The credit card industry in Canada appears to be changing very rapidly over the past 12 months and it is makes me wonder whether I should change my credit card strategy. Below are some of the most significant changes happening:
- We’ve seen Costco making a major move from American Express to MasterCard.
- Chase Canada losing its footing in Canada with its partnership with Marriott, Best Buy and Sears.
- Capital One discontinuing its fan favourite product.
- Reduction in the number of hotel affiliated credit cards.
- Devaluations with all the major airlines across the board.
However, not everything is all doom and gloom. We have seen some exciting new products as well, such as:
- The new partnership between Capital One and Costo.
- American Express has been consistent at offering exciting new promotions.
I have a few theories on what is happening. The financial institutions are making healthy profits, so there are no reasons for them to go after market share. They pretty much reached their market share targets and are comfortable where they are. The competition is being squeezed to the point of extinction.
Generally I am a big fan of signing up for credit cards with large sign up bonuses to top up my loyalty accounts balances. But for the time being, I am quite happy with my Capital One Aspire World Travel MasterCard and the American Express Gold Rewards Card as my two primary cards. I put my gas, grocery and drug store purchases (whenever accepted) on my AMEX and the rest goes on the Capital One. That pretty much maximizes the return I get on most of my purchases. I have take a wait-and-see approach before deciding what my next moves will be.
Has the recent credit card changes affected your portfolio?