Shopping for a new rewards card ideally means getting the best one available at the time. The question is, though: which card is that? There’s no single answer that is correct for everyone. Everyone will be able to qualify for different cards and may be looking for slightly different things out of them. That’s why pinpointing the single best rewards credit card Canada is an individual process than involves a set of important considerations. Go through our list below to cover each aspect of the process and you should have a better idea of what you’re looking for.
What Is Your Income Like?
Your income is generally one of the top criteria that factors into credit card decisions – even when you have stellar credit, providers like to see that you have money coming in and will be able to pay any bills you rack up without much fuss. The higher your income is, the better you will generally do. Don’t assume that your figures would be considered low just because you think of them that way, though. The median income for single individuals is just $28,300, so even if you think you’re just treading water, you might be doing better than you think. Low income for credit card purposes hovers at around $12,000 a year and goes up from there. The best cards require about $60,000 in individual income, although there are some that ask for $80,000 and up. If you can’t meet these requirements on your own but have a spouse or partner who also works, you may be able to qualify based on household income too, but the requirements there are generally higher. All of this is stuff to keep in mind when figuring out what level of card you think you can shoot for.
What Is Your Credit Like?
The other equally important credit card consideration factor is your credit score itself. Credit is the same as income in that higher is always better, but it’s more important to stay out of the low ranges here. If your score dips so low that you’re considered to have bad credit, you’ll need to apply only for cards that specifically serve people in your situation; most lenders won’t even consider taking a huge risk like that. You can still find providers that will work with you, but there are far fewer of them and you won’t have as much room to be picky about things like interest rates or rewards. Still, if that’s the reality for you, it’s best to make your peace with it, get what you’re eligible for right now, and work at building a more stable credit history that can carry you into the future.
Do You Want To Try a Secured Card?
If your credit is looking like it might be a problem for you, you may want to look into secured credit cards. These cards allow you to back up your claim to a line of credit with an equivalent deposit, giving the provider a way of reclaiming their money if they ever need to do so (i.e. if you don’t pay up). Because they do enable this backup option, they are often easier to get than cards that don’t do this, which means you may have an easier time getting them even with bad credit.
Most secured cards don’t offer rewards, but there are a few that do. If you’re really worried about how your credit score might affect your application, this might be one way to get a rewards card without too much hassle. Don’t forget that you’ll need to put up the funds in advance, though – surrendering control of hundreds of dollars is not an easy thing for some people, even with the assurance that they will get it back. You can always try your luck with the regular cards if you really don’t like the idea of doing that.
What Kind Of Rewards Do You Want?
Once you’ve gone over the basics that determine which cards will be in your reach, you can start to look at factors that make a particular card more enjoyable for you. The place to start with that is to think about what type of rewards you’ll get the most use out of. There are general rewards programs that allow you to purchase anything from jewelry and electronics to concert tickets and charitable donations with your points, though they’re less common than they once were. Travel rewards systems are gaining in relevance, netting you credits that you can apply to accomodations, flights, cruises and many other travel-related expenses. If you’re not sure about either of these, cash back rewards are always a popular option and you’re sure to be able to use them to get something you’ll actually like. Some programs even combine aspects of all three. Give some thought as to what will suit you best, and choose carefully – you’ll be sticking with that reward system for as long as you have your card!
How Much Do You Spend Each Month, and Where?
With a general rewards card category in mind, the next thing you need to do to determine what the best rewards credit card Canada is for you is to find out what spending pattern you have to match your prospective cards to. Different cards reward different types of spending at an accelerated rate through their bonus categories, and it pays to choose a card with ones that align well with your needs. If you’re a light spender who sticks to buying necessities and not much else, the best card for you won’t be the same as it would be for someone who spends a lot and tends to favour dining and entertainment expenses. There are cards out there for either type of person, though. Just be honest with yourself about where your budget actually goes and you should be able to find a card that closely matches that breakdown; if possible, get out your actual bank records and analyze so you know that you’re not just assuming that you know how your budget shakes out. You might be surprised to find out where your money actually goes each month.
Do You Care About Getting Benefits?
Some cards give you more than the rewards you earn for using them; you’ll also enjoy a set of bonus perks that might include anything from freebies to insurance to memberships in exclusive organizations. Some keep things simple and leave out that aspect of a credit card entirely. Usually you won’t be able to score much in benefits unless you go to the higher-tier cards (ones that not everyone can qualify for). That’s not a big deal for many people and it won’t factor into their final decision at all, but some people really like the idea of getting something extra for choosing to do business with a certain lender. Just be sure to set your sights a little lower if you know you’re going to be looking at mostly entry-level cards. You won’t get any travel medical insurance there, but some auto rental or mobile device coverage might not be out of reach.
Are You Okay With An Annual Fee?
The final consideration to take into account is whether or not you’re willing to pay a recurring annual fee for your card. There are many cards that you can keep for free (interest payments aside, of course), but many others will charge you on an ongoing basis just for having them. These cards are usually superior to the free ones in terms of benefits and rewards, but not always. Many mid-level cards charge a modest fee of around $40 with prices going up as high as near $140 at the higher ends. Some elite cards charge even more than that. Think about how much you’re willing to pay – if any at all – to narrow down your final set of options and come closer to a conclusion about what the best rewards credit card Canada is to you.
Lock Down Your Best Rewards Credit Card Canada
Your quest to find the best rewards credit card Canada isn’t over yet. Now you need to see which cards actually fit the profile you’ve come up with and settle on one to apply for. If you want to get both of those jobs done as quickly and efficiently as possible, you should be pleased to hear that you can in fact do both at once by paying a visit to Bonsai Finance’s online home. Our website houses a detailed search engine that you can use to pull up all the relevant information about cards that meet your criteria. You can compare their reward rates, interest rates and more right from your computer screen, and applying for the one you want will only take a handful of minutes more. The best rewards credit card Canada is out there, and this is how you find it.