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Rising housing costs are forcing many families across the country to change their financial habits, including postponing saving for retirement. And the biggest barrier to buying, according to 33% of respondents to a survey commissioned by Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, are the day-to-day expenses like rent, groceries and utilities. The figure was even higher in […]

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Up to 140,000 British homeowners may have been trapped paying over the odds for their mortgages after the Treasury shelved plans to help them six years ago, it has emerged.

From points bonuses and cash back offers to annual fee waivers, there are no shortage of credit card promotions out there on the market.

Designed to spur interest and entice applications, promotional offers can also help those on the hunt for a new credit card quickly amass hundreds of dollars in bonus rewards. So, while an offer alone shouldn’t be a deciding factor and is just one piece of the puzzle that goes into choosing a credit card, there’s no denying it can make an already great credit card even better.

It’s with that in mind that Ratehub.ca listed the top promotions available from some of the best credit cards in Canada. Remember, when reading through these offers make sure to also look into which credit card would make a good long-term fit for your personal spending habits.

Ratehub.ca’s Top Credit Card Promotions in Canada for 2019

Credit Card Card Promotion Annual Fee
Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite (VIEW) 10% Cash Back on All Purchases for 3 Months $99 (Waived for 1st Year)
BMO World Elite Mastercard (View) 35,000 Points and $100 Travel Spending Bonus ($350 value) $150 (Waived for 1st Year)
American Express Cobalt (VIEW) Up to 30,000 Bonus Points ($300 Value) $120
Scotiabank Gold American Express (VIEW) 15,000 Bonus Points and a $100 Gift Card ($250 Value) $99
MBNA True Line (VIEW) 0% on Balance Transfers $0
The Starwood Preferred Guest (VIEW) 50,000 Bonus Points (Estimated Value: $585) $120
Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite (VIEW) 25,000 Bonus Points ($250 Value) $139
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express (VIEW) 5% Cash Back on All Purchases for 6 Months $99
BMO CashBack Mastercard (VIEW) 5% Cash Back on All Purchases for 3 Months $0


Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: 10% cash back on every purchase you make for the first three months or on your initial $2,000 in purchases (whichever comes first). The $99 annual fee is also waived for the first year.
  • Value of Offer: $299
  • Offer End Date: Applicants approved by April 30, 2019 can benefit from this offer.
  • Annual fee: $99 (waived for first year)
  • Once welcome offer ends, earn 4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% cash back on drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Receive VISA Infinite benefits

This is one of the strongest cash back promotions in Canada and represents one of the few times a credit card offers per-dollar savings in the double digits. If you have plans to make a big purchase and are also searching for a new cash back credit card, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite will make for a great addition to your wallet.

Even after the promotional 10% cash back offer ends, this card will continue to deliver significant savings on everyday household spending. With 4% cash back on gas and groceries, 2% at pharmacies and on utility bills, and 1% on everything else, this cash back card aligns most with the purchasing habits of couples and families who commute by car and spend a big chunk of change on restocking the fridge. It’s also worth highlighting that this card will waive its $99 annual fee for the first year.

Cash back rewards aside, the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite offers additional benefits including access to concierge services and travel medical insurance. In order to qualify for this card, you’ll need to earn an individual income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000.

Note: the Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card currently offers the exact same promotion.


BMO World Elite Mastercard

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: 35,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on the card in the first three months and a $100 bonus after making a travel-related purchases in the first six months. The card’s $150 annual fee is also waived for the first year.
  • Value of Offer: $500
  • Offer End Date: The points bonus is available until March 31, 2019. The $100 travel bonus ends as of February 28, 2019.
  • $150 annual fee (waived for the first year)
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per dollar on travel, dining and entertainment purchases; 2 points per dollar on everything else
  • VIP lounge access with the included Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 4 complimentary passes per year ($140 value)

The BMO World Elite MasterCard is a premium credit card with a sign-up bonus to match. The card’s stacked promotional offer (which includes an annual fee waiver) delivers cardholders up to $500 in value provided certain spending minimums are hit.

In order to get the 35,000 bonus points ($250 value), you’ll be required to spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months. To earn the additional $100 travel bonus, you must make at least $100 in travel-related purchases (such as flight tickets or hotel stay) during your initial six months of card membership. Given these requirements, it’s best to have travel plans in mind before picking up this card to ensure you can take full advantage of its offer.

The BMO World Elite MasterCard is a great match for frequent flyers and will earn you 3 BMO Rewards points on travel (including flights and hotels), restaurants and entertainment, and 2 points on all other purchases. Points are flexible and can be redeemed for flights on any airline, which means you won’t be subjected to black out dates or seat restrictions. This card is also notable for its roster of premium travel perks that include access to over 1,000 airport lounges through MasterCard Airport Experiences and robust travel medical insurance coverage.

It’s important to note the minimum income required to be approved for this card is $80,000 (or a household income of $150,000). Plus, after the first year of card membership, you’ll be on the hook to pay the card’s annual fee of $150. So, you’ll want to ensure this card is right for you in the long-term based on your spending habits, priorities and financial standing before you apply.


