Which credit card is right for you?

Written by: Vivek Jacob
June 5, 2021
Which credit card is right for you?

Falling asleep at the wheel is one of the biggest mistakes people make with their credit cards. Excuses can be aplenty: It’s the first card you got and so it’s still the card you use, the card served the needs you had 10 years ago and you’ve been too lazy to change, or you just like having all your financial products at one financial institution and so you’ve never seriously considered your options.

In this economy?? You’re missing out. Why pay more interest than you have to? Why not put some money back in your pocket when you spend? There are a myriad of options for you to avail of if your credit standing is in a position to take advantage of it, and it would be a shame to ignore that opportunity when you’ve put in the hard work to earn it.

Here’s how you can maximize your credit card spending habits:

Secured credit cards:

The only way to get to a point where you can explore different credit card options is by actually establishing a credit history first or repairing the damage you’ve done previously. If you’re a student or you’ve already set up daily banking needs like a chequing and savings account at a young age, your bank may be willing to give you an unsecured credit card, but if not a credit card secured against an amount like $500 or $1,000 that would be sitting in your savings account anyway is a good way to go.

Outside of the main banks, Home Trust does have a couple of secured credit card options worth considering.

Low interest cards:

Have debt that you can’t seem to shake, these credit cards are designed to do exactly that. 19.99% is the standard credit card rate you will see around the block, but there are several options that can help you cut that in almost half.

P.S. Confused about the term “balance transfers”? That allows you to transfer the entire balance on one credit product to another. Some cards will even offer exceptionally low promotional interest rates for a period of six months to a year to get you on board.

Travel reward cards:

Are you a frequent flyer? Well, there’s a card for that. Whether it’s specifically for Aeroplan or Air Miles, hotel rewards cards including for the Marriot, or even just straight points you earn towards any travel expense, there are plenty of options to consider in this category and ratehub.ca should have you covered in helping you figure out exactly which one.

Pro tip: Don’t be scared of annual fees. Do the math on your annual expenses and you may find that $120-$150 annually for a card may be well worth the cost depending on your spending habits.

Cash back reward cards:

Just want cash coming back to you? Take the time to understand your spending habits and figure out which cash back card is best suited towards your expenses. Some cards cater to groceries and gas, others prioritize restaurants and bars. Depending on where you fit in you can find exactly what you need.

Want some flexibility to set things up exactly how you want? The Tangerine Money-Back credit card, as of June 25, 2021 (subject to change), lets you pick up to three categories that earn 2% cash back while everything else earns you 0.5%.

If you want to get hyperspecific with your spending, you can focus on specific companies where you spend the most money like the Amazon or Walmart credit card.

There really are so many options to consider but it's no reason to get overwhelmed, once you know exactly how YOU want to spend, the choices can be narrowed down to a select few.

Related Articles
3 ways to creatively borrow when in need
3 ways to creatively borrow when in need
The banks closing their doors isn't always doomsday
Can a line of credit help you manage debt better?
Can a line of credit help you manage debt better?
A line of credit can offer necessary flexibility at a moment of need.
Keys to building good credit
Keys to building good credit
Life comes at you fast, that’s where building a strong credit history can help you.
Stories, articles and other information about personal finance topics.