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Home Trust Preferred Visa Card Review

Updated:

Fact Checked

After Chase shut down their credit cards with no foreign transaction fees in 2018, the Home Trust Preferred Visa has become one of the go-to cards for those who make purchases in foreign currencies.

The average credit card charges a 2.5% or so foreign currency conversion surcharge when you make purchases in a different currency, whether you are shopping online or abroad.

Not so with the Home Trust Preferred Visa. This card saves you 2.5% in fees every time you make payments in a foreign currency. This is in addition to a 1% unlimited cash back that applies to all purchases made with the card and other nice perks.

No wonder you will find this card on my list of the best no-fee credit cards in Canada.

This review of the Home Trust Preferred Visa highlights its benefits, downsides, and whether or not this card may be for you.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Overview

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Good entry-level credit card

Annual fee: $0

Rewards: 1% cash back on eligible purchases.

Welcome offer: N/A

Interest rates: 19.99% for purchases and 19.99% for cash advances

Minimum income requirement: $15,000

Recommended credit score:
600
900

Fair to Good

Home Trust Preferred Visa

On Home Trust’s website

  • Earn 1% CashBack Rewards on eligible purchases with no cap.
  • No FX fees when you make overseas purchases.
  • Purchase security insurance protects against theft or damage for up to 90 days after purchase.
  • Visa Zero Liability provides protection from fraud.
  • Enjoy guaranteed hotel reservations anywhere in the world.

No limit on cashback

No FX fees

No annual fee

Cash back rate is quite low

Few additional perks besides cashback

With no foreign exchange fees and guaranteed hotel reservations perk, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is a great choice for travellers. The fact that it has no annual fee is an extra plus, and the ability to earn unlimited cashback provides an excellent way to earn back money while you spend.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Benefits

1. No Annual Fee: This is a no-fee card which means you do not need to shell out $100 every year to keep it.

2. 1% Cash Back Rewards: Unlike other rewards cards that offer different tiers of cash back for various categories of spending, this card gives a flat 1% cash back on all your purchases (excluding foreign currency purchases).

There is also no limit on how much you can earn per year. Your total cash back balance is automatically credited to your account every January.

3. No Foreign Transaction Fees: The $0 foreign transaction fee on this card is not commonly seen on a zero-fee card. This perk translates into an additional 2.5% cash back when you make purchases in a foreign currency.

For example, if you spend $1,000 abroad using the Home Trust Preferred Visa, you save $25 in foreign transaction fees plus the basic 1% cash back reward.

4. Purchase Protection: This gives you some peace of mind when you make purchases using the card.

Related: Brim Financial Mastercard Review.

Downsides of the Home Trust Preferred Visa

There are some cons of this card that folks on Reddit and Red Flag Deals have pointed out. To start, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is not available in Quebec, sorry!

There is a limit to the number of transactions you can conduct daily – a max of 10 transactions per day. This limit is a bit off, given that most users do not mind a daily spending cap but would prefer to be able to conduct as many transactions as they want within that cap.

Lastly, their general customer support is available Monday to Friday between 8am-8pm EST. They are not available to answer questions 24/7 unless you are reporting a lost card. Their main customer service contact number is 1-888-281-7793.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Home Trust Visa Application

The application process for the card starts online. It takes about 3-5 minutes, and you will need to be:

  • A permanent Canadian resident
  • At least the age of the majority in your province of residence
  • Not currently in bankruptcy

If your application is approved, they will notify you by email within two weeks. Your new card and PIN are mailed to you separately via Canada Post.

The entire process can take up to 3 weeks, so if you are considering using the card on a planned vacation, make sure to apply well ahead of time. If you have questions about your application, you can call them toll-free at 1-888-281-7793.

Is The Home Trust Preferred Visa For You?

The Home Trust Preferred Visa card is one of the top credit cards in Canada that waives foreign transaction fees and has a $0 annual fee.

That said, it has watered down its offerings significantly, with the free rental car insurance benefit and roadside assistance program effectively ending on May 31, 2021.

