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Complicated credit cards - what's the best deal? Hicks on Biz column originally published in the Edmonton Sun March 23, 2012

How complicated can credit-card comparisons get? It was a simple exercise in personal finances — I thought. Out of all those credit cards, those thousands of credit cards, which ones offer the best value for loyalty program points? Travel points are addictive. To qualify for trips, you end up packing every purchase possible onto your credit card. Which is what the credit card issuer wants. Even if you never pay a dime of interest, they collect a 1% to 3% fee from the merchant as a transaction fee. Complicated! To keep things simple, I only compared travel-point cards to travel-points cards, and cash-back cards to cash-back cards. At least I thought it would be simple. To calculate the value of travel-point cards, I'd measure the number of points needed for the equivalent of a seat sale to Vancouver, say $400 excluding taxes. And cash-back cards, what could be simpler? If you're packing $30,000 a year, or $2,500 a month onto your credit card, how much cash do you get back? (Assu ...