Rewards credit cards are some of the most popular around, and there are a lot of potential options out there for anyone who wants one. This TD Rewards Visa card review will tell you all you need to know about one of the basic reward card options available to Canadians.
Earn extra reward points for buying groceries or other food and paying your bills!
|You Are Interested If||You want a basic rewards card that won’t wow you but also won’t let you down.|
|Brief Description||The TD Visa Rewards card is exactly what you’d expect it to be – a standard low-tier rewards credit card.|
|Main Requirements||There are no income or strict credit requirements to get this card, so as long as you aren’t in dire straits, you can expect to be able to get one.|
|Provider||TD Canada Trust.|
|Card Type||This is a plain rewards card, but the points you earn with it can also be used for travel or cash back purposes.|
Fees and Interest
|Purchase Interest Rate||This credit card will have you paying the standard 19.99% interest rate on purchases.|
|Cash Advance||The cash advance rate is quite a bit higher than that at 22.99%.|
|Balance Transfer||The balance transfer rate matches the cash advance rate also at another 22.99%.|
|Income Requirements||TD doesn’t ask for any specific income for applicants who are after this card, so even low earners can potentially get it.|
|Household Income Requirements||Only individual income is factored into decisions regarding this card.|
|Annual Fee||This card is free to hold – no fees to worry about here.|
|Welcome Bonus||Applicants who get this card before February 25, 2019 will receive a bonus of 5,000 reward points to start off with.|
|How To Earn Points||You’ll receive 2 reward points per dollar spent on fast food, restaurant meals or groceries and 3 reward points for each dollar spent on travel expenses booked through TD’s dedicated travel service. Anything else you buy will earn you a single point per dollar spent.|
|Benefits||In addition to extended warranties and purchase protection, this card will also get you a token discount at Avis or Budget Rent-a-Car locations (at least 10% in Canada and at least 5% internationally).|
About TD Rewards Visa Card
We’ll open this TD Rewards Visa card review as usual with a quick overview of the interest rates the card uses. The purchase rate sits at the standard 19.99%, putting it perfectly on par with the rest of the Canadian credit market. As far as balance transfer and cash advance rates go, they are actually slightly higher than the norm at 22.99%. This shouldn’t matter much to most people, though, since these extra credit functions are rarely used by most people.
Now for the good part of this TD Rewards Visa card review: the rewards. This card is indeed more generous than usual in that regard. Some rewards cards at this bottom level only award points at a flat rate for all purchases, and this rate never reaches more than 1 point per dollar at the very most. While that’s still more than you would get if you were relying on a debit card or cash to make your purchases, it’s far from ideal. This card has a much better point distribution than that. It uses that standard flat rate (1 point per dollar) for every purchase that doesn’t fall into one of the 5 bonus categories that apply here. The most appealing one is the offer you receive when booking travel expenses through ExpediaForTD.com. This category will give you a full 3 points for each dollar spent in almost all cases (we’ll get into the exception a little later in this TD Rewards Visa Card review). However, even though its reward rate is a little lower, the best reward category by far is the middle one, which gives you 2 reward points for each dollar spent on groceries, fast food, restaurants and recurring bill payments.
Because these four things are extremely common purchases for most people, they represent a great opportunity to rack up the bulk of your rewards. Simple things like stocking up the fridge or going out for dinner at the end of a long day can get you a nice little boost in points for things you would almost certainly be doing anyway. This generosity on TD’s part means that you shouldn’t feel any pressure to change your spending habits in order to see a higher reward rate, since you’ll be earning plenty of points regardless. This is something you should always look for in a credit card, particularly if you’re examining one that isn’t explicitly aimed at high income earners. High reward rates mean nothing if you won’t be able to regularly spend enough on the boosted categories to get any meaningful sum of money out of it. You can actually see an example of this within this card’s own reward system (as detailed in this TD Rewards Visa card review) – the highest rates are applied to TD travel purchases, but most people will not be spending nearly as much in that category as they will in the slightly less lucrative 2-points-per-dollar category. However, since in this case this restricted boost is only a bonus reward option that TD has included on top of the much more accessible standard reward categories, it’s not such a big deal.
