Best Canadian Credit Card for Travel Miles.

Discussion in 'Canada' started by dirtydeeds, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    There are a bunch of FFs flying around on travel points. That sounds good to me. Hard to do with the crummy rewards cards in Canada.

    I just got into it a bit. The best card that I know of, which I also qualify for, is the Capital One Aspire card. 35000 at sign up, 10000 on anniversary, $140 annual fee.

    It gives 2 points for every dollar spent. Redeemable at a rate of 100 points for every dollar of travel expense. That seems.... lame.

    Anybody find a good one?
    #1
  2. CanadianX

    CanadianX Oh!? That is deep.

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    Have a Visa Avion, seems to work ok, we have paid for return flights for two with points to go to Croatia and St Lucia. Doesn't seem to take long to accumulate points. Includes concierge services, covers insurance on rentals etc.

    1 pt for every dollar, start redeeming for flights at 15000 points, which you get when you sign up, also has emergency med insurance, trip cancellation insurance and some other stuff.

    http://www.rbcroyalbank.com/credit-cards/travel-credit-cards/infinite-avion.html
    #2
  3. bigbadandugly

    bigbadandugly Been here awhile

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    You might be better off with a cash back card like the premium RBC cash back card. I was looking at it earlier this week and it offers 4% on gas purchases, 2% on grocery and drug store purchases, and 1% on other purchases. The cash back might be more valuable than the free flights. Be aware that the some of the travel rewards cards (like my Aeroplan card) are a bit deceiving because the Aeroplan points only cover the base fare. You are still stuck paying the fees and taxes with your cold, hard cash, and these fees can amount to a significant portion of the final ticket price.

    Also keep in mind that some of the travel cards give you additional travel benefits but remove others. My CIBC Aeroplan card removes the Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty benefits. I've never used any of these benefits before, had a recent incident where I wish I had used a credit card with Purchase Protection for the purchase. I bought my daughter a $1,500 MacBook for Xmas and five days later the neighbour's cat knocked a glass of water on it overnight. If I had bought it on my (no-cost) Costco Amex I could have had the repairs covered by the PP offered by the card. Unfortunately I bought it on my Aerogold card and my best option was to sell it for $500 for parts.
    #3
  4. Pay Dirt

    Pay Dirt panning the web

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    You want rewards ?! Head out with your wifes card, soooooo many rewards to follow!:D

    PD
    #4
  5. CallMeBoog

    CallMeBoog hi functioning idiom

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    I agree with most of what you said.

    We've been Aeroplan subscribers since it's inception. It didn't really get good until we reached the platinum card. We get 2 points per dollar, and we can double dip with the orange aeroplan points card at places like home hardware and Esso. We're able to fly first class once a year - to fly from Halifax to Whitehorse, to pay for the flights would be about $2400 round tip for the two of us, economy the whole way, 2 hours in toronto, 4 hours in montreal, overnight in vancouver. fucking sucks.

    for comparison, we went to jamaica a couple years ago for new year's - all flights for two round trip were just shy of $900. fuck me running.

    With aeroplan we just booked a trip home for July. business class the whole way there and back, halifax-toronto-vancouver-whitehorse, then whitehorse-calgary-halifax on the way back. Yes you have to pay the taxes and fee bullshit, but it's only $400...total.

    A friend of ours has a visa classic II aeroplan, and I was shocked that he only earned 1 point for every 2 dollars.

    seems now CIBC is getting rid of aeroplan - we're being shuffled to TD apparently.

    I hear Avion and aventura are better programs, and may look in to them further.
    #5
  6. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    On a side note, I've found a good way to rack up AirMiles. Occasionally Shell Gas Stations put on a 10X airmile promotion. It's a good opportunity to grab gift cards for Canadian Tire, Home Depot, etc.
    Last fall I used that system to put winter tires on my car. At Fountain Tire, they would have issued 65 airmiles. With the gift cards I got through the promotion it was 650 points. And I used my CC to get the gift cards so I got points on that, too.

