If you want to upgrade your credit card for free most likely you will do it on your own by contacting credit card companies to see what they are offering.
Other times they are contacting you whether over the phone, through email or your post box.
I’ve always said there are some great credit cards with perks out there but you need to shop around to find what’s best for you.
Like many Canadians we have call display and conveniently with a Rogers TV package perk it also shows up on our television when the phone rings the number that’s dialing in.
I’m pretty sure many of you are going to say that you do the same as us and simply say, “let the answer machine get it” especially if you don’t know the number or if it’s that dreaded Air Duct Cleaning company and you have the number burned in your mind because they call so many times.
Sure we’ve put our number on the Canada Do Not Call List and it does work for the most part until they decide to switch phone numbers and the calls start all over again. You know we will never win this game of telemarketing unless we just get rid of the technology altogether.
The other day the phone rang while I was quietly reading a blog post and enjoying a cup of tea. As I looked up to see who it was I didn’t recognize the number but thought, what the heck let me hear what they have to say. I can assure you it’s not often I get in this type of mood.
This is not normal for me as I simply ignore the phone. In fact, I hate the phone. I don’t like talking on the phone and will avoid it unless it’s someone I really want to talk to. I can count on one hand how many people would fall into that class and they are all near and dear to my heart.
Credit Card upgrade
When the calm female voice on the other end of the phone said hello to me I thought, ‘here we go’ and I was right she wanted to offer me something but it wasn’t what I expected. I don’t get many calls from credit card companies but when I do it’s typically from stores or banks where I already hold a credit card.
The last phone call I told you all about was from Canadian Tire who wanted to raise my spending limit to some ridiculous amount right after I had made a large purchase on the credit card.
Brilliant if you ask me but that shows me how on top of the credit card spending habits of Canadians these organizations are. They know when we make a move and they are right there to jump us if we let them.
This lovely lady though was from President’s Choice Financial which is one institution we deal with and hold a credit card with. She wanted to offer me the new World MasterCard from Presidents Choice.
I was intrigued to listen after she told me about the current perks we get with our PC MasterCard (which the wife uses mostly) and what they were removing and why.
Originally we got double the PC points when we used our PC MasterCard but that was no longer going to be the case. Bummer.
We picked up loads of free groceries using the PC Points but have recently been loading up on points when we can with the new PC Plus program they introduced.
PC World MasterCard
The new PC World MasterCard which is black in color compared to the original boring grey does offer double the PC Points when you use the credit card.
The card also offers a host of other perks such as doubling the manufacturers warranty on a new purchase as well as free personalized convenience cheques (if you use those, we don’t) and free purchase assurance that protects our purchases from loss and theft for up to 90 days if paid in full.
I usually hear bla bla bla bla when I hear or read this but who knows maybe one day it may come in handy.
We always pay everything in full each month so I thought this card would be great. If you wanted to complete a balance transfer (we’ve never done this) they offer a 0.97% introductory offer to transfer funds if needed for 6 months.
Like I mentioned this meant nothing to us as we never hold a balance on a credit card but it may to someone else.
Read the fine print please….
Although there is no annual fee on this credit card make sure you to read about the other fees that will get piled on if you use the credit card lets say outside of Canada and you want a cash advance. That my friends will cost you a whopping $5.00 fee.
The interest rate on this pretty black credit card is ONLY 19.97% on purchases and cash advances at 21.97%… I know don’t lose your lunch. Ridiculously high, wow but many credit cards are all the same.
Remember what I said about reading the fine print in its entirety if you don’t want to get screwed later down the line. The next line after the rates reads that without notice they could up the interest rate to 24.95% upon review of your account. Puke! IF you think that’s bad, don’t pay your minimum payments and that gets hiked to 24.97%.
Read all regulations thoroughly but like I earlier stated, nothing is for free and to be honest many credit cards are just the same. The point of a credit card is for the company to make money and for you to hold off on paying in full, pay in segments or pay in full and reap the free rewards that they offer. It’s the only reason we hold credit cards plus to build our credit rating and have it in good standing.
