectively the same thing). One particularly nice feature of this card’s reward system is that points are generally worth the same amount of money across all reward possibilities. Cash back reward redemption is especially prone to being offered only at a less advantageous rate, so it’s nice to see that Laurentian Bank isn’t worried about trying to disincentivize their customers from choosing any one category over the others. Whatever type of reward you like best is the one you’ll get, no compromises necessary – for customers who value freedom, there’s no better selling point than that.

Unfortunately, consistent value does not necessarily mean good value, and that’s the case in this Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review. It takes 10,000 of these reward points in order to reach $100 in trade-in value, and at the rates you’ll be accumulating them, it could take some time to get to that amount. If you have many recurring bills to pay each month (or just pay a lot for things like electricity, cable and various types of insurance), this might be the ideal set-up for you. It’s even better if you happen to pay your rent or mortgage by recurring payment, since this is usually the biggest monthly expense for most people. Unfortunately, many people forgo automatic payments on big-ticket expenses like that just in case they ever run into a serious cash flow issue, so it can be harder to cash in on the potential of this rate than it might first appear. Others still will find that a good chunk of their spending goes to things like groceries and entertainment that are only eligible for lower rates. Since even 3 points per dollar is a good but not exceptional rate, you’ll need to carefully consider whether your budget will let you get the most out of this card.

To illustrate these issues as part of this Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review, let’s look at a mock budget and what a person spending this way on this card would earn in points. Since this is a card that requires you to have a high income to get it, we can safely assume a more generous budget – something like $2,500 in recurring debit payments (bills) with rent as part of those expenses, $800 in groceries, $700 in gas or other transportation, and $500 in other spending each month would not be unreasonable. This leaves us with $2,500 in spending that is eligible for triple points (7,500 points in total), plus $1,500 that will get double points (3,000 points) and another $500 that will simply get the base rate (500 points). All together, this adds up to a respectable 11,000 points, an estimated $110 in value according to Laurentian’s numbers. This is a yield on par with most premium cards on the market, so it’s acceptable in comparison to those other options you would have.

On the other hand, let’s examine the budget of a person who still pays their rent by cheque, a very common arrangement even now. This person’s budget is identical to the first one’s, but their rent cannot be categorized under pre-authorized debits, or even under credit card spending at all. Let’s say rent was $1,750 of that $2,500 amount; with that subtracted, it’s now just $750 total that will be earning at the triple rate. That only gets you 2,250 points in that category, which added to the 3,000 points for the groceries and gas and 500 points for the other things, leaves you with 5,750 points at the end of the month instead: just $57.50 in value. That could be a lot worse, but for a supposedly top-tier card like this, you’d have no trouble doing a lot better if you looked around a little more. In fact, if you factor in the cost of the annual fee as a loss against your rewards earnings, you can see that you’ll be wiping out almost 3 months’ worth of points earnings just to account for that fee. You’re still far from operating at a loss, but you should know you could do much better.

You might think the best solution for this person would be to insist that their rent be paid by credit card, but it’s ultimately up to the landlord to decide what type of payment he or she will accept. Mortgages are generally more flexible about this, but not everyone has one and there are fewer and fewer people choosing homeownership all the time. Overall, if you’re not already living in a place that will take your living arrangement payments by credit, you won’t be able to make much use of this card – at least, not enough to justify choosing it over others. This card really requires that you be living a certain way to make proper use of it, and that’s something we want to highlight in this Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review because we think applicants should be aware of it beforehand.

The last section of this part of the Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review will cover the benefits that this card offers. There are many, but not all are equally useful. The medical insurance is the biggest draw here: many people worry about a potential medical emergency that they would have to pay for out of pocket if it happened while travelling, and this card covers not only you in that instance, but your entire immediate family. That could potentially produce a lot of comforting peace of mind for people who spend enough time outside of their home province and worry about such things. It probably has the most potential for business travellers who can expect to be far from home on a regular basis. Some of the other benefits are also best suited for people who do at least light travelling on a regular basis, such as the Luxury Hotel Collection benefits that will get you perks when staying at certain higher-class hotels. There are still some goodies for those who prefer to stay home, too, including exclusive event invitations and even public transport insurance. All in all, the benefits are one of the nicer aspects of this card and may be a big part of the appeal for some.

Conclusions

Overall, it should be easy to see that there were many issues to point out in this Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review. This card does have its strong points (most notably the insurance and the wide-open catalogue), but unfavourable bonus categories are always a strong disincentive to get any exclusive card like this. When you’re one of the lender’s top customers, you can usually expect to be catered to in every possible way, and that won’t always happen here. There are certainly customers out there who would feel that this card is exactly right for their needs, but that is unlikely to be a universal sentiment.

About Laurentian Bank

Laurentian Bank first opened in 1847 under the name of the Montreal City and District Savings Bank The bank operated exclusively in Quebec until 1980, after which time they finally secured the rights to operate inside the rest of Canada. At this point, they became listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, business picked up even more for them and they really began to thrive. As of this moment, it remains a Canada-only bank and one of the best-equipped to help French-speaking customers.

What We Think

We don’t want to sound too negative in this Laurentian Bank Visa Infinite Card review, but ultimately we have to recommend caution here. For such an exclusive, ostensibly high-tier credit card, this one is not as convenient or versatile as you would think. The points redemption rates and options are good, but the rate at which you actually earn the points depends heavily on your being able to arrange many, many pre-authorized debit transactions in your life each month.  This may be impossible for some or at least very difficult to do, and the hallmark of a great credit card is the ability to fit seamlessly into an average customer’s life. If you have the credit and income needed to get this card, there are other options out there that will probably make you much happier than this card will.  Overall, this isn’t a terrible card, but it isn’t one you should sign up for without carefully evaluating the benefits of first, either.