Money 101 Every Canadian’s Guide Personal Finance, Ellen Roseman

Air Miles revamped its flight rewards, basing them not on distance
but on a zone system. Customers who had saved enough points to
fly to a destination found they needed to save more.
Card loyalty programs can disappear tomorrow and there’s no

consumer protection. So if you’re collecting points, use them quick-
ly or you may lose them.

But premium cards can be worth their annual fees. They offer
attractive benefits like travel health insurance, rental car collision
insurance and purchase protection. These insurance perks are worth
a bundle if you have to make a claim.
Check the benefits to see which ones you can use. Travel medical
insurance is great if you take lots of trips, but you may rarely leave

home. Or you may already have this insurance as part of an employ-
ee benefits package. Older people, those over 65 or 70, usually don’t

qualify for coverage.


It’s a no-brainer to park your short-term money where you earn
a decent rate. Don’t leave big balances in a chequing or savings
account that pays a paltry fraction. So get moving. You can open an
account at a virtual bank without giving up your other banking
Many newspapers publish a table of interest rates once a week.
On the Internet, the most detailed numbers are at,
where financial institutions enter and update their own interest rates.

You can also find rate comparisons at, www.mon- and

In return for higher savings rates at virtual banks, you do sacri-
fice some convenience. When making a deposit, you can’t just walk

into a branch and hand over a cheque. You must transfer money from
an account at another financial institution, which can take a few days.
(But you can have paycheques, pension or investment income
deposited directly to your virtual bank account.)


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