Travelling abroad? Get the HomeTrust Preferred Visa - the only Canadian credit card with no foreign transaction fees AND no annual fees. This can save you up to a 2.5% fee on purchases internationally!
With the 25+ credit cards I have, I use many of them to maximize my rewards for my different categories of purchases. I don’t like carrying around too many, so I recently bought a Samsung Gear S3 smartwatch to assist with that. Even though I use an iPhone, I can still pay with my watch while I’m out and about.
Samsung Pay with the Samsung Gear S3
I love Samsung Pay. First of all, it has MST (Magnetic Stripe Transmission), which imitates the card’s magnetic swipe. That means you can pay at machines that don’t accept tap or NFC payments (like Apple Pay). I also extremely dislike using Chip + Pin, so the watch helps me avoid that. You do need an Android phone to set it up, but the watch functions even if you don’t have the phone around, as long as it syncs back home.
The participating financial partners in Canada include RBC, Scotiabank, CIBC, and American Express. One of the most frequent credit cards I use is the American Express Cobalt Card for 5x Points on Grocery and Dining purchases. I carry that on my watch, freeing up some space in my wallet.
Many US financial institutions are also partners, so I also have cards like the Uber Visa from Barclay for Dining purchases (4% cashback) in instances where merchants don’t take the Cobalt Card. You can link up to 10 credit cards on the watch, which is probably the most portable way to carry them.
Samsung also has their own points program where you can earn rewards per transaction. This is funded by interchange fees they earns for transactions made through their network. A $10 gift card starts at 2,400 Samsung Rewards points, with the highest level letting you earn 20 points per purchase. You earn roughly a few cents per transaction.
That isn’t much, but it’s better than zilch from a regular card transaction or other mobile payment. This is in addition to your credit card points. You could even triple stack this with the Drop App, making even more rewarding transactions.
Samsung Pay doesn’t work on watches purchased in Canada without some tinkering, so I recommend buying one in the US on Amazon or another retailer. Make sure you use a credit card like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite to avoid foreign transaction fees. It’s also cheaper in America. You can use Shipito to forward the watch to Canada, or pick it up at a mailbox if you live close to the border.
Overall, I could not be more happy about buying the Samsung Gear S3 Smartwatch. It’s much cheaper than an Apple Watch, and is by far a superior choice for rewards aficionados. Plus, it’s also super cool and makes for a great party trick.