You can find co-branded credit cards offered by retail stores, airlines, and even tech companies. These credit cards help companies because they encourage you to spend money with their organization. If used carefully, co-branded cards can help save you a lot of money. Here’s what to consider.
What Rewards Do You Want?
The first step when considering whether to choose a co-branded credit card is to consider the rewards. If you hate travelling and are on your first flight, you might not want to accept the credit card application the flight attendant is passing out as they walk down the aisle.
However, if you love shopping, then a credit card co-branded with a department store might be right up your alley. Co-branded credit cards can come in all types.
Some examples of co-branded credit card rewards include:
- Scene® Visa Card (redeem points towards free movies and meals)
- President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® (redeem points towards free groceries and products at Loblaw and Shopper Drug Mart stores)
- TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite (annual one-time guest pass to the Maple Leaf Lounge)
- Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Card (annual free night in a Mariott hotel)
Many cards also offer bonus points for certain purchases. Whether you want bonus points for gas, groceries, or gelato, there’s a card out there for you.
Does the Card Have an Annual Fee?
After you’re impressed by a co-branded credit card’s bonuses and rewards, take a deep breath. It’s important to slow down and see whether there’s an annual fee. Some credit cards may have no annual fee at all. They may just want to reward your loyalty, or for you to spend more money at their establishment. Other cards may have significant fees just to maintain your account.
These are the fees for the four cards mentioned in the previous section:
- Scene® Visa Card (no annual fee)
- President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® (no annual fee)
- TD® Aeroplan® Visa Infinite ($120 per year)
- Marriott BonvoyTM American Express® Card ($129 per year)
If you’re not going to use your card frequently, a co-branded credit card with an annual fee might not be worth it. Carefully consider how much you plan to spend money with the organization before you sign up.
Is It Easy to Redeem Points?
No matter how many points you’ve racked up, they won’t mean a thing if you can’t actually use them. Some credit cards may have blackout dates or restrictions, which prevent you from redeeming your rewards how you would want to. Other cards may have points that expire after a certain period. Make sure to read the credit card agreement to understand any restrictions. The last thing you want is a treasure chest of points only to find out they’re useless.
How Loyal Are You?
If you’re considering getting an airline card, see if the rewards can apply to other airlines as well. If you are loyal to one airline, this won’t be a problem. However, if you often use various airlines, choose a co-branded card where you can use your rewards with more than one airline or travel partner.
Finding the Right Card
There are plenty of cards to choose from but now you know the basics. Compare credit cards today to find the best card for you.