Premium cards that offer no-FX conversion fees and several other VIP perks are Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite and Scotiabank Gold American Express Card.

Scotiabank Gold American Express

Rewards: Earn 5x Scene+ points/$1 on restaurants, food delivery, and grocery (up to 6x at some stores); 3x points/$1 in gas & travel; 1x points/$1 everything else.

Welcome offer: Get up to 40,000 points ($400 value).

Interest rates: 20.99% on purchases; 22.99% on cash advances.

Annual fee: $120

For a prepaid credit card option with no ATM withdrawal fees and no foreign transaction fees, check out the KOHO Premium card. It also offers up to 2% cashback and pays interest on your entire account balance.

KOHO Extra Prepaid Mastercard

KOHO - MasterCard - Premium card

$20 sign up bonus after first purchase (use CASHBACK promo code during sign-up)

Earn 5% cash back

5% savings interest on balance

Unlimited transactions, no FX fees

Free financial coaching

$9 monthly fee

If roadside assistance is useful to you (but you don’t transact in foreign currencies), another card that offers this perk plus a very competitive 3-4% in rewards (CT Money) is the Triangle World Elite Mastercard.

Overall, my review of the Home Trust Preferred Visa card is positive. While its value proposition has significantly reduced following recent updates, if you are looking for a no-fee card that waives FX fees, it may be worth your time.

Home Trust Preferred Visa Card Review
  • Annual fee
  • Rewards
  • Insurance
  • Other perks
Overall
4.4

Summary

The Home Trust Preferred Visa card is a no-fee credit card offering no foreign exchange transaction fees. This Home Trust Preferred Visa review shows why you should consider it for your wallet.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1% cash back
  • Waives the FX transaction fee

Cons

  • Eliminated the roadside assistance and rental car benefits

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Author

Gravatar for Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)
Enoch Omololu, MSc (Econ)

Enoch Omololu, personal finance expert, author, and founder of Savvy New Canadians, has written about money matters for over 10 years. Enoch has an MSc (Econ) degree in Finance and Investment Management from the University of Aberdeen Business School and has completed the Canadian Securities Course. His expertise has been highlighted in major publications like Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC News, Toronto Star, Financial Post, CTV News, TD Direct Investing, Canadian Securities Exchange, and many others. Enoch is passionate about helping others win with their finances and recently created a practical investing course for beginners. You can read his full author bio.

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Savvy New Canadians is one of Canada's top personal finance platforms. Millions of Canadians use our site each year to learn how to save for retirement, invest smartly, maximize rewards, and earn extra cash. We have been featured in prominent finance media, including Forbes, Globe and Mail, Business Insider, CBC, MSN, Wealthsimple, and TD Direct Investing. Learn more about Savvy New Canadians.

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21 thoughts on “Home Trust Preferred Visa Card Review”

  1. Gravatar for TJA

    Home Trust Visa PIN #s can now be changed.
    I haven’t yet used my card out of country but am hoping to use it later this year in E. Europe.
    I have read several reviewers elsewhere relating that their cards were declined.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @TJA: Thanks, I forgot to update all mentions of that in the post. Done! Let us know how the card performs during your vacation.

    • Gravatar for Richard

      … used this card to, from, through the USA and in Mexico and it works everywhere, even in small towns in Mexico. No nasty surprises or declines. When paying in US $ or pesos the no 2.5% Forex fees are a bonus and I like the car rental insurance fee waiver option and roadside assistance…was approved for $4000. As I travel a lot this card will be my primary now and my BMO card is headed to the back burner as a secondary backup.

  2. Gravatar for Dong il park

    Since there is no annual fee and no foreign currency exchange fee and 1% reward on each transaction, their exchange rate is trustful and reliable? I am wondering about this because all the financial institutes charge the rate differently. What do you think?

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Dong:

      Good question!

      As per Home Trust, “Foreign currency transactions are converted at the exchange rate set by Visa International, without additional surcharge.”

