Canadian Consumers Win as Credit Card Offers Get Richer

by Mercator Advisory Group 0

Canadian consumers are in line to benefit from increasing competition between credit card companies, according to a new report from card-tracking company GreedyRates.ca.

Consumers could see more lucrative bonus offers as well as extra points and fewer annual fees as a result of the ongoing slowdown in credit card account growth. Consumers, however, who fail to pay their bills online also will experience higher penalty rates and higher balance-transfer and over-limit fees, according to the report.

Marc Felgar, founder and CEO of GreedyRates.ca commented on the report’s release:

“The increasingly rich rewards programs offered by Canadian banks … is also having an impact on penalty rates and hidden fees, as banks try to maintain profitability.”

The report comes in advance of Canada’s Competition Tribunal, which is to rule on a case (as early as next week) which could result in credit card surcharges for purchases. The case brought by the Competition Bureau against Visa and MasterCard dates back to 2010 and could give retailers the right to refuse to accept credit cards that offer points and reward miles.

While consumers may benefit currently as credit card offers get richer, if the Competition Tribunal rules that retailers can refuse premium credit cards, much of the benefits to using these cards will be removed and Canadian consumers will be back at square one.

Click here to read more from Yahoo Canada Finance.