Rogers Bank has announced a triple change to the cashback rates on Rogers’ World EliteTm Mastercard.
First, a double change: it will now offer a 3% cashback for all purchases made in U.S. dollars ONLY. Whereas previously, it was a 4% cashback on ALL foreign currencies purchases.
This card charges a 2.5% conversion fee, so it is no longer advantageous to use it for foreign currency transactions (outside the U.S. dollar).
Then, the overall cashback rate decreases from 1.75% to 1.5% for all purchases, including Rogers purchases.
Annual minimum amount to charge on the card
Another significant change: Rogers Bank now reserves the right to downgrade customers from a World Elite card if they do not charge $15,000 a year on the card.
In practical terms, if you don’t make a minimum of $15,000 per year (between August 1 and July 31) on your Rogers World Elite Mastercard,Rogers will send you a lower-level card (Platinum).
This will also end the other benefits of the card including insurance!
Alternatives to this card
Rogers World Elite Mastercard has the merit of having no annual fee and offering good cashback.
With these changes, this card has become less attractive for travellers, especially compared to alternative credit cards offering travel points (with welcome bonuses and other benefits) rather than cashback.
The 3 best credit cards with no conversion fees
Rogers World Elite Mastercard was falsely perceived as a credit card with no foreign currency conversion fees.
As explained above, this credit card charges a 2.5% fee for all foreign currency transactions. On the other hand, its cashback rate was higher for those types of purchases: 4%.
Now, if you use this credit card abroad, apart from purchases in U.S. dollars (3% cashback), you will lose because of a 2.5% conversion fee and the 1.5% only cashback!
Three alternative credit cards in Canada do not charge any conversion fees for foreign currency transactions.
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®
Of the 3 cards shown below, this is the only Mastercard credit card (and therefore accepted at Costco).
The HSBC World Elite Mastercard is a great credit card with no conversion fees for foreign currency purchases, especially for travel purchases.
Indeed, it earns:
- 6 points per dollar for travel purchases (flights, hotels, Airbnb, all-inclusive…)
- 3 points per dollar for all other purchases
This means a return of 1.5% to 3% depending on your purchases!
Points can easily be used on any travel purchase made with the card (flights, hotels, airbnb,all-inclusive…). But they can also be transferred to three airline partner loyalty programs: British Airways Executive Club, Asia Miles and Singapore Airlines Krisflyer.
Finally, this card provides a $100 annual travel credit (for airport lounges for example), unlimited access to Boingo WiFi hotspots around the world and a 10% rebate for hotel bookings made on Expedia or Agoda.
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card
Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card is a credit card with no conversion fee for foreign currency purchases, especially for any purchases you make every day in Canada.
Indeed, it earns:
- 5 points per dollar for groceries, restaurants, fast food or beverage outlets
- 5 points per dollar for ready-to-cook meal subscriptions and meal delivery services
- 5 points per dollar for entertainment (cinema, theatre, events tickets)
- 3 points per dollar for gas
- 3 points per dollar for public transportation, bus, subway, taxi, carsharing services like Uber
- 3 points per dollar for streaming services like Netflix
- 1 point per dollar everywhere else
It’s a 1% to 5% return on your purchases! Those categories do not normally apply abroad. However, many cardholders reported in the Facebook group that they received 5 points per dollar for their restaurants abroad! This is particularly advantageous, especially since this card does not charge any foreign currency conversion fees. So to be tested;)
Points can easily be used on any travel purchase made with the card (flights, hotels, Airbnb, all-inclusive…).
The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite*
The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* is an excellent credit card with no conversion fees for foreign currency purchases, with travel benefits.
Indeed, it earns:
- 2 points per dollar for groceries
- 2 points per dollar for restaurants
- 2 points per dollar for local transport (bus, subway, taxi, carsharing services)
- 1 point per dollar for all other purchases
It’s a 1% to 2% return depending on your purchases! Purchasing categories also operate abroad. For example, if you make your groceries in Florida, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar and pay no foreign currency conversion fees!
Points can easily be used on any travel purchase made with the card (flights, hotels, airbnb,all-inclusive…).
Besides, this card offers a Priority Pass subscription and six free annual access to airport lounges.
This year, we may see similar changes with other issuers.
The interchange fees charged to merchants will decrease from April 2020:
Rewards given to customers come from these fees, cashback or points accumulation rates, as well as welcome bonuses, are likely to decrease.
Also, Mastercard and Visa have reportedly asked institutions to tighten the criteria for issuing World Elite / Visa Infinite / Visa Infinite Privilege cards (the cards charging the most interchange fees).
It should be noted that issuers should normally ensure that their future customers meet the revenue criteria set by Mastercard and Visa:
Also, Mastercard is preparing to launch this year a brand new product called Muse, which will be superior to the World Elite, in order to:
- to compete with the Visa Infinite PRIVILEGE
- charge higher interchange fees
It will, therefore, be up to the institutions to respect Mastercard and Visa’s instructions to the letter (which Rogers Bank seems to want to do), or to be a little more accommodating with their future clients (as some institutions still are today. Canadian ones)!