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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Devaluation coming to the popular Rogers World Elite Mastercard, Platinum Mastercard and Fido Mastercard


For several years now the Rogers World Elite Mastercard has been the go to card for people wanting cash back rewards with no annual fee. Ranked the number 2 cash back rewards card in Canada for the past years by Rewards Canada the card with its cash back returns of 1.75% to 4% is going to change on June 2, 2020. And that change isn't for the better. Thanks to Rewards Canada Twitter follower Joshua C. Culp for letting us know this morning that those changes are coming.

Here are the changes for the World Elite Mastercard


As you can see it is the cash back earning that is changing on June 2 and although not consider a true no foreign transaction fee card the Rogers World Elite Mastercard has been popular for non-Canadian currency transactions thanks to earn more cash back than the foreign transaction fee charged on the card. Currently and up until June 1st the card earns 4% cash back on foreign currency charges and was subject to a 2.5% foreign transaction fee. This means on those types of purchases the you would net a 1.5% return. The earn on those purchases is changing to 3% and only for U.S. dollar transactions! This means you'll only earn 0.5% cash back in purchases in U.S. dollars, albeit this is the most popular non-Canadian currency that Canadians transact with however if you are off to Europe, Asia, Australia or wherever else you will only earn the new base rate of 1.5% and be charged the 2.5% foreign transaction fee.

That leads us into that base earn rate which is currently 1.75% (2% on Rogers products) and that rate is also being devalued. As of June 2 you will only earn 1.5% on all these other purchases and it surprises me that they aren't even keeping an incentive there on Rogers products!

Here's the devaluation in a nutshell:
  • Purchases made in U.S. dollars - earn rate goes down by 1%
  • Purchases made in other foreign currencies - earn rates goes down by 2.5%
  • Rogers purchases - earn rate goes down 0.5%
  • All other purchases - earn rate goes down 0.25%
We always hate seeing such devaluations but I always wondered about this card being too valuable considering the insurance benefits and earn all with no annual fee. It just isn't financially feasible especially so for a small card issuer like Rogers. This is very reminiscent of the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard as it pretty much gave away the bank in terms of earn rate and benefits making it the best card in Canada for years on end but it just wasn't financially feasible for Capital One so they had to cut it. At least this card is sticking around but I think many of you will now reconsider your card options as there are other cash back cards that will be just as or more rewarding along with equal or better no foreign transaction fee options.

Recommended reading: No Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Cards for Canadians


Also to note in the changes is that Rogers is adding one new benefit to the card which we feel doesn't make up for the changes and that is Global WiFi for the primary cardholder from Boingo. This is a feature we see on cards like the Brim Mastercards and the HSBC World Elite Mastercard.

Finally there is also one other big change to note - as of June 2, 2020 if you don't spend at least $15,000 annually on the Rogers World Elite Mastercard, they can at their discretion bump you down in their products to a card like the Rogers Platinum Mastercard which has a lower earn rate and also less insurance benefits.

I'm not going to go into detail on the changes to the Platinum card as they are essentially the same in that foreign transactions going to U.S. only and dropping to 3% and the same 0.25% drop in all other spending other than Rogers products which drops by 1%:


 And the FIDO card is as follows:

The Fido card loses any benefit for foreign transaction purchases but actually sees the only reasonable gain out of all the cards in that you can earn 1.5% on all recurring payments and subscription services. Not sure if that would sway me since the base earn rate drops by 0.25% and wiping out of any benefit to foreign transaction fees but it may appeal to those with lots of recurring payments.
 
All in all these aren't the changes we like to see and I'm sure many of you feel the same way and will be reconsidering your options. More so that this is going to be a big year in card competition and we are going to see new competitors in the market and a lot more limited time offers. If anything Rogers should have probably stuck it out another year to see what transpires in our market as it is going to be a bloodbath in trying earn and retain cardholders!

Read all about the changes coming to the World Elite Card here, the Platinum Card here and the Fido card here.
 

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