No matter if you live in Canada or the United Kingdom (UK), using a credit card may be a big part of your financial life. Did you know that there are many differences between credit cards in Canada and the UK? As you search for the perfect card, it is important to focus on those that originate in your country.
Below are five of the major differences between credit cards in these two parts of the world:
1. APR: Regardless of where you live, finding a credit card with a low APR should be high on your to-do list. However, this is much easier to do in Canada because, generally speaking, Canadian credit cards have a lower APR than those in the UK. This is not true with every card, but as you compare the two it is easy to see that this is usually the case.
2. Balance transfers: Are you interested in transferring a balance from one credit card to another? If so, you will be much better off if you live in the UK.
It is common for UK credit card companies to offer a 0% balance transfer offer for as long as 20 months. On the other hand, many Canadian credit card companies don’t have a 0% offer. Along with this, the introductory period is much shorter – usually 10 months or less.
3. Rewards programs: In today’s day and age, a lot of people who apply for a credit card are only interested if they can get something in return. This is where a good rewards program comes into play. Frequent flyer points, cash back, shopping discounts - it doesn't matter
When you compare credit card rewards programs in Canada against those in the UK you will realize that the Canadians come out on top. One of the biggest problems with UK rewards programs is that these credit cards are attached to much higher interest rates.
In Canada, credit card rewards programs are well organized and built to suit the every need of the consumer. While the APR is higher (18% or higher) than classic cards, it is nowhere near as high as rewards cards in the UK.
4. Approval: If you have good to excellent credit it does not matter where you live. In most cases, you will be able to apply and receive approval for numerous credit cards.
Those with average to poor credit who live in Canada often times find it extremely difficult to get approved for a credit card. While you may run into similar issues in the UK if applying for more competitive offers, the credit card companies cater specifically to people with bad credit with their credit builder cards.
5. Annual fees: Paying an annual fee for the ability to use a credit card may sound absurd. In Canada, you have a very good chance of finding a credit card with no annual fee or one that is very low ($50 or less). The situation is similar in the UK, where most of the competitive cards do not charge an annual fee. However, many rewards or platinum level cards will charge an annual fee.
There may be more, but evidently there are many differences between credit cards in Canada and the UK.
This post was included in the Canadian Finance Carnival at Canadian Finance Blog.