There is one extra point about this special travel rate that we want you to take notice of as part of this TD Rewards Visa Card review; if you book your travel through TD using the phone service instead of the online portal you are directed to, you will only accrue 2 points per dollar rather than the 3 you would usually get. This is presumably to help make up the cost of employing staff to help you over the phone, a cost which does not exist on the do-it-yourself online side. While this makes the change somewhat understandable, the points drop may still be disappointing to those who strongly prefer to have an agent to help them with these things. If you know that this is the case for you, you should consider whether this might be a deal breaker for you in terms of whether or not you want this card.
Getting back to the reward rates, though, let’s examine what you can get for spending within a typical budget. A person who chooses a basic reward card is probably of at least somewhat limited means, so we’ll keep our estimates modest for accuracy. Let’s assume a budget of $500 in recurring bills, $500 in groceries, $100 in eating out, and $200 in discretionary spending. Unfortunately, most people in this economic bracket won’t be spending enough on travel expenses to really make use of the triple-rate travel category, so we’ll omit that for now. This budget breakdown will result in 2,300 points per month, or about $11.50 in value. For a free card, that’s not bad at all! Add in the 5,000-point welcome bonus and you’ll have a nice little sum of points for spending at the end of your first year. You can do better with more exclusive cards, but not since not everyone will be able to qualify for those, it’s kind of a moot point.
Let’s move on to the reward system itself now. If you were undecided as to what kind of rewards you wanted to focus on when choosing your credit card, you’re in luck in this case – you don’t have to choose because you can cash in these points for just about anything you can think of, from travel purchases to merchandise to credits on your monthly statement. No matter what kind of rewards you prefer, there is probably a way to get them through TD’s reward system – although if you’re after cash back rewards specifically, simply opting for a cash back card instead is probably the more efficient way to get them. Regardless, though, it’s always nice to have the option to get any kind of reward you might want, especially since that means you don’t necessarily have to switch cards if your tastes change over the years.
Another vital part of our TD Rewards Visa Card review is a quick overview of this card’s benefits. Unfortunately, this card comes with hardly anything at all in that department, a marked contrast to what you can get with even mid-tier rewards cards from both this provider and others. The only things you’ll get here that don’t come standard with every card is a set of two discounts – one for some money off on an annual Priority Pass membership for airport lounge access, and one for a small rebate on Budget Rent-a-Car and Avis Rent-a-Car services both at home and worldwide. Since both are free of charge for holders of this card, which is free in and of itself, it’s hard to complain that the benefits are inadequate. However, both of these inclusions are so niche that most people will probably only use them once or twice in their entire time holding this card. The Priority Pass membership in particular is something you can only use if you know you will be travelling extensively, and most people who plan to do that won’t be after a card like this.
Since this is a multipurpose rewards card and not even a dedicated travel card, the focus on travel that is evident in these perks is somewhat odd and doesn’t lend itself to pleasing all potential holders. On the other hand, these are considered extras and do not affect the primary (credit access) or secondary (reward access) functions of the card, so this may not be a big deal to everyone.
There were many good things to highlight in this TD Rewards Visa card review. This card’s biggest selling points are that it is free and that it is easy to get. The fact that the amount of rewards it can get you is actually fairly decent for this type of card is just a bonus on top of that excellent accessibility. The extra benefits are admittedly lackluster, but that’s to be expected when the card is only meant as a low-rank option that anyone can get. In total, it’s a rather good card for also being a free one and stands up well against its competitors, although it isn’t quite as good as most of the mid- and high-tier options out there.
TD is also known as the Toronto Dominion Bank, and as you might expect from that name, they spent their first several decades in business providing some of the first mortgages in Canada to Toronto’s early residents back in the 1850’s. They’re proud to say that they’ve now spent more than the last 150 years serving their massive client base, now numbering over 22 million customers in branches all over the globe. Their service was good enough to reach well past the borders of Canada, and you can count on it being more than satisfactory for you as well.
What We Think
Since there are several reasons to think highly of this card, we can finish up our TD Rewards Visa card review on a positive note. This isn’t a must-have card, but as long as you’re approaching it with the right expectations, it won’t disappoint you either. You’ll get many reward points from it in most cases, and you’ll be able to spend those points in a surprising number of different ways. If you don’t have the credit or income necessary to move to a higher tier of card right away – or even if you just want a serviceable card that comes free and can safely be used or forgotten as it suits you this card will do what you need it to do in terms of credit and rewards. If benefits matter to you, you’ll probably want to pass this option up right away, though. Its reward system might be quite good, but that’s where its utility ends.