Why You Should Avoid American Express Use Points for Purchases

How Amex Wants You to Lose Big Time

First Published: ADawnJournal.com Published Date : September 27, 2016

American Express Canada recently launched a new option, letting card members fall for instant gratification by letting them redeem daily purchases for small amounts. According to Amex, this option will provide ultimate flexibility and make daily life seamless. However, what Amex is not saying is that clients lose big time when they redeem points for daily purchases instead of converting to miles.

American Express points provide the best bang for your buck when you transfer them to airline miles, such as with Aeroplan or Avios. The transfer rate is 1:1, meaning you will receive 1 airline mile for each point. Now, if you are knowledgeable about airline rewards programs you should be easily able to extract 5 to 6 percent return per dollar flying business or first class. Sometimes the return can be astronomically high like 30 percent flying business or first class on airline miles. If you fly economy class using miles, your extraction rate will be a poor 1 to 2 percent.

So what’s the rate you are getting from American Express if you redeem points for purchases? Not even 1 percent. On the Amex Gold Card, the redemption rate is $7 for redeeming 1000 points. What this means is you get $0.007 per point, which is even less than 1 cent per point, making it a 0.7 percent return – not even 1 percent return. If you use Amex TripFlex option to redeem points for travel, you will get a 1 percent return or 1000 points for $10.

The best value Amex rewards points generate is when you redeem them to convert into miles. Of course you need to know how airline miles work and if you don’t want to follow that path, you should not have this card in the first place. There are other credit cards that offer higher return for redeeming points for groceries and other purchases. There is no point in having American Express credit cards, paying hefty annual fees and redeeming points at such a horribly low rate. Also don’t forget that although American Express is charging a hefty $150 on its popular card Amex Gold Rewards, it’s not providing many common benefits that another premium card would provide for a $120 annual fee such as Trip Cancellation Insurance, Concierge Service, etc.

Triangle World Elite MasterCard Provides Free Roadside Assistance

Triangle World Elite MasterCard Review

Canadian Tire is launching its new rewards program called Triangle Rewards. Its iconic Canadian Tire paper money will still be available to earn & redeem at Canadian Tire stores.

The Triangle Reward program will be offering 2 new credit cards, including a World Elite series MasterCard. This is the 3rd free World Elite MasterCard after PC World Elite and Roger’s World MasterCard.

Earn rates are:

4% back on qualifying purchases at Canadian Tire, Mark's, Sport Chek, and Atmosphere.

3% back on grocery store purchases up to $12,000K annually. However, Costco and Walmart are not considered groceries.

7 cents per litre on premium fuel and 5 cents back per litre on regular fuel and at any Canadian Tire gas bar.

1% back everywhere else.

Another interesting features this card offers is a free Roadside Assistance Gold Plan provided by Canadian Tire. If you purchase Roadside Assistance Gold it costs about $100. So by just having this card for free, you will be saving $100 on Auto Club or Roadside Assistance programs.

The Triangle World Elite MasterCard has another stripped-down version just called Triangle MasterCard. The return rates on this card are the same: 4% back on at Canadian Tire, Mark's, Sport Chek, and Atmosphere. You also get 5 cents back per litre on regular fuel, but no 7 cents per litre on premium fuel. It has 0.80 percent back on everything else. There is no 3 percent back on groceries.

If you qualify for the Triangle World Elite MasterCard, which has an $80K personal or $150K household income requirement, you should definitely get it because it provides value—especially the free Roadside Assistance Gold membership.

Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card

Scotia’s New Travel Credit Card Miles Ahead of Competitors

Previously, if you were on the lookout for travel credit cards issued by major Canadian banks that do not charge foreign currency transaction fees and offer free lounge access, you were out of luck. You could find cards that offer free lounge access, such as the BMO World Elite MasterCard, but getting one with both free lounge access and zero foreign currency fees was out of the question.

However, it all changed when Scotia Bank launched its Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card offering both free lounge access and zero foreign currency fees. Better yet, this card even has a lower annual fee ($140) than BMO World Elite MC ($150) and giving more free lounge entrances (6 vs BMO’s 4) via the Priority Pass program.

