RewardsCanada.ca has announced its top travel credit cards for Canadians in its 5th annual “Canada’s Top Travel Rewards Credit Card” report.
According to Patrick Sojka, Founder and CEO of the FFB Group – which comprises (www.frequentflyerbonuses.com), (www.rewardscanada.ca), www.frequentflyerbonuses.co.uk), and (www.vielfliegerpraemien.com) – told Loyalty 360 that with more than 75 travel rewards credit cards, the market has never been as saturated or confusing for the Canadian consumer.
“It can be a daunting task for a consumer to pick the proper card and this ranking is aimed at making that task easier,” he said.
The credit cards are ranked in each of five categories: Travel Points (with annual fee); Travel Points (with no annual fee); Hybrid; Airline; and Hotel. Sojka said the companies and cards were selected based on the following factors: Cost of ownership, rate of return, the associated loyalty program (co-brand), ease of redemption, card acceptance, partnerships, issuing bank, and benefits.
The top credit cards in each category revealed:
Travel Points (with annual fee): Capital One Aspire Travel World MasterCard; followed by ScotiaBank Gold American Express Card
Travel Points (with no annual fee): American Express Blue Sky Credit Card; followed by Capital One Aspire Platinum Master Card
Hybrid: American Express Gold Rewards Card; followed by RBC Visa Infinite Avion
Airline: CIBC Aerogold Visa Infinite; followed by Capital One Delta SkyMiles World Master Card
Hotel: The Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express; followed by Priority Club World MasterCard from Capital One
Sojka added that the actual metrics have not changed much over the years.
“Certain new cards have broken into the rankings, but the first card in each category stayed the same from 2012,” he said. “We look at customer input from email correspondence, our Canada’s Choice Survey last fall, and feedback from our blog. We take this all into consideration. Honestly, most of the feedback equals out between the good and bad, although more goes toward the bad side as people like to complain more than praise, so some of it has to be taken with a grain of salt.”
Some new credit card challengers emerged in the past year and made their way into the top five in several categories, Sojka said, citing the Scotiabank Gold American Express card.
Sojka offered five tips consumers should consider when choosing a travel rewards card:
Check under the hood -- Make sure you understand how the earning and redemption mechanics of the card work including expiring policies for programs that issue miles or points
Set a travel goal -- Knowing when and where you want travel will go along way in helping you narrow down the appropriate card
Hey Big Spender -- Do the math and have a realistic idea of how much spending you'll put through your card each year
Pick a card and stick to it -- Once you identified your card, it's critical to put all your spending through the card -- splitting your spend among several cards only delays your time to redeem
Fee or Free -- Most annual fee cards pay for themselves with a one- week car rental when you decline the rental car company's insurance and use the coverage from your credit card.