One of the largest travel rewards programs in Canada, Air Miles is affiliated with a wide variety of everyday retail partners, from grocery stores and gas stations, to liquor stores and travel outlets, where members earn points on their purchases. Savvy collectors know they can boost their earn rate by using the right credit card—and with its wide selection of partners and recently enhanced redemption options, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard is one of the best Air Miles credit cards in Canada, made even better with an annual fee rebate if you have the BMO Premium chequing account. Rounded out with airport lounge access, travel insurance benefits, and purchase protection, this BMO credit card gives other premium travel rewards credit cards a run for their money.
You’ve finally decided that it’s time to start looking for a new TV. The cost of a new set has gone down significantly, but there’s also more new technology to consider before making a final decision. The cycles of TVs vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, and there are often great deals to be found online.
From premium brands like Samsung, LG and Sony, to more affordable labels like TCL and VIZIO, we’ve compiled some tips on when to buy a new TV as well as what to look for when you’re comparison shopping.
When is the best time to buy a new TV?
Right now! January/February: The beginning of the year is one of those times you can find blowouts on previous-year model TVs. These come packed with some of the latest technology. As retailers like Amazon, BestBuy, and Walmart try to clear out holiday inventory for the newest editions announced at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, you can find some great markdowns on premium labels. Plus, as returns come in after the holidays, you’ll find some excellent open-box products that are being sold at a discount.
July: If you’re a fan of online shopping, Prime Day is another day where you can find deals on Amazon. There, you’ll find plenty of TVs the online retail giant is looking to sell cheap. If you’re an Amazon Prime Member, you’ll have access to exclusive sales, preferred rates, and more.
November/December: Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day are also great opportunities to look for a new TV. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers love advertising deals, and the increased competition on flyers and on Amazon means you can find quick deals with limited inventory. Planning with the right tools and comparison shopping will help you nail down the perfect set for your home.
Websites to find the best TV deals
Amazon, BestBuy and Walmart are often home to great sales and last-minute deals all year round. Download the Flipp app to comparison shop specific TV models across multiple flyers, plus, bookmark Yahoo Lifestyle Canada as we often round up top tech deals, among fashion, lifestyle, and more.
Our top picks — and things to look out for
4K, or Ultra HD, refers to the technology that’s four-times the resolution of standard 1080p resolution. This means you’ll get an ultra crisp picture quality perfect for high-action sports and cinematic movies, but is reliant of the content source. You’ll need content in 4K resolution from your cable or satellite provider, an Ultra HD subscription from your streaming provider (i.e. Netflix), or ability to upscale content from standard HD to Ultra HD.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $430
SHOP IT: Amazon, $1,798
HDR, Also known as High Dynamic Range, aims to improve the range of colours and hues to appear more vividly on your screen. Darker hues appear richer, while vibrant hues like grass pop out on your screen. You’ll also see this technology described as Dolby Vision, HDR10, or HLG — all are variations of the HDR technology.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $350
SHOP IT: Amazon, $600
Size and smarts
This is subjective to your space and desired functionality. TVs come in a variety of sizes, but as bezels get smaller, screen sizes grow larger. LED and OLED TVs come from as small as 40 inches to pushing 100 inches. Average TVs in a living room vary anywhere from 50 inches to 65 inches for comfortable viewing, and OLED (Organic Light-Emitting Diode) technology is sold at a premium cost. OLED produces light without backlighting, allowing displays to be even thinner. Meanwhile LCDs (Liquid Crystal Display) are a way to reduce the cost of your investment. Most TVs today come with some smart platform built in like Roku or Amazon Fire TV, but if you already have a third-party device like an Apple TV, the platform will be less important to you.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $930
SHOP IT: Amazon, $2,198
Ports and inputs
This is where you think about what devices you’ll be plugging into your TV. Take account of your peripheral technology like cable/satellite boxes, sound bars, streaming devices, and cameras. These all take up ports on the back of your TV, and as displays get thinner, manufacturers are reducing the number of ports in favour of a more minimalist design. Make sure the TV you purchase can accommodate your devices.
Finally, think about sound. TVs are often putting less importance on sound as people invest in sound bars. Those who do emphasize on unique sound technology come at a premium cost, so you may opt to purchase a sound bar to save money but not compromise on sound. These either plug into a digital audio port, or via an ARC-compatible HDMI port. Make sure the TV supports your existing sound bar’s technology, or if you’re purchasing a new sound bar, make sure it’s compatible with your home theatre setup and expandable to include other rooms if you’d like to stream music, podcasts, and more.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $999
SHOP IT: Amazon, $499
SHOP IT: Amazon, $270
There are so many things to consider when buying a new TV—to get 4K or stick with standard HD, the size, smart capabilities, sound — the list goes on. With so many tech advancements on the market today and every brand name under the sun, balancing the buffet of options with the price tag of the TV itself is important. You don’t want to pay too much for all the bells and whistles, but you also want to future proof your investment.
With all of these considerations in mind, we’ve gone through and pulled the best TVs for every price point, keeping in mind all the tech you’d ever want so you can view all of your favourite content in virtually any space.
Five years ago, I wouldn’t consider buying a TV less than $300. I’d worry about its quality, longevity and compatibility with my existing audio/video equipment. Now, there’s incredible value to be found in the sub-$300 range if you’re looking for a high-definition TV that gets the job done. The 3-Series TVs from TCL bring all the bells and whistles of today’s technology and pairs it down to its simplest form. A simple interface that brings the much-loved Roku streaming platform to the forefront, full HD 1080p picture, easy-to-navigate Roku remote, and for those who want to get fancy, a powerful mobile app for you to search and even use for headphone listening so you don’t bother your loved ones watching TV late at night.
