brim devaluation changement

Alternatives following negative changes to Brim credit cards

To the point Brim Mastercard credit cards are undergoing a major devaluation of their much-loved features.

Brim Mastercard Credit Cards Devaluation

**Update March 18, 2024: Current Brim cardholders have received an email announcing the changes effective May 18, 2024.

Thanks to the watchful eye of Rewards Canada! Without warning, Brim makes major changes to its credit cards.

This will affect the :

  • Annual fee (for Brim World Elite Mastercard) (positive aspect);
  • Foreign currency conversion costs (negative aspect);
  • And the accumulation of cash back cut in half (a very negative aspect).

Unfortunately, this will hurt these beloved cards, especially those used at Costco (Mastercard) and when traveling (no conversion fees).

The effective date is May 18, 2024 for current cardholders. This complies with the law, as Quebec residents must be notified at least 60 days before the effective date of the changes.

For those subscribing to one of these Brim cards on or after March 14, 2024, all this takes effect now.

Here are the changes for the Brim World Elite Mastercard:

Before After
Annual fee $199 $89
Foreign currency conversion fees 0 % 1,5 %
Cash back earning 2 % 1 %
brim changement

And here are the changes that will be in effect for the Brim Mastercard:

Before After
Annual fee $0 $0
Foreign currency conversion fees 0 % 1,5 %
Cash back earning 1 % 0,5 %

The best alternatives to Brim Mastercard

To save on FX fees

Most credit cards in Canada charge a conversion fee for foreign currency transactions, usually around 2.5%. However, there are three cards issued by Scotiabank as part of the Scene+ program that do not charge these conversion fees:

These credit cards come with many benefits, such as access to airport lounges, better travel insurance or higher multipliers, which Brim Mastercard doesn’t offer you. Although Scotiabank cards come with an annual fee, this is more than offset by the benefits offered. What’s more, with an Ultimate Banking Package, you can obtain a fee waiver under certain conditions.

In addition to these options, two other cards are worth considering to save on the 2.5% conversion fee for foreign currency transactions: the Visa Debit Wise card and the Mastercard Debit Wealthsimple Cash card. These two prepaid cards offer various advantages to travellers.

To find out more about these products, read our guides here :

To save at Costco

Although you can use your Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card at Costco with this technique, there are no alternatives in Mastercard form that have no conversion fee.

All Mastercard cards are accepted at Costco. However, purchases made in these warehouses are not categorized as grocery purchases and, therefore, do not benefit from a specific points bonus.

Here are alternatives to Brim Mastercard that have no annual fee and earn cash back at Costco:

  • Rogers Mastercard with 2% cash back on USD purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • The Rogers Red World Elite® Mastercard® with 2% cash back on all eligible regular purchases if you have an eligible service with Rogers, Fido or Shaw, otherwise earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases and 3% cash back on purchases in USD

Rogers Bank credit cards are great for shopping at Costco, and even better if you have any Rogers service ( up to 3% cash back). They are also advantageous if you make frequent purchases in USD, as you will earn additional rewards on these purchases.

Bottom Line

This is a real disadvantage for Brim Mastercard holders.

Despite the $110 reduction in the annual fee for the World Elite version, you’ll still have to calculate whether the accumulation halved while paying 1.5% more in conversion fees on future trips is enough to keep it.

Still, the 1.5% conversion fee is lower than that of standard credit cards (2.5%). But it’s always annoying to pay for something that used to be free.

There really aren’t many credit card options left in Canada without foreign currency conversion fees. The best-known is the Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card.

Come to discuss that topic in our Facebook Group!
Caroline Tremblay
I'm Caroline, a loyalty program specialist! I use my points to travel more often and at a lower price with my spouse and our two children. I'm passionate about writing about the latest rewards news and how to put more points in your pocket.

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