Scotiabank placed itself as a leader and miles ahead of other major banks by offering a zero foreign currency conversion fee with no conversion mark-up and 6 free lounge visits. Canadians have long been waiting for this type of card. Since Chase Bank pulled out its 2 zero foreign currency credit cards from Canada, the vacuum in this segment of the credit card market grew and Scotia realized faster than other banks that there was a great opportunity there.

Of course, the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite Credit Card is not a perfect travel credit card and it has its flaws. For example, it does not offer accelerated points for travel spending and all the travel insurances this card offers are not usable because the 3rd party provider makes it difficult to fulfill claims based on countless Internet reviews, ratings, and complaints.

But still, Scotia took a step in the right direction by offering the first no foreign currency fees credit card issued by one of the major Canadian banks and by lighting the path for other big Canadian banks.

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Ends Manufactured Spending

CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card Ends 

Manufactured spending is one of the vehicles travel hackers use to generate points. This is simply manufacturing credit card spending, instead of real spending to create transactions that generates points and later on to deposit the money back into the account.

I am not going into the detail of manufactured spending. The CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Visa Prepaid Card was one of the easiest ways to create manufactured spending in Canada.

The AC Conversion card had a feature that let you load Canadian dollars from other credit cards and unload Canadian dollars from CIBC bank machines at no cost. This would create transactions on the credit cards you are loading from to generate points.

Initially the limit was $3,000 a day, then it was reduced to $2,000 a day. When card management found out what’s going on, they reduced it $100 per day because they were bleeding money paying other credit card fees.

In the interim, many people got points and miles millionaires utilizing the loophole. It was like a dream come true for travel hackers to easily generate points using the AC Conversion card.

However, now CIBC Air Canada AC Conversion Card has decided that they still can’t afford to give away $100 per days as they can’t recoup the expenses and they are closing the loophole beginning April 13, 2018. After this date, Canadian currencies are no longer allowed to load and unload. You can load other supported currencies, however. If you try to load other currencies and unload Canadian dollars, the machines will dispense US$. So it will no longer make sense to use this card to create manufactured spending and the loophole that existed for many years will be sealed.

If you would like to watch my video on this, click on this link.

CIBC AC Air Canada Credit Card Ends

On my YouTube channel, you will find more videos like this.

Rewards Canada Publishes Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards

What You Need to Know About Affiliated Credit Card Rankings

Rewards Canada just published its top travel credit cards listings and like every year, American Express cards shine in most of the categories. I will only give you the top 5 credit cards as per Rewards Canada and will discuss in brief what’s wrong with these ratings.

- Amex Cobalt Card

- Amex Gold Rewards Card

- WestJet RBC World Elite MasterCard

- RBC Visa Infinite Avion

The problem with these top-rated cards is that none of them provide (except RBC Avion) full insurance coverage and concierge service. These are the most important features you should look for when shopping for a travel rewards credit card.

Another thing these sites that provide top rankings never disclose is that all these cards are affiliated cards and they are promoting these cards, meaning they make money off you by recommending these cards and it’s in their best interest to only recommend cards that will make them the most money.

American Express even issued a press release making this (being in Rewards Canada’s top cards) a big deal. You can visit this press release Here.

This is called cross promotion. Rewards Canada is promoting American Express and American Express is promoting Rewards Canada. There is nothing wrong with promoting affiliated credit cards as the best credit cards. What is wrong is not disclosing properly to the readers that these are not honest and unbiased ratings.

Consider this scenario: based on these recommendations, a reader purchased a trip costing $3,000 and that trip had to be canceled. But then the reader found out that the top credit card he or she picked did not provide Trip Cancellation insurance and now he or she is at loss for $3,000. Will Rewards Canada pay for this loss? I don’t think so.

Watch the video link provided here to find out how to detect these affiliated links and how to protect yourself. I will also show some USA sites where these types of links and recommendations always come with disclosure. But in Canada they never disclose anything to the public to pump up their credit card sign ups. The more good things you will hear about these cards (and hiding the bad things), the more you will sign up and the more money they make.

What's Wrong with Rewards Canada Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards

There are no best credit cards, as each card comes with different perks and features. Choose the one that best matches your needs. Subscribe to my YouTube channel www.youtube.com/adawn to get regular unbiased and honest updates and reviews on credit cards and rewards points. And yes, my channel and this website (AhmedDawn.com) are not affiliated or paid by any credit cards companies.