With the new credit card we will get 20 PC Points for every $1 spent in participating stores and 10 points for every $1 spent everywhere else we shop. Not too bad since that was originally what we had but was now being taken away.
Odds were good that we would make the switch based on our spending and payment habits and they knew it, hence the call.
There’s other perks you have to pay for in case of loss of job or losing your wallet and the pay the minimum monthly balance for you. I have no interest in this.
Checking your credit history
I wanted to make sure they weren’t going to go in and do another credit check and not that it would be a problem but I just don’t like when these companies keep going in and checking when they don’t need to.
They know we have a good standing with the PC MasterCard already and that is essentially what she said so no they did not do a second credit check.
Making the switch
I was all up for the switch to the new PC World MasterCard that also offered inside deals that the regular MasterCard holder won’t be privy too so why not.
I like a good deal so show me the savings. Switching cards for me essentially meant I’d keep my double the points and get a few other perks which really didn’t get me too fired up but points are points.
Some people get nutty over cash back or Air Miles points and these points are no different.
Why throw money away if you don’t have to?
So, you must be asking me now what is the catch? There is always a catch and it’s true, nothing comes for free in life these days unless you’re lucky or given it free.
This particular credit card is designed for those that have an annual household income of $100,000 or more or a single income of $60,000 or more.
That’s right you have to be making a fair amount of cash to hold this credit card and although some people may think it’s chump change to others that’s lots of money.
We are now surpassing that threshold so I went ahead and signed up for the new credit card and it’s only for the free groceries with double the points and no annual fee at this time I’m afraid.
Canadian spending habits
The credit card companies want the spenders to get these perks in hopes they spend more money using the credit cards and well, hold a balance.
That interest is what makes them richer although just because you earn a higher income it doesn’t necessarily mean you are a spender.
You could be a saver yet the perks are great for you if you pay your card in full. It may be the people who earn less money who are spenders or vice versa the people who earn less money save their money like we did when we were earning less (and still do).
I don’t think there is any real math to spending habits and income but they do follow patterns and do surveys and know what Canadians are spending and how much they are earning based on the use of a credit card.
It’s amazing how much of our life we allow people to follow all by the simplicity of a tap, swipe or insert of a credit card.
Would you upgrade your credit card to get more perks for free?
Every day Food Bloggers from around the world pass by my other love the Free Recipe Depot Facebook page to share a daily recipe which I share with my fans.
This weeks Top Recipe comes from a blog called “Love Bakes Good Cakes” run by a homeschooling mom named Jamie who has 5 kids. Her recipe came out on top because chocolate was the main ingredient.
If you are a fan of Oreo cookies and chocolate cake donuts then this is the recipe for you. Enjoy. Chocolate Oreo Sprinkle Donuts.
Weekly CBB Posts
If you missed any CBB posts from the week here is the list of posts you can catch up on reading!
- How to handle when your spouse spends too much money
- How to save money whilst doing your hobbies
- Are you Supermarket loyal? The Grocery Game Challenge Jan 20-26,2014
- Are skilled trades the better choice for Canadians?
- Cherry Cheesecake
Every week I share a few of the best personal finance blog posts that I read over the past week with all of you so please enjoy my top picks.
- Preventing and dealing with credit card fraud- Million Dollar Journey
- 3 Steps to raising financially confident children- The Heavy Purse
- Tom Khai Gai Gluten Free Soup - Lil Suburban Homestead (Yum, thanks Karen)
- 3 tips to ensure you adhere to your budget- Prairie Eco Thrifter
- Six times it’s easy to ask for a discount - Free Money Finance
- How do you challenge yourself?- Budget and the Beach
- Which Insurance could you live without?- Money Bulldog
- Shop off season to save money- Club Thrifty
- Why do Colleges and Universities vary so much in cost?- When Life Gives You Lemons
- Long-term TFSA penalties- Michael James On Money
- Why work with an Advisor- The Brighter Life
- Looking for income but don’t want to be a landlord? Try REIT’s 101- My Own Advisor
Well, that’s a wrap for this Friday’s grab a brew #56 so happy budgeting and I’ll see you here again next week when I do it all over again.
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