In 2015, you’d be hard pressed to find a Canadian consumer who doesn’t carry at least one credit card in his or her pocket. And, if not, chances are that that Canadian consumer prefers to use a debit card. The bottom line is that Canadians have proven that they love paying for their purchases with plastic. So, it should go without saying that Canadian merchants should love accepting plastic.
When asked about why Canadians love using credit cards so much, there are a number of reasons that continue to pop up. And the list of reasons just about always includes the accumulation of rewards points. Why not get something extra out of spending your money? Paying with cash won’t allow a person to garner points that can lead to free airline tickets, car rentals and hotel stays. So why not use a credit card instead?
This is pretty much the attitude all over North America. But as Matt Schulz of U.S. News & World Report makes clear, not all rewards cards are made for all people. It’s important to select the right card to suit your needs and interests. “Know thyself,” he says bluntly. And, therefore, one should ‘know thy card’. He goes on to offer up five ways to choose the right rewards card. It’s all about asking yourself the right questions.
1. Do I revolve a balance each month? Schulz informs us that those who pay their credit card balances off every month are able to collect points quickly. Those who choose to revolve a balance, on the other hand, aren’t getting their money’s worth. “Think of it this way,” he insists, “Would you ever consider paying 15 percent interest on something just to receive 2 percent back? Of course not, but that’s exactly what can happen when you carry a balance.”
2. Am I willing to put in the time to maximize the card’s rewards? As you may know, not every card provides the same type of rewards. Some cards require more effort (read: more spending) than others to truly reap any of the benefits. But if those benefits would work for you (getting free groceries, for example), then you should make the effort to both sign up for and use the card that will get you what you want. It’s important to know the stipulations of the rewards program you like best.
3. Will I really use the rewards when I get them? There’s no point in collecting rewards points if you don’t ever plan on using them. Schulz writes that, in some cases, cash-back cards may be better than travel rewards. It’s all about your lifestyle. “Life is busy and travel isn’t cheap. (Just ask anyone with multiple children how expensive it is to fly anywhere.),” he reminds us, “That means even if you get a free airline ticket, you might not be able to use it.”
4. Will I trigger any extra costs by the way I use the card? It’s important to remember that not all credit cards are free. Some come with annual fees. Know if the fee is worth it to you. Secondly, “credit card fees don’t hit all people equally,” informs Schulz, “For example, frequent travelers know that foreign transaction fees – typically about 3 to 4 percent on each foreign purchase – can quickly eat up the value of any reward you get from a credit card.”
5. Can I trust myself with the extra credit? The benefits of credit cards lie directly in the ways in which they are used by their holders. Frivolous spending isn’t a good idea no matter how you pay for your purchases. “When you use credit cards to get rewards for purchases that you would make whether you had the card or not, it can be a great deal,” Schulz writes, “When you make extra purchases that you don’t need and may not be able to afford just to chase rewards, it’s a recipe for disaster.”
As a business owner, you want nothing more than to provide your customers with reasons to take advantage of all of the rewards that credit cards offer them. Be sure to allow your customers to pay with plastic by calling Canadian POS Corporation at 1-877-748-2884 today! Whether you’d like to upgrade from your current provider or begin accepting plastic for the first time, we can have you all set up within three business days!