American Express Cobalt Card

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: 2,500 bonus points for every month you spend at least $500 on the American Express Cobalt. This offer is applicable for the first twelve months and can add up to 30,000 points.
  • Value of Offer: $25 each month, up to $300
  • Offer End Date: Not specified.
  • Annual fee: $120 (charged at $10 monthly)
  • Earn 5 points per dollar on restaurants, coffee shops, bars, grocery stores, and food delivery
  • Earn 2 points per dollar on gas, taxis, public transportation and travel (air, water, rail, or road transport, plus hotels)
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases

A quick glance at the American Express Cobalt and it’s easy to see who this credit card was made for: millennials and those who spend big on food.

One of Canada’s best travel credit cards, the AMEX Cobalt offers an unmatched earn rate of 5X on all food-related purchases (including restaurants, groceries and cafes). Plus, for those who rely on public transit to get around, the card offers 2X the points on taxis, public transit and ride-sharing services such as Uber. The card’s desire to appeal to millennials also extends to its unique fee structure, which is charged monthly at a rate of $10 instead of as an upfront $120 annual fee – mirroring the subscription pricing models of Netflix and Spotify.

The AMEX Cobalt also has plenty of wide appeal thanks to its earn rate of 2X the points on gas and travel (including flight tickets and hotels) and its flexible rewards program with points that can be redeemed for flights on any airline. The card also provides access to early-bird tickets to concerts through American Express Invites and top-notch travel medical and rental car insurance.

In terms of its sign-up bonus, the AMEX Cobalt will offer you 2,500 bonus points for every month you spend $500 on the card during your first year. If you don’t spend at least $500 in a particular month, you’ll lose out on 2,500 bonus points but you’ll still be eligible to earn bonus points in the next month.

If you hit the $500 spending threshold for all twelve months in a row, you’ll rack up a total of 30,000 bonus points.


Scotiabank Gold American Express

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: 15,000 bonus points ($150 value) to new cardholders who spend at least $1,000 on the card within their first three months. As an added plus, any successful applications for this card submitted through Ratehub.ca will receive a $100 gift card.
  • Value of Offer: $250
  • Offer End Date: February 28, 2019.
  • Annual fee: $99
  • Earn 4 points per dollar on gas, groceries, entertainment, and restaurants
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on everything else

The Scotiabank Gold American Express is one of Canada’s most widely-appealing rewards credit cards, offering 4X the points on a range of common spending categories including restaurants, groceries, gas and entertainment. For all other purchases, the card offers 1 point.

The Scotiabank Gold AMEX’s welcome offer also includes the opportunity to walk away with $150 in free bonus points with the condition a minimum of $1,000 is spent on the card in the first three months. Plus, you can get a $100 gift card that can be redeem at either Amazon, Indigo or Cineplex Cinemas provided you apply through Ratehub.ca and are successfully approved.

Similar to several of the other cards on this list, the points you earn on the Scotiabank Gold American Express are flexible and can be redeemed for free or discounted flights on any airline.

This card has an annual fee of $99 and a minimum income requirement of $12,000.


True Line® Mastercard®

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: Eligible new cardholders can pay a 0% annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first six months (an additional fee of either 1% or a minimum of $7.50 also applies).
  • Offer End Date: Not Specified.
  • No annual fee
  • 12.99% purchase interest rate
  • Around the clock protection against fraudulent charges

One of Canada’s best low interest credit cards, the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® has no annual fee, charges a nominal 12.99% annual purchase interest rate on unpaid balances and is currently offering an unbeatable 0% promotional rate on balance transfers for the first six months (an additional 1% fee also applies).

So, if you’re juggling balances on multiple credit cards and paying as much 19.99% in annual interest charges, you can consolidate your debts on the MBNA True Line and clear off your balance while paying nothing in interest. Not to mention, even after the balance transfer offer ends, you’ll only be charged a 12.99% interest rate instead of the typical 19.99% or 22.99% charged by most rewards credit cards.

Note: the True Line Gold currently offers the exact same balance transfer offer. However, the True Line Gold has a lower fixed interest rate of 8.99% and charges an annual fee of $39.



Below, we provide a quick snapshot of some other noteworthy credit card promotions you’ll want to consider in your hunt for new some new plastic to add to your wallet.

The Starwood Preferred Guest from American Express

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: New cardholders earn 50,000 bonus SPG points after spending $1,500 in the first three months.
  • Value of Offer: $585 based on Ratehub.ca’s calculations or the equivalent of 4 free nights at select hotels.
  • Offer End Date: Not specified.
  • Annual fee: $120
  • 5 points per $1 at all Marriott-owned hotels and 2 points per dollar on all other purchases
  • Automatic SPG Silver Elite Status


Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: New cardholders earn 25,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 in the first three months.
  • Value of Offer: $250
  • Offer End Date: February 28, 2019.
  • Annual fee: $139
  • Pay no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 2 Scotia Rewards points on every $1 spent on eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment, and transit purchases
  • Earn 1 point per dollar on all other purchases


SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: 5% cash back on every purchase you make for the first six months or on your initial $6,000 in purchases (whichever comes first).
  • Value of Offer: $300
  • Offer End Date: Not specified.
  • Annual fee: $99
  • After welcome offer ends, earn 2% cash back on all purchases, with no limit on how much you can earn
  • 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers made within the first six months


BMO CashBack MasterCard

  • Credit Card Promotional Offer: 5% cash back on every purchase you make for the first three months or on your initial $2,000 in purchases (whichever comes first)
  • Value of Offer: $100
  • Offer End Date: November 30, 2019.

