Credit cards for seniors

Some credit cards offer special rates for seniors, but watch out. What they give with one hand, they take away with the other. Here are two examples:

ScotiaGold Visa Card: People over 65 pay an annual fee of $65, a saving of $30 on the regular rate, with no fee for supplementary cards. The card comes with a number of benefits, including Scotia Rewards points and rental car insurance.

Drawback: the two most desirable benefits, emergency travel health insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance, aren’t offered to cardholders 65 or older. No wonder the fee is reduced!

Royal Bank Visa Gold Preferred Card. Here again, there’s a saving on the rate. Seniors pay $70 a year, instead of the usual $110. Supplementary cards are $30. You get goodies such as extended warranties on purchases. But that desirable out-of-country travel insurance is cut off here too.

Excerpted from Gordon Pape’s new book, Get Control, which will be published in fall 2003 by Viking Canada.