SHOP IT: Amazon, 269.99
Once you approach the $500 mark, that’s when you start introducing the latest technology, like 4K. This 43” Samsung 4K Ultra HD Smart TV features four-times the high definition resolution for your favourite streaming or cable content, while a built-in UHD processor optimizes picture quality—even if it isn’t in 4K. High dynamic range (HDR) enhances colours, while Samsung’s intuitive ecosystem brings a simple on-screen guide, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and AirPlay 2 support, all in a sleek and slim design primed for almost every environment.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $429.99
For most, future-proofing their TV investment is more important than buying a specific brand name. Television technology has come a long way where you can guarantee a quality display and functionality without worrying too much about the label. For TCL, they’ve built a reputation for delivering on value while not compromising on technology. The TCL 6-Series, produced in 2019, features 4K Ultra HD resolution while bringing on high dynamic range (HDR) colour performance through Dolby Vision, and quantum dot technology for more vibrant colours, local dimming for improved contrast and deeper blacks. All of this wrapped in a sleek, brushed-metal design and built in Roku smart TV capabilities not only future proofs your investment, but offers tremendous value in the sub-$1,000 range for a 55-inch model.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $929.99
LG has a track record of making great displays featuring OLED technology. You do pay a premium for OLED, which perfects black shades and infinite contrast. Colours appear extremely vibrant, bringing every detail to life, plus LG’s α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor refines every action. To give you better value, LG is offering one year of Disney+ when you purchase an OLED TV, plus, streaming features like built-in AirPlay means you can access content straight from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. For those who want a premium screen and don’t mind a heftier investment, there are some great deals to be found on LG’s televisions.
SHOP IT: Amazon, 1,697.99
$2,000 and above
If you’re brand loyal to a premium label and want the latest and greatest, Sony’s A8G BRAVIA OLED line is a good pla
With Super Bowl Sunday quickly approaching, chances are you likely don’t have a ticket to see the 49ers take on the Chiefs in Miami. Like millions of people around the world, watching the action go down on TV is the next best thing.
Many are using this as an opportunity to shop for a new TV, upgrade their home theatre, all in time before kickoff at 6:30 p.m. EST.
With TVs being an infrequent investment, if you’re a sports junkie, here are some of the best models in the market right now for watching live sports.
50-inch or larger TVs
For a 50-inch TV, not only does this come with 4K Ultra HD LED resolution, but the High Dynamic Range (HDR) means colours appear more vividly on your screen. Dark hues appear richer, while vibrant hues like grass pop out on your screen. Multiple inputs and easy configuration make it easy to switch between streaming devices with a handy voice remote, and to round out this pick, it has Amazon Fire TV built in so you can download your favourite sports apps and get even closer to the game and analysis.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $599.99
This TV, currently on sale for $700 off, features OLED technology providing perfect black and infinite contrast. In sports, this brings out every shadow and every detail, especially in poorly lit areas. LG’s α7 Gen 2 Intelligent Processor means every image, action, and colour is enhanced, while built-in AirPlay means you can stream content straight from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac.
60-inch or larger TVs
For those looking to splurge on an investment in a premium-brand 4KTV, Samsung’s Q60 offers a vibrancy that stands apart from competitors. They note over a billion shades powered by their Quantum Dot technology provides the most realistic picture, while Ambient Mode allows you to blend the technology to any home environment be it the colour of the wall behind, or work from your favourite artist.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $1,698
Finally, I like including a budget-conscious option on the larger end of the TV spectrum. If you’re not looking for a premium brand like Samsung or LG, TCL makes a great 65-inch TV that’s fit for any sports fan’s living room. This LED set offers High Dynamic Range (HDR) which means you get better clarity and contrast, crisper colour and detail, ultimately providing a more lifelike image quality. Built in is the Roku streaming platform, which means you can download your favourite local, regional, and national sports apps and never miss a minute.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $599.99
Don’t forget the sound. A sound bar can easily enhance the experience and bring you to the heart of the action. The Bose Soundbar 700 is touted one of the best performing sound bar from the company, designed to easily blend in with your TV and furniture, with unmatched sound quality. It features Amazon Alexa built in, as well as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth connectivity, and Apple AirPlay 2 so you can stream all of your favourite audio content.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $874 (regular $999)
If you’re looking to upgrade your existing TV and bring Amazon’s Fire TV capability, including its apps, Alexa voice assistant, Amazon Prime Video, and more, the Nebula Soundbar is a cost-effective solution that also amplifies your audio quality. 2.1 channel cinematic sound along with dual built-in subwoofers produce great frequencies, filling the room with every action and every call. For those with a 4KTV, 4K Ultra HD streaming is available at up to 60fps, Dolby Vision, HDR, and HDR10+, with a built in voice remote allows you to access the Alexa voice assistant and Fire TV controls.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $269.99
Millions of Canadians travel abroad with their domestic credit cards—and not realizing they’re racking up foreign transaction (also called “forex”) fees with every purchase. The 2.5% charged for every purchase you make in a foreign currency might not seem much, but can add up very quickly. For perspective, that’s $25 in forex fees for every $1,000 you spend on your card, and you have to pay the exchange rate as well.
If you like to explore other countries on vacation or your work frequently takes you abroad, it’s worth considering a card that travels with you.
The good news is there are a few credit cards that offer no foreign transaction fees (or their fees are returned to you as cash back), ultimately helping frequent travellers put the 2.5% back into their pockets. These picks are based on our analysis of each card’s benefits and annual fees; foreign transaction fees and how they’re handled (if rebated); and whether there are additional rewards incentives for using the card domestically and/or abroad.