We can’t seem to get enough of online shopping. Canadians spent a whopping $18.9 billion online in 2012, according to Statistics Canada. Over half of Canadians (56 per cent) made an online purchase, spending an average of $1,450 over 13 transactions. If you’re one of the millions of Canadians who shopped online, chances are you used your credit card at least once.
Last Monday news broke about the biggest internet security breach in history. The Heartbleed bug left the passwords of up to 66 per cent of all Internet accounts vulnerable. Earlier this week Canada Revenue Agency said that 900 SINs were stolen due to the bug. Not only are usernames and passwords fair game for hackers, credit card numbers are, too.
With the overnight lending rate frozen at 1% since September 2010, Canadians are taking advantage of ultra-low interest rates and piling on debt at record levels. While the much-touted debt-to-disposal income ratio dipped slightly in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 164%, Canadians are still dealing with a lot of debt – and that debt includes costly credit card debt, folks!
With the tax deadline of April 30th fast approaching, many Canadians are scrambling to file their taxes on time. If you’re one of the thousands of Canadians with a balance owning this year, did you know you can pay your taxes and earn reward points? That’s right, with an online payment platform called Plastiq you get the best of both worlds – you can rack up a lot of points and pay the taxman conveniently online via credit card. For self-employed individuals and those with large tax balances owing this can be a great way to earn points – as long as you pay off your balance in full and avoid costly interest.
The best way to use your credit cards wisely is to actively manage them with scheduling, notices, and calculators that put you in control of your credit. Here are five key tech tools to use in your efforts to stay in charge of your cards:
It’s the beginning of March and Spring is just around the corner, right? Maybe, but this miserable winter is one of the coldest and snowiest in decades. Winnipeg is experiencing the second coldest winter in 75 years, while Windsor is seeing their coldest winter in 35 years, and Environment Canada is predicting the cold is here to stay for quite some time.
With winter looming outside, it seems getting away is the only refuge. But what if a tropical destination, or quick getaway vacation, is not in the budget?
Low rate APR offers can be a huge trap, or a huge boon to you. Here’s how to max the potential in those deals, without getting stuck.
Know What You’re Getting
To encourage new credit card sign-ups, credit card companies often entice potential customers with low introductory rates. Sometimes referred to as “teaser-rates”, these low rate offers can actually be a good deal IF you plan ahead and use them wisely. The majority of 0% or low rate introductory offers are for balance transfers. However, some cards offer the same intro rates for “access cheques”. These are essentially blank cheques available for use on any purchase. You can even write in your own name and deposit them into your bank account. Sound dangerous? When using these cheques, the credit card company will usually treat them as “cash-like” transactions which start accruing interest immediately – and often at lofty rates. However with the right plan (and introductory offer), these cheques can be used effectively. Just make sure you understand the terms of the offer.