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Ranking the Credit Card Portfolios of Each Canadian Financial Institutions (updated March 1, 2016)

I did not think that I was going to be updating this post so quickly, but enough has changed from last month that it warrants an update.

Every time there are some significant movements in the credit card industry, I plan on updating the rankings of this post. You will notice that under every credit card companies’ explanation for its ranking I list some of its top credit cards to choose from.

First off, it’s time to knock American Express out of first place…

GROUP 1

1) Toronto Dominion (TD) / MBNA (last time 2)

Last time around, TD was a close second place. This time, they have taken the crown. The combination of TD and MBNA credit cards is what pushes this portfolio to the top. Though adding Aeroplan to its credit card portfolio in 2014 really helped boost its overall profile.

The challenge of being first place is that everyone is gunning for you.

2) Scotiabank / Tangerine (last time 3)

With the Tangerine credit card becoming more widespread and the addition of the Sears credit cards, I think that Scotiabank is starting to solidify its position in the top 3. I am also bumping American Express down to 3rd place mostly because of its downward momentum, while Scotiabank has upward momentum going on.

3) American Express (AMEX) (last time 1)

AMEX has taken quite a beating lately with all of its policy changes. That being said, they still hold 3rd place because if you are a new customer, there are still lots of great choices to choose from. It is the end of the line for churners though. If American Express isn’t careful, they can continue to drop further down the list.

 4) Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) (no change)

RBC is a fairly consistent brand. They don’t really shake up their portfolio too much. But consistency will definitely keep them in the top 5! If I had 1 recommendation though, I would like to see RBC offer more first year fee promotions to some of its credit cards.

5) Bank of Montreal (BMO) (no change)

The main reason why BMO is at the bottom of the top 5 is that it lacks diversity in its credit card portfolio. Their top credit cards do offer some nice choices, but if BMO wants to move up the rankings, they need to expand their portfolio.

GROUP 2

6) Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) (last time 8)

The top 5 is one grouping. The next 6-10 is a second grouping. The reason I split them into such groups is because there is a wide enough gap between the 2 groups.

This second grouping has a lot of work to do to catch up to the top 5. Though CIBC is having some sweet promotions with its business cards. I will admit though that CIBC is having some positive momentum (with the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card, adding the 4% cash back on category spending) and has the highest chance of sneaking into the top 5. Most likely bumping out BMO.

7) Capital One (last time 6)

If Capital One continues to discontinue its products, it will keep dropping. For now, it seems like they decided to go with a lean portfolio. Let’s see how this plays out for them. At this point, I just hope that they find a way to stay in business.

8) Chase (last time 7)

With only 2 credit cards left to choose from, they can’t really move up the list. But the 2 products are very competitive. Waving foreign transaction fees on both its credit cards is a strong move. I just wish that they could capitalize on this.

Though rumour has it that they will be selling off the rest of their portfolio. My preference is that they come out of nowhere and start taking away some market share. But if I had to pick a company to take over the rest of their client base, I am going with Capital One!

9) National Bank (no change)

National Bank made some positive changes to its World Elite MasterCard, which solidifies their position as number 9 on this chart.

10) President’s Choice Financial (PC Financial) (no change)

PC Financial offers 3 credit cards. All of them have no annual fees, so it is best to qualify for their top World Elite credit card. They have solidified themselves in the top 10 and probably won’t be knocked out any time soon. Is it possible that we may see them buy out the RBC Shoppers MasterCard portfolio to consolidate their services?

GROUP 3

11) Rogers Bank (no change)

From 11th spot onward, they can be considering the 3rd grouping. There is a big enough gap from the rest.

Rogers Bank takes top spot of the this grouping as they offer the most competitive product that waives foreign transaction fees and essentially a 1.75% cash back. It will be difficult for Rogers Bank to move up, seeing as it will be difficult for them to offer another product. Though they can look into a Fido credit card?

12) Desjardins (no change)

I am very curious to see what this new Best Buy co-branded credit card will look it. Until then, their credit card portfolio remains very weak. Though I would say that Desjardins has the best chance and most potential of breaking out of the bottom grouping and launch into group 2. I would like nothing more than to see this happen. Let’s get some competition up there!

13) HSBC (no change)

A very disappointing bank. I just hope that they do something…

14) Laurentian Bank (no change)

Just like HSBC, I just hope that they do something to shake things up a bit. To be fair, Quebec is very crowded with provincial banks such as Desjardins and National Bank taking up a lot of space. I also find that a lot of people outside of Quebec never ever heard of them before. This can’t be a good thing…

15) Canadian Tire (no change)

Being co-branded to only 1 store is going to put this credit card at the bottom. They are almost better off just teaming up with one of the major banks instead.

16) Walmart Financial (no change)

Same goes for Walmart, as I explained with Canadian Tire. They are really only going to be able to offer 1 product. So they are better off just teaming up with one of the major banks to offer a co-branded credit card.

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