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Friday, April 20th 2018

"I'm a travel junkie who's hooked on deals from YYC." - Chris Myden


Tagged Pages Archive | Articles

2018
1
February
The Amazon Visa is no more - but here's what you can replace it with

Replace the Amazon Visa with the Home Trust Preferred Visa

I know for a lot of travelers out there (myself included), the Amazon Visa was your favorite credit card to use while traveling, or making any kind of purchase in a foreign currency.

Why?

The key feature of the Amazon Visa was that it didn't charge you the 2.5% foreign exchange fee that every bank, ATM, foreign exchange kiosk, and virtually every credit card on the planet is charging you, any time you make a purchase or withdrawal in a currency other than Canadian dollars.

Even if you don't *think* you're paying this foreign exchange fee any time you purchase something while traveling, or withdraw money from an ATM, or exchange currency at a bank / kiosk, you most likely are.

Most places hide this 2.5% foreign exchange fee from you by building it into the exchange rate itself. They charge you an exchange rate that is higher/worse than the 'real' exchange rate (technically known as the spot rate).

The Amazon Visa charged you the 'real' exchange rate, without the additional 2.5% exchange fee. On top of that, it offered 1% cashback on all purchases. Paying for items this way while traveling was tough to beat with any credit card, or any other form of payment.

It was the best way to buy anything while traveling, assuming you paid your credit card bill on time.

There were better cards to use at home, because you didn't get the 2.5% advantage when buying things in Canadian dollars. But for traveling, and buying things in a foreign currency, it was always my go to card.

Chase Bank announces they are canceling the Amazon Visa and the Marriott Visa

If you were a holder of the Amazon Visa or Marriott Visa, you've probably recently received the letter announcing the demise of these cards, as of March 15th, 2018.

I've seen a lot of people wondering if there is a similar card out there. A card with no annual fee, and one that spares you from the 2.5% foreign exchange fee.

Cards without an annual fee *and* sparing you from the 2.5% foreign exchange fee are really, really rare in Canada, but there is one out there...

The Home Trust Preferred Visa

It's called the Home Trust Preferred Visa and it has the following features:

  • no annual fee
  • 0% foreign currency conversion charges
  • 1% cashback on everything you buy (no limit)
  • roadside assistance (included free)
  • car rental collision insurance (included free)
  • purchase security insurance (included free)
  • In other words, it's virtually identical to the Amazon Visa, with a few extra features (roadside assistance, rental car insurance, and purchase security insurance).

    How to apply for the Home Trust Preferred Visa

    1. Go to the Home Trust Preferred Visa Application Page

    2. Scroll down to the bottom and click on 'Start My Application'.

    Update Mar 31, 2018

    - I received my Home Trust Visa card sometime in March, approximately 6 weeks after submitting the application.

    - Home Trust has been overwhelmed with applications ever since the Amazon Visa was discontinued, and current applications are taking as long as 8 weeks to process.

    A few quirks to note about the Home Trust Preferred Visa:

    - there is a maximum of 10 transactions allowed per day

    - you cannot change your PIN. If you forget it, you need to get Home Trust to issue a new card (this is apparently going to be fixed later this year).

    - it does not support 'tap' payments





    2017
    6
    January
    Third Party Airfare Booking Sites: The Power Rankings - who to trust, who to avoid



    Third party airfare booking sites, the power rankings



    Read more



    2015
    10
    June
    Travel Booking Myths That Just Won't Die

    Travel booking myths that just wont die

    Read more



    2014
    3
    June
    How To Use AirBNB - The first site you should visit after booking your flight

    AirBNB

    Read more



    2014
    7
    February
    Free roundtrip flight anywhere in North America | Amex Rewards card offer

    The American Express® AeroplanPlus®* Gold Card

    Read more



    2013
    30
    December
    Where all inclusive prices come from, and why Canadians waste a lot of time searching

    Around this time of year when the temperature drops I often see people asking a similar question, 'What website(s) should I visit to get a good deal on an all inclusive package?'.

    Read more



    2012
    25
    September
    Don't fall for the '$128 for 2 roundtrip flights' OneStopTravel scam

    Over the past little while, I've had a lot of people ask me about a deal they've seen pop up on a variety of those 'daily deal' type sites (you know the ones, the Groupon-esque clones that were all the rage last year, and initially had some legitimately great deals but have now all turned into a wasteland of spa treatments and massages you can never get an appointment for).

    Read more



    2012
    31
    August
    Is it possible to get a good deal on a flight within Canada ?



    Read more



    2012
    9
    August
    Let's Talk Turkey - A how-to guide for planning your trip

    Back in mid June, KLM Canada held a little contest that resulted in some temporarily amazing prices to Istanbul from across the country. Judging by the number of e-mails, Tweets, and Facebook messages I received, I think it's safe to say there will be thousands more Canadians than usual visiting Turkey later this year and in the spring of 2013.

    Read more



    2011
    11
    May
    Question from a reader: "Is this TeamBuy deal a good deal?"

    Dennis writes...
    -----------
    Hi Chris, I have been following your blog for years. My girlfriend had spotted a deal the other day on teambuy and I just wanted your opinion if it is a good deal or not. The deal is 7 Day stay in Los Cabos I was thinking about staying at the Barcelo Los Cabos Palace Deluxe in a Junior Suite. From Sept 3 to Sept 10. Costing 1079 with taxes. Is it a good deal even during hurricane season? The link is below: http://www.teambuy.ca/calgary/referral/riqimvob/28131896/ Best Regards, Dennis
    ------------


    Read more



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