  3. Gravatar for Alex M

    One correction/update: application process is now down to 3 weeks.
    With customizable PIN and password it’s almost a perfect no-fee credit card now, except that they don’t offer automatic full balance pay (yet).

    I’m not concerned about 10-transactions daily limit, for me this is a “travel” card, not a home-card, and in places where I travel it’s often cash-only. It’s a good idea to carry reasonable amount of cash, anyway. You don’t want to expose your credit card in sketchy fast-food joints etc.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Alex: Thanks for the update!

  4. Gravatar for Kate

    I have had this card for well over a year now and would not recommend it. Multiple problems with getting the first card mailed out to me to work, online account management very limited, and worst of all it sometimes doesn’t work at retailers when I travel (and then my Mastercard does work on sale transaction) as on a recent trip to NYC (happened 3x). Service isn’t the best as per the reviews below, and I had similar delays and issues as the reviews when applying. It’s also incompatible with Apple Pay. I would cancel this card due to all the frustrations except I don’t want to negatively impact my credit score!

  5. Gravatar for Rosa

    I used this card in Spain in April and it worked great. Just got back from France. It worked for the toll booths and that is it. Would not work for gas, restaurants or shopping. Luckily I brought another card. It was very disappointing as the main reason I got this card was for travelling.

  6. Gravatar for Tom

    I called the Customer Support today and advised them of the countries we’ll soon be visiting in the not to distant future. She agent recorded the info on my file.
    When I told her that several recent online reviewers had reported their card being declined, she said that this shouldn’t happen in my case since I’d advised them in advance of upcoming travel dates and countries to be visited.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Tom: Thanks for your feedback.

    • Gravatar for Rosa

      FYI: I had advised them on both trips that I was going to be away. Like I said it worked for tolls but nothing else. Bring another card just in case.

  7. Gravatar for Tom

    I called again and asked if their Customer Service had been getting a lot of complaints from travelers whose cards had been declined and was told that just from folks who hadn’t called to inform Home Trust of travel plans.
    Maybe they are told to say that.
    So, folks just have to call over and over to complain and perhaps HT will get the message.

  8. Gravatar for Tom

    Ok, I’m in Salzburg and the Home Trust VISA has worked without fail every time. In Krakow I was even offered the choice of paying in the local currency (Zloties) or Canadian $.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Tom: Thanks for sharing your experience!

  9. Gravatar for Ray

    Just to advise the 1% CB only applies now to Canadian Transactions only. They have changed the rules now. You can check Home Trust Visa website to verify this.

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @Ray: Thanks for your input.

  10. Gravatar for 0rphen

    Very disappointed with the card, just find out you would lose all your reward for the whole year if you were late for 1 of your payment, and that is exactly what happen to me that I was away during xmas hoilday last year and was late for a payment when I came back home. My WHOLE YEAR of your cashback reward has be cancel and I am sure most of us wouldn’t know it, what a scam!!! Also all my other credit cards with TD, CIBC and even small company like Tangerine would waive the interest for late payment once a year and with Home trust they said is only once in a LIFE TIME….what a joke. I think I will let everyone I had recommend in the past to stop using this credit card as you would be scam if you didn’t know.

  11. Gravatar for bn880

    This Visa is trash. They always send the statements late, so you can often miss a payment. (You have literally a week or less before you need to pay)

    I opened a single chargeback case on this VISA after years of use and at least 80k of transactions, and they failed to send me the first notice for evidence that they need, which then gave me 24h to FAX or Snail mail evidence for a legitimate case. You can’t even EMAIL anything to them 😀 In 2022!

    When a car broke down in the middle of winter and my mother had to use the towing feature at the side of the road, they refused to tow the car to a place of her choosing and to add payment to cover additional costs!

    Very bad card, violating consumer protection laws.

  12. Gravatar for CCUser

    The review says “This Home Trust credit card does not support tap payments”, which might have been in the past, but the card I currently have does support tap payments. Also, I confirm what was already mentioned in one of the comments above that 1% cash back does not apply to foreign transactions

    • Gravatar for Enoch Omololu

      @CCUser: Thanks for pointing that out.

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