The big item in the news today is that JPMorgan Chase has sold their credit card portfolio in Canada to Scotiabank. This is big news, because Chase is one of two issuers with no foreign exchange fees on cards.
We’ve seen a lot of consolidation in the market. Capital One has axed their Delta and IHG cards, and we’ve seen a few other issuers stop several products. This might be due to the reduced interchange fees that most Visa and Mastercard issuers have decided to implement, but that’s just a possibility.
According to articles, Chase Canada had 2 million cardholders. I wonder how many of them were taking advantage of their no foreign exchange fee cards!
Depending on the strategic goals of Scotiabank, it’s likely that the current Chase cards would be amalgamated with Scotiabank’s product line. Their flagship credit cards are the Scotiabank Momentum Visa Infinite and the Scotiabank Gold American Express Card, which provide a 4% return in cashback or points in certain categories. However, they do have some niche brand cards in there as well. I could definitely see them issuing a “Scotiabank Marriott Rewards Visa” sometime down the line.
I already have the Amazon Visa as a no-fee foreign exchange option, but also plan on getting the Chase Marriott Rewards Visa, currently offering 50,000 points through my targeted link above.
The card is no fee the first year, and also gives you a free night certificate every year. With the new Marriott Cash and Points option, you’re able to get at least 3 free nights at a decent properties around the world.
Alternatively, the Chase Amazon Visa offers a no-fee forex card option.
While Scotiabank is one of the major Canadian credit issuers, they don’t issue airline/hotel program co-branded cards at this point. Thus, I tend to focus my credit card spending on TD, RBC, and American Express – issuers that have more rewarding points programs.
For more details, see The Global and Mail: Scotiabank buying Canadian credit-card business from JPMorgan.