Sunday reader questions

Every Sunday I will take some reader questions and post the answers here:

If I cancel a credit card, will I lose the points associated with it?

Depends, but usually no. Most credit card promotions are tied with a separate points program (i.e. Marriott credit card is tied to your Marriott points account.) If you close those credit cards after the points have been deposited into your rewards account, the points are safe, as they’re separate companies (credit card issuer and reward program). Note that this only applies if you cancel the card after the points are deposited. If the points you’re waiting on have not been deposited into the separate reward program, and you cancel the credit card, you’ll probably forfeit those points.

Some credit cards, like the AMEX Membership Rewards cards, deposit the points into their own proprietary program that’s associated with the card. If you cancel those cards before converting or using those points, you will sacrifice them. The lesson is: before you cancel a credit card, make sure that (a) they’re deposited into a separate rewards account (ex. Aeroplan, BA, Marriott, etc.), or; (b) you use the points that are associated and tied with the credit card.

I earn my income from a foreign employer, am I still eligible for Canadian credit cards? 

I don’t see any reason why you couldn’t qualify for a credit card with foreign income. Indeed, many credit issuers (AMEX) don’t ask for the full employer address, while for others that do, I don’t see why the system would auto-reject any foreign income. Try it, and the worst thing they can say is no! Now, they won’t ship the card abroad, so you’d need a Canadian address to have it shipped to. Moreover, many issuers won’t send a card to a PO address, so some of those mail-forwarding services (not all) wouldn’t work.

I have too many cards DCTA! I can’t remember the PIN on all of them, what can I do?

If you can’t manage multiple credit card PINs, and you don’t feel comfortable with having the same PIN for every card, here’s a little trick: put the chip&pin card into the reader, and when it says declined PIN (because you forgot it), quickly pull the card out (just a millimetre or so. You just want the chip&pin contacts to detach), and put it back in. It will give you a chip&pin error, and then allow you to swipe the magnetic strip and sign.



  1. If someone has an Amex AeroplanPlus card and a Gold Rewards card, and the cancles the Gold Rewards card but keep the AeroplanPlus active, does this person lose still lose the Membership Rewards points?

    1. Yes, you would lose the MR points. The MR points need to be tied with an MR card (amex gold/plat), and the Aeroplan cards don’t have that .

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