Brim World Elite Increases Annual Fee Even Before Issuing Credit Cards

Brim World Elite MasterCard Annual Fee Goes Up

Brim credit cards created heavy buzz and brought a breath of fresh air on the Canadian credit card market because of its unheard of features such as no foreign transaction fee, Lounge Key membership, Boingo global Wi-Fi access, plus much more in Canada.

However, the anticipation and love are gone because Brim World Elite MasterCard has increased its annual fee from $120 to $199 even before reaching its customers.

There is no justification to pay $199 when you can pay $140 (Scotia Passport Visa Infinite) or $150 (BMO World Elite MasterCard) and get a lot more.

For example, Brim WE MasterCard provides only LoungeKey lounge membership, not free passes. The 2 other competitors’ credit cards provide 6 and 4 free lounge passes. Their insurance benefits are comparable or even better then Brim’s WE MasterCard. Scotia Passport Visa Infinite also provides zero foreign currency transaction fees.

The only thing the Scotia and BMO credit cards (those mentioned above) are missing is the Boingo global Wi-Fi access. However, that does not justify the higher annual fee. You can get the same Boingo global Wi-Fi access by just having the free version of Brim credit card.

I called up Brim to hear their version of the story behind the annual fee increase. The rep was friendly but failed to provide strong reasons justifying the increase. You can listen in the conversation here in the video:

What's the Justification Behind Skyrocketing Annual Fee

I don’t see any point in keeping my Brim WE MasterCard beyond its first year. I will switch to the regular free version and still will have access to free Boingo global Wi-Fi. For free lounge access, I am happy with my Scotia Passport Visa Infinite and BMO World Elite MasterCard. Also, Scotia Passport offers no zero foreign transaction fee as well.

BMO World Elite Switches from Priority Pass to LoungeKey Program

BMO World Elite Abandons Priority Pass Lounge Program

Starting August 8, 2018, BMO will replace their Priority Pass lounge access program with the LoungeKey program. Although both programs are owned by the same company, they work slightly differently.

In terms of lounge access, Priority Pass offers more lounges across the globe. Priority Pass has access to 1200 lounges at 500 airports. LoungeKey has access to 850 lounges at 400 airports.

For LoungeKey, you will not need to carry a separate membership card. The credit card that offers lounge access is enough to access a lounge. All do have to do is show your credit card. You do need to signup online to enroll prior to accessing lounges, of course.

The BMO World Elite MasterCard will still offer 4 free passes per year, so it’s not reducing the free passes it used to offer with Priority Pass.

One major difference between the Priority Pass and LoungeKey programs is that you can buy Priority Pass membership if your credit card does not provide one. However, LoungeKey does not have any membership plans to buy and is only accessible via credit card offers.

So is this change of lounge membership a devaluation? I wouldn’t say it’s a big devaluation, but it is a slight devaluation because you will have slightly less lounges to access.

Keep in mind that since the Scotia Passport Visa Infinite came out, BMO World Elite lost its luster because Scotia Passport provides more (6) lounge passes via the Priority Pass program, charges less annual fee ($150 vs $140), and also has zero foreign currency transaction fee. Read more on Scotia by clicking the link above.

Also, you can watch this article on YouTube Here:

BMO World Elite Leaves Priority Pass Lounge Program

Credit Card Debt Can Cause Depression

You May Be Getting More than High Interest Charges from Your Credit Cards

First Published Date : May 14, 2015

You may be getting more than what you are paying for with those balances from your credit cards. A recent study done by the University of Wisconsin-Madison found out that high levels of credit card debt and overdue bills are likely to cause depression.

Based on data collected from 8500 working-age adults, researchers found out that there are significant links between overdue bills, credit card debt and symptoms of depression. Also, depression seems to increase when short-term debt increases. Unmarried people, near-retirement people, and those who are less educated showed the strongest link between depression and debt.

