In search of the perfect credit card

A few months ago, I started re-evaluating the credit cards I was using, and checking into the benefits they offer. I was planning a big trip and have never really paid attention too much to the benefits other than the basic rewards they offer (cash back or travel points in various programs etc.). I knew friends who had used some of the warranty extension kinds of benefits, but that’s about it. It seemed like most cards advertise the same stuff – extending the warranty on certain purchases, concierge services, car rental insurance coverage, some insurances on trip cancellations and things like that. It all sounded the same to me.

I decided to make some changes, cancelling a basic card I had and looking for something with better rewards. Who knew that months later I would have gone through 3 different “new” credit cards to find the “right” one for me? I realize now how many things I never took into consideration that can make or break your experience with a credit card. Here is my story and some lessons learned that may help you too.

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Prepaid Visa Card rip-off

Recently, I was given a Visa gift card from a friend, which ultimately was given to her from someone else. She’d been holding onto it for over a year, with no particular need to use it and owed me for something so offered it up since she had no cash with her at the time. I was fine with it because I would find a use for it somewhere but quite honestly, had planned to hold onto it and use it with some other things as I have a birthday coming up.

We had no idea that she was being ripped off by ridiculous fees and that the value of the card (originally $25) was now down to $16. I tried to check the balance when the card didn’t work on 3 separate attempts to use it, and found out there were $3 charges on the card each of the last 3 months. I called the number on the back of the card to ask about what the charges were, one of which was dated last week, when I had the card already but had never used it. I thought it might have been compromised, but no, that wasn’t it at all.

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Changing Password Managers

Back in October last year, I posted a couple of articles around my recommendations and use of Two-Factor authentication. (Here’s part 1 and part 2 for those articles, if you’re interested in reading them.)

In my part 2 post, I indicated that I was also using a password manager and was using LastPass at the time. I have recently switched to 1Password and after posting a couple of things about that on Twitter, a few friends and followers expressed interest in knowing more about why I switched and how I would compare the two of them.

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New Year’s Resolutions 2019

Well, it’s that time of year again, and time to look back at 2018 and plan for the new year. This is the 9th year where I’ve been writing these resolution posts and it’s always fun to look back at what I thought the last year would bring.

If I could describe 2018 in one word or phrase, it would be “emotional roller-coaster”. This year had more ups and downs that I’ve had in a long while. My life is fairly simple overall and I don’t tend to vary emotionally much (I don’t think) but 2018 reminded me that no one is immune to things affecting your mental health, no matter how strong a person you are otherwise.

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Best Burgers: Webers on Hwy 11

The last few years, we started top X lists of a few things as we started to note how this or that was one of the “best we’ve ever tasted”. The list has started out with pizza and burgers, two classics where “best” is subjective. It’s fun to enjoy a good burger or pizza and try to determine if it “makes the list”. We don’t go “searching” for the best burger or pizza but when we eat but we inevitably revisit our lists if we stumble across a great one!

I was at Webers on Highway 11 twice in this weekend and it reminded me that I’ve never documented “the list” so I’ll start with my existing favourites and then elaborate more on Webers.

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How to tell Gin from Vodka

TL;DR version: Read the damn product label! 😉

This is completely tongue-in-cheek, certainly not an actual story on how to tell the difference between Gin and Vodka. However, it is a funny & somewhat humiliating story. Funny to me at least!

I celebrated Christmas early with my dad and stepmom last weekend and on my way to visit them, I decided I wanted to start a new tradition. My dad & I both love gin martinis and, in recent years, we’ve tried new gins and shared them with each other on trips to each other’s homes. So, this year I thought I’d start buying a bottle of Gin to try, and each year we’ll sample a new one we haven’t tried yet. There certainly is no shortage of unique varieties out there, with the craft distiller market alive and well.

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