BMO CashBack MasterCard

  • No annual fee
  • After welcome offer ends, earn 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Up to 25% off rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations

4 Important considerations to make when looking at credit card promotions

  1. While it may be tempting to apply for a credit card on the merit of its promotional offer alone, it’s important to assess a credit card in its entirety and evaluate whether it would make a good long-term fit for your personal spending habits. Unless you’re accustomed to churning cards on the regular, odds are you will keep a credit card after its promotional offer ends and when its regular earn rate or annual fees kick in.

    For example, if one of the best credit cards for gas has a particularly strong promotional offer but you don’t own a car, you may want to consider an alternative credit card – even if it’s welcome offer is lacking in comparison.

  2. A credit card promotion may be an efficient way to amass bonus rewards, but it’ll rarely scratch your instant gratification itch. Whether it’s a points offer or accelerated cash back, in most cases, card issuers won’t provide your bonus immediately and you’ll have to wait several weeks before your rewards are redeemable.
  3. It’s important to note credit card promotional offers often have terms and conditions that can impact your eligibility. In the case of a points bonus for example, you will often be required to meet a minimum spending threshold in order to unlock the offer (i.e. spending a minimum of $1,000 during your first three months of card membership). In other instances, you’ll need to maintain an account in good standing to avoid losing out on the bonus.
  4. Any credit card you apply for – whether it has a promotional offer or not – can affect your credit score. While a credit card application may only temporarily impact your credit score by a few points, you may want to keep this in mind in case you have a big financial decision to make in the near future that will require a credit check (such as a rental or mortgage application).

Posted To: MBS Commentary

The range may be breaking! Well, one of the ranges we've been tracking may be breaking, as long as tomorrow sees bond markets hold the gains they saw today. Unfortunately, if that happens, it won't really mean that much–at least not yet. The range in question is the one marked by converging lines that rest along the higher lows and lower highs in 10yr Treasury yields (and many other sections of the bond market) over the past 2.5 months. This consolidation range was never going to make it past February considering the lines would have converged before than. Once it was inevitably broken, the best it could have offered us was a preview of the next horizontal level to be tested. In the current case, the diagonal line is breaking right about that same time that yields are already arriving…(read more)

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Vancouver is on pace to lose its status as Canada’s second largest housing market to Montreal.

While still Canada’s most expensive city for housing, a recent collapse in sales has led the value of real estate transactions substantially lower. That leaves Montreal’s soaring market poised to overtake the Pacific coast city’s.

In January, the total dollar value of real estate transactions in Vancouver fell to $1.7 billion on a seasonally adjusted basis, the weakest level since 2013 and down 42 per cent from a year earlier, according to data released Friday by the Canadian Real Estate Association. Meanwhile, the value of transactions in Montreal reached $1.63 billion to start the year, an increase of 18 per cent from last January. Montreal — which has much cheaper homes, but more transactions — hasn’t been this close to Vancouver since 2008.

Montreal is the business capital of the largely French-speaking province of Quebec and Canada’s second largest city by population. But it was left out of the boom that saw home prices in Toronto and Vancouver surge to levels that made those cities unaffordable and prompted a rush of regulations to slow down them down.

Montreal’s benchmark home price was $349,300 in January, up 6.3 per cent from a year earlier. That’s still far less than the Vancouver price of $1.02 million, which is down 4.5 per cent.

These measures have included new regional taxes on foreign buyers in Toronto and Vancouver that aren’t in place in Montreal. Higher interest rates and tougher rules for mortgage lending also seem to be having the biggest effect on the country’s priciest markets.

January saw home sales in Montreal climb the fastest in a decade as lower prices and a booming economy lured buyers. Sales in the city advanced 7.1 per cent from December, the fastest pace since May 2009, and the number of units sold reached a record. Montreal’s gains are well ahead of identical moves in Vancouver and Toronto where sales rose 1.2 per cent, and double the national increase of 3.6 per cent.

There’s far less concern Montreal will show the signs of overheating seen in Canada’s two other major cities, given price differentials.

“Much of the recent price appreciation and sales increases, that really reflects the strength of the economy,” Marc Desormeaux, an economist at Bank of Nova Scotia, said by phone from Toronto. “Montreal remains relatively affordable.”

Montreal’s benchmark home price was $349,300 in January, up 6.3 per cent from a year earlier. That’s still far less than the Vancouver price of $1.02 million, which is down 4.5 per cent.

Canada’s largest city Toronto still has by far the most real estate transactions, reaching $5.4 billion to start the year, albeit greatly reduced from the $8.5 billion in activity seen at the beginning of 2017.

Bloomberg.com