What To Look For In a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Shopping to save money. Sounds a little silly, but when you use the right credit card, it becomes a reality! The only credit cards my husband and I own are ones with travel rewards attached to them, because we’ve found that by collecting points we end up saving so much on flights, hotels and other travel expenses simply by redeeming our points that were automatically collected on our behalf with every dollar we spent. It turns out we aren’t in the minority.
According to a recent survey from American Express, 89% of Canadians carry at least one credit card and just over half of those (52) carry between two and three on a regular basis. Only 15% of those have done their research and looked into other options. Don’t be part of that 15%! 68% of those surveyed said that credit card rewards programs were important to them, but 27% admitted they didn’t understand what their rewards program offers and 11% felt confused and overwhelmed by the choices, programs and vast amount of cards available. 57% ranked free or discounted travel as a preferred perk in a rewards program, coming in close to free products (66%) and cash back (79%).
Over the years we have done quite a bit of research, cutting out 2 cards that just weren’t providing us with the perks and services that we needed. If you’re currently searching for a travel credit card, or are considering switching over to one with added travel perks, there are a few things you need to know.
1. Choose a Card with a Welcome Bonus
There are a couple of different cards that offer a sign-up bonus including a large amount of rewards points. For example, the American Express Gold Reward Card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 25,000 points. That enough for a free round-trip flight to nearly anywhere in North America.
2. Stay Flexible
Look for a card that offers flexibility with booking (no blackout dates, hidden fees or seat restrictions). There is nothing worse than realizing that all of your date options have mysteriously been “oversold” months in advance. Trust me on this one.
3. Pay with Points
This is one that is not as common, but can prove to be a big money saver. The American Express Gold Rewards Card gives you the option to book any kind of travel with your Card and pay for it with your points. They also allow you to cover taxes and fees with those points! You can call up your company and redeem those points towards any travel charges up to 12 months after your trip.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Amex Bank of Canada. The views and opinions expressed in this blog, however, are purely my own.