Desjardins Credit Cards
Desjardins has been around for over a century and is one of the biggest financial groups in Canada. However, most people associate them more with insurance than they would with credit cards. Their Visa and Mastercard credit cards are offered through Desjardins credit union with a respectable variety to meet your needs. While their rewards cards tend to be a little weak in comparison to other products, they add BONUSDOLLARS rewards to some cards which can make them more attractive.
Here we look at their top-rated cards, their benefits, and drawbacks and how they compare to other credit card products.
Desjardins Credit Card Benefits and Perks
While Desjardins credit cards don’t stand out in any one category in the top best Canadian credit cards, they do offer the following benefits:
Insurance value: Perhaps because Desjardins is better known for its insurance than its banking services, you’ll find they offer some very enticing insurance perks. For example, the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard offers outstanding insurance value at over $540.
Good low interest cards: You’ll also find they offer several low interest credit cards that offer lower interest rates than the average card. This makes them a perfect choice if you always carry a balance.
Income requirements are low to no: When applying for most Desjardins credit cards you are looking at either low or no income requirements. This makes it easier to get a credit card, while other banks might not be as generous. You will still have to have a respectable credit score however to be eligible.
Low annual fees: Comparatively speaking, most Desjardins credit cards are on the low side when it comes to annual fees. On the flip side, they only offer one no-fee card.
Their top cards include:
Desjardins Cash Back Mastercard
This no annual fee card offers 3-day travel insurance and insurance for your mobile phone or tablet. Perks include:
1% cashback when using contactless payment technology, or preauthorized service providers
5% cashback on all other purchases
Estimated insurance value of $248 with nine categories of coverage
Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard
This flexible rewards card offers additional perks for Desjardins Credit Union Members. General perks include:
- 5% BONUSDOLLARS on the first $20,000 spent annually
- 2% BONUSDOLLARS on purchases after $20,000
- Estimated insurance value of $541 in 11 categories
- 20% bonus BONUSDOLLARS for Desjardin Credit Union members
- Desjardins Odyssey Lounge in Montreal
- Discounts at participating Hertz locations
Desjardins Modulo Visa
If you find you’re carrying a balance on high interest credit cards, the Modulo Visa offers low interest on your purchases, balance transfer and even cash advances. It offers a safe and easy way to transfer balances to avoid high interest rates, make your payments on one card and pay your balances down quicker. This card offers the following perks:
Desjardins Student Cash Back Visa
This is a solid card for students although there are competitors with better perks. This card offers:
- 1% cashback when using contactless payment technology, or preauthorized service providers
- 5% cashback on all other purchases
- Estimated insurance value of $248 in nine categories
- Up to 15% discount at participating Hertz locations
Desjardins Credit Card Drawbacks
Desjardins credit cards have their fair share of drawbacks including:
Poor rewards and cashback returns: Your Desjardins credit cards won’t be earning you any rewards or cashback any time soon. They are at the very low end of the average card with most not even reaching 1%. Your best bet is the Desjardins Odyssey Visa Infinite Privilege which averages about 2% but then you lose some of that because of their very high annual fee of $395. To make that up, you’d need to spend at least $20,000 annually.
Very few perks: Reading above, you already know they offer very few perks. These cards miss the mark completely in this category as well, coming in at below $78 compared to a card such as American Express that averages over $570. Their only true value is found in the Desjardins Odyssey Visa Infinite, but don’t forget that crazy high annual fee!
No welcome bonuses: With so many other cards offering extremely generous welcome bonuses, there really is no incentive to apply for a Desjardins credit card that literally offers none. Not even waiving the first year’s annual fees. More than half of the credit cards available offer some sort of welcome bonus, with many offering enough value to really make it worth your while. With nothing to speak of, it really makes it difficult to justify applying at Desjardins at all.
They tend to keep up with the standard high-interest rates of most other cards, at about 19.99% depending on the card you choose.
How do Desjardins credit cards compare to other banks?
While our benefits and drawbacks offer good insight into how Desjardins credit cards compare to other banks, there are a few examples we can offer to give a clearer picture. When you look at Desjardins Student Cash Back Visa and compare it to BMO CashBack Mastercard for students, you’ll see that BMO comes out ahead in all but one category: insurance. Desjardins offers no welcome bonus, while BMO offers 5% cashback for the first three months for up to $2500 spent.
Their cashback is just 1% cashback and you have to use contactless payment technology, or preauthorized service providers and then just 0.5% on all other purchases while BMO has 3% cashback on groceries up to $500 spent per month. BMO’s 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months is an added incentive. When comparing Desjardins Odyssey World Elite Mastercard to leading competitor American Express Cobalt Card, again Desjardins comes out behind in all but insurance. The same pattern can be seen in comparisons to all of Desjardins credit card products.
How to choose the right Desjardins credit card for your need?
Unless you are a member of Desjardins credit union, you are sure to find a credit card offering better welcome bonuses, better rewards, and better special features. However, if you are looking at Desjardins, your choices really depend on your income, your financial goals, and your spending habits. We have provided an overview of their top-rated cards to help make your decision a little easier.