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I have a love/hate relationship with my telecom provider Rogers.

Love the services. Hate the costs.

So if there’s a way I can get more out of them – I’m open for business.

Enter the Rogers Platinum Mastercard with the following main features:

  • 1% cash back rewards on all purchases with no limits,
  • 3% cash back on U.S. dollar purchases, and
  • no annual fee.

All 3 of those benefits appeal to me on a personal level, and they should be of interest to you as well if you travel to the U.S. and are able to charge your U.S. dollar spending on a credit card.

Considering its competitors in the flat cash back rewards category offering more than 1.25% rewards all charge annual fees in the $100 range – the card is a net positive from the start.

Unlimited 1% cash back provides immediate value

1% cashback is on par with what most no fee cards offer.

Considering its competitors in the cash back rewards category offering more than 1% rewards all charge annual fees in the $100 range – the card is a net positive from the start.

3% cash back on U.S. dollar purchases

And that’s before you applied it’s best feature:

The bump up to 3% cash back for purchases made in U.S. dollars.

Why does that matter?

Credit card holders are typically charged foreign transaction fees when they purchase items while overseas or when they make purchases that use an overseas bank to process the transaction.

Generally that fee is between 2-3%. So think of it as an extra tax on every purchase made in a foreign country. Ouch.

Now consider that fee if you fall under any of these categories:

  • you’re a snowbird wintering in the US,
  • a regular cross border shopper, or
  • you make regular online purchases from US vendors.

Imagine spending $10,000 on any of these and then coming home to a statement showing an additional 2.5% foreign transaction fee of $250 on those purchases…

…and knowing the charges effectively wipe out whatever rewards you were earning and then some.

Double ouch.

That’s where the 3% U.S. dollar cash back bump comes into play.

Rogers offers 3% cash back on U.S. dollar purchases, but like virtually all other major credit card providers it charges 2.5% in foreign transaction fees. The net cash back rate is therefore:

3% cashback – 2.5% foreign exchange fees = 0.5% in cash back rewards to you.

A net positive even after accounting for the foreign exchange fees.

Suddenly that $10,000 U.S. vacation just netted you $50 in rewards instead of $250 in extra fees – a reversal of $300.

In effect, the 3% waives the foreign transaction fees outright on USD purchases.

In fact, it’s cheaper than exchanging money at a bank or making cash withdrawals at a U.S. ATM.

Need to exchange money? That’s a 2-3% fee.

Need a cash withdrawal? Another 2-3%.

No thanks.

Pay with your Rogers Platinum Mastercard and earn some rewards instead.

Rewards based on spending

Your foreign currency spending will determine whether this card is a true winner for your personal situation.

Check out the table below to get a feel for how you might be rewarded at different spending levels.

Domestic spend 1% rewards USD spend 0.50% rewards Total spend Total rewards
$12,000.00 $120.00 $0.00 $0.00 $12,000.00 $120.00
$12,000.00 $120.00 $1,000.00 $5.00 $13,000.00 $125.00
$12,000.00 $120.00 $6,000.00 $30.00 $18,000.00 $150.00
$12,000.00 $120.00 $12,000.00 $60.00 $24,000.00 $180.00
$24,000.00 $240.00 $0.00 $0.00 $24,000.00 $240.00
$24,000.00 $240.00 $2,000.00 $10.00 $26,000.00 $250.00
$24,000.00 $240.00 $12,000.00 $60.00 $36,000.00 $300.00
$24,000.00 $240.00 $24,000.00 $120.00 $48,000.00 $360.00

At a base level, if you’re only using the card domestically and charging $1,000 a month on it ($12,000 annually), you would be rewarded at the 1% cash back level and earn $120 for the year.

Keep the domestic spending at $12,000 annually and add $6,000 in USD purchases – and you would be rewarded with $150 in cash back rewards and waive paying $150 in foreign transaction fees.

$6,000 * 2.5% fees = $150

At the other end of the spectrum, if you’re a heavier spender and had reason to charge $2,000 a month or $24,000 annually on each domestic and USD purchases – you could be earning an additional $360 per year – and that’s after taking into account the foreign exchange fees you will be paying.

3% cash back minus 2.5% fees = 0.5% rewards

No annual fee!

The third noteworthy feature of the Rogers Platinum card that there is no annual fee.

Those rewards earned above are yours in full and not clawed back annually.

I have to admit – that’s probably the feature I liked best as I earned enough points to waive my Rogers internet charges for almost five months!

So what’s the downside?

The big downside? The bonus earnings on foreign exchange purchases are limited to U.S. dollar purchases. Any other currency, and you’ll only be earning 1% cash back, which means you’ll be losing 1.5%.

To save on foreign exchange fees on all currencies, here are a few other no fee cards you can consider.

In summary

The Rogers Platinum Mastercard has great earn rates for no fee.

But it’s far from the best no fee card.

To view more of them, you can find them here and see if there’s something else to your liking.