Brim MasterCards – Three New No-Fee Foreign Exchange Cards: Review

Brim credit cards

Boomer Traveller is “intrigued” by the new Brim  travel award credit product line that it is just being released in some Canadian provinces near you. The cards come in three flavours: Brim, Brim World, and Brim World Elite.

All three cards have some common features:

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free Boingo global wi-fi
  • double the points on purchases from select merchants
  • Allows you to redeem on any purchase at anytime, anywhere MasterCard is accepted
  • A complicated instalment plan for larger purchases that lets you pay them off over a period of months at reduced interest rate (7%) plus a processing fee and a monthly fee
  • Insurance: Common Carrier Accident Insurance; Mobile Device Insurance; Event Ticket Protector

One of the most intriguing features is their plan to take over the world of loyalty points: They say they will be making deals with merchants (we don’t yet know who or how many) to increase the points rewards (or improve the redemption ratio with those merchants). This would effectively make Brim the loyalty program for those merchants, just as Aeroplan and Airmiles are now for some merchants. BoomerTraveller will be watching these developments with interest!

Brim

  • No annual fee
  • 1 point for every $1 of purchases made on your Card (1%)
  • In the case of recurring bill payments, 2 points for every $1 of purchases (2%)

Brim World

  • $99 annual fee
  • For the first $25,000 in purchases, 1.5 points per $1 (1.5%)
  • After $25,000 or more in purchases, 1 point per $1 (1% )
  • In the case of recurring bill payments, 3 points per $1 (3% ) up to $25,000, and after that, 2 points per $1 (2%)
  • LoungeKey ($27 per use)
  • Additional Insurance: Event Ticket Protector; Out-of-Province Emergency Travel Medical Insurance (first 8 days under aged 64); Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance; Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance; Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance; Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance; Car Rental Personal Effects Insurance; Car Rental Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance; underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

Brim World Elite

  • $120 annual fee
  • For the first $25,000, 2 points per $1 (2%). After $25,000, 1 point per $1 (1%)
  • In the case of recurring bill payments, 4 points per $1 (4%) up to $25,000, and after that, 2 points per $1 (2%)
  • LoungeKey ($27 per use)
  • Additional Insurance: Out-of-Province Emergency Travel Medical Insurance (first 15 days under age 64 and first 3 days age 65+); Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance; Flight Delay and Baggage Delay Insurance; Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance; Hotel/Motel Burglary Insurance; Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Insurance; Car Rental Personal Effects Insurance; Car Rental Accidental Death & Dismemberment Insurance; underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada.

PROS

  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Free Boingo global wi-fi
  • Easy redemption
  • Double recurring transaction bonus
  • Brim: no annual fee
  • Refer 5 people to Brim and get 10,000 point ($100) when they all sign up (not much, but better than the nothing most cards offer)
  • Brim may offer bonus rewards from time to time, and may become the loyalty program for some merchants with higher rewards, but as this card is new, we cannot know if they actually will

UNDECIDED

  • Too new a product to adequately assess
  • You can not use the card for internet gambling
  • Brim World and Brim World Elite: LoungeKey ($27 per use change)
  • They have this interesting language in their legal documents: “Any federal and/or provincial tax liability and reporting obligations for any taxes (including but not limited to personal and business income tax reporting) arising from the accrual of Rewards is your responsibility. You release Brim from all liabilities in this regard and acknowledge that Brim will not issue tax receipts.”

CONS

  • For World and World Elite, a relatively high cost for an ordinary insurance package
  • For World and World Elite, once $25k is spent the reward drops to 1% except for recurring bill payments
  • Brim is only available in Alberta, Manitoba, British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec – so far.
  • In Canada LoungeKey is only available in Calgary, Edmonton, Montreal, Quebec, Toronto and Vancouver
  • The 2X points is limited for Amazon.ca users to $10K in annual spend (does not include purchases for Amazon Web Services)

Boomer Traveller’s reaction to this card:

via GIPHY

Always read the fine print before make before you make a financial decision …

If you have experience with or thoughts on these new cards, please share your observations.

You will find more no-foreign-transaction-fee cards here.

2 Comments

  1. “The no foreign transaction fee is limited for Amazon.ca users to $10K in annual spend (does not include purchases for Amazon Web Services)”

    What do you mean by that?

    • Thanks for the question!

      We went back to check the Brim site (it has changed a bit since we were last there), and this is now much clearer. The limitation is not on the no-forex fees, it is on the double the points per dollar – they now list several merchants where you can get double points, and one of them is Amazon.ca. But – in the case of Amazon.ca, the double points offer is only good for up to $10,000 per year.

      We have updated the post to reflect this. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

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