However, mid- to long-term debt and depression had no direct link. The report suggests it is possible that as long-term debts are considered as investments in the future, or people get experienced handling these debts, they will not cause depression like short-term debt.

Another research project mirrored similar findings in 2013 by the University of Southampton and Kingston University in the U.K. A direct link was found between high debt and poor mental health. They found 3 times more mental health problems in people in high debt than those who weren’t in high debt.

What I can tell is that it’s simply common sense that debt can cause health problems. Anyone can realise, even without any researches, that people are still getting into more and more debt.

If you are in debt and have been ignoring your debt problem, it is time to take a closer look and get help. Admitting that you have problem is the first step to get rid of debt and stepping on the path to a better future, both financially and health-wise.

Credit Cards That Provide Free Roadside Assistance

Free Roadside Assistance

If you purchase roadside assistance from providers such as CAA, Canadian Tire, etc. you are looking at spending somewhere around $65 to $100 annually. But why pay for Roadside Assistance when you can have it free? Today, I will provide you with a few credit cards which provide Roadside Assistance for free and you will never have to pay again.

As of this writing (and to the best of my knowledge) there are 4 credit card providers in Canada that offer free Roadside Assistance with their credit cards. These providers are BMO, TD, Home Trust, and Canadian Tire.

BMO provides free Roadside Assistance via three different credit cards, with an annual fee ranging from $79 to $120. Keep in mind that these cards also provide many other perks and benefits.

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

BMO CashBack World Mastercard

BMO Shell CashBack World Mastercard

TD’s Cash Back Visa Infinite card has an annual fee of $120 and also provides free Roadside Assistance. Two no annual fee credit cards provide free Roadside Assistance. These are:

Home Trust Preferred Visa and

Triangle World Elite MasterCard

All of these cards provide assistance 24 hours a day across Canada and the USA such as towing, fuel delivery, battery boost, flat tire change, lock out service, winch, etc.

Service Calls per year

Triangle World Elite MasterCard = 5

BMO & Home Trust = 4

TD = Unlimited

Towing Limits

Triangle World Elite MasterCard = 250 km

BMO = 10 km, Home Trust = 5 km

TD = 200 km

There may be other benefits provided by these cards’ roadside assistance programs as well. Find the card that best suits your lifestyle and needs so you can have the best of both rewards points/cash back and free Roadside Assistance.

BMO Air Miles MasterCard (No Annual Fee) Doubles Its Rewards

No Annual Fee Air Miles MasterCard

BMO recently increased earning on its zero annual fee BMO Air Miles MasterCard. Cardholders will get 2 Air Miles for every $20 spent at participating Air Miles partners. Earn rate will still be 1 Air Miles for every $20 spent on everything else.

Some of the participating Air Miles partners across Canada are Sobeys, IGA, Shell, Rexall, Safeway, and many more. You can also double-dip at these partners if you provide them your physical Air Miles card or Air Miles card on your smartphone app.

Let’s look at Air Miles earn rates at some other Air Miles premium cards.

BMO World Elite Air Miles MasterCard - $120 annual fee. Earn 1 Air Mile for every $10 spent across the board.

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card - $65 annual fee. Earn 1 mile for every $10 spent at Air Miles partners + eligible gas, grocery, and pharmacies. 1 mile per $15 for everything else.

American Express AIR MILES Platinum Credit Card - No annual fee. Earn 1 mile for every $15 spent at Air Miles partners and 1 mile per $20 for everything else.

As you can see, BMO’s free version of the Air Miles MasterCard provides value when you use it at participating Air Miles, especially when compared to all other cards. It has the same earn rate (at participating partners) as premium cards and a better rate than Amex’s free version of the Air Miles card.

If you are an Air Miles Collector and looking for a no annual fee Air Miles credit card, BMO’s Air Miles MasterCard is definitely worth a look.

If you would like to watch this article in a video, please visit here:

BMO No Annual Fee AIR Miles MasterCard Offers 2X Miles for Every $20