    Interesting point regarding the purchase protection. I'll look into that with my Capital One card.
    With the RBC card mentioned, I bet that 4% cash back at gas stations would cover the gift cards sold there. Effectively, you could get a 4% discount at any of the places that have gift cards. Not bad.
    #6
  7. SgtDuster

    SgtDuster Long timer

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    Next time, send it my way.
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  8. B50Paul

    B50Paul Been here awhile

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    Spilled a cup of coffee on the keys of an Ibook . left it open to dry out .
    A week later was working fine .lasted 3 years more before the screen went black .
    #8
  9. Shirker

    Shirker Been here awhile

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    TD has a cashback plan, We just came back from Puerto Vallarta and got $450 back (90,000 points in their system).
    Try getting your bum in a seat with Aeroplan points. My friend has 1.6 Million points and he cannot get 3 seats to Europe, to Hong Kong, to Australia f*all anywhere, actually. some of it may be his doing though, because his wife insists on going biz class and that narrows his choice.
    Still, I tried for South Africa and would have had 4 stopovers on Aeroplan.
    Back to TD. Bought the cheapest tix, called them and got $1100 credited to my account in 3 days.:deal
    #9
  10. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    That's similar to my Capital 1 card. I call them after purchase is made and they reimburse the cost, including taxes etc.

    And I checked, the C1 card does have purchase protection. Thx to bb&u for bringing up that point.
    #10
  11. daysgoneby

    daysgoneby Been here awhile

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    http://www.rewardscardscanada.com/best-travel-rewards-credit-cards/

    I had Aero for many years, I think it works better for people in the East then the West, I found being from the west every time I went to use my points they would be connector flights instead of direct.

    I switched to Avion, seem RBC likes Americans better because they get a better deal than Canadians:huh. In the States you can book any flight you want yourself then apply your points to it by cash value, not here in Canada you must use Avion to book your trip at inflated cost.

    I have a trip to Europe in April, tried to use my points but gave up, got a better deal on my own. Once this trip is done I'll cancel my travel card and start to look at zero fee cards and cash back instead. Unless you charge allot per year on your card I think it's better to save the $180 a year fee from his and her cards.
    #11
  12. gumbellion

    gumbellion Been here awhile

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    I have just started looking at this too. I travel a fair bit for work so figure instead of using works card and doing expenses, then when they are deposited into my account pay the corp travel card. why not just put it all on my personal card? expenses are back in my hands quickly and i carry zero balance on my card. average daily spending on the road is probably 150-200/day so cash back or a good travel card would be worth it right?
    #12
  13. StepOnIt

    StepOnIt Assitoner

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    Well it will not get you a flight anywhere but I have a canadian tire world MasterCard. It has the protection plan and extended warranty built in I think 3% cash back at CTC and 1.5% everywhere else. I have bought tires for my car plenty of tools etc at CTC with the money "on the card". No annual fees either.
    #13
  14. pelvis_98

    pelvis_98 Havin A Time

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    I refuse to pay an annual fee on a credit card. Unless you are putting thousands of dollars a month on it, just use the annual fee to pay for your trip.

    I do have the Canadian Tire Master Card too. I like in todays world of online banking I can use my card for daily purchases and pay the daily expenses when I get home. This keeps me from getting a little carried away on the spending and is nice to get the bill at the end of the month and owe nothing on it.
    #14
  15. mrmarkfr

    mrmarkfr Adventurer

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    We've had the TD card Infinite Visa for about 10 years(my wife works for them, so we get discounted cards), but we've cashed in a few times(at a much greater discount than the yearly cost of the cards would be). We just came back from Cuba with $1200 of the trip paid for by the card. We did a trip a couple of summers ago, with $1000 in airfare paid for the by the card. The points really start to collect when you book travel through their expedia site(you get 3x the points for travel).
    You do have to travel a bit to make the card pay off, but book a few flights, car rentals, hotels, etc, and it adds up pretty quick.
    #15
  16. RexBuck

    RexBuck Long timer

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    Have the RBC Platinum Avion. The Avion program was the best since you can book any flight - no blackouts like the airline specific cards. Used to be able to put a trip together on the internet, call the Rewards travel agent and book it.

    That has changed a bit in the last couple of years. So, here are a few points you need to be aware of when using that card for travel.

    1) Still book any flight but now they do everything through Travelocity which is not necesarily the cheapest. So, on an international flight they allow me to spend up to $2000 . . . I may find one for $1600 but Travelocity may show it as $2300 - I have to pay that $300. Less scheduling flexibility with Travelocity also.

    2) Many of the airlines break out part of the cost of a ticket as a "fuel surcharge" which we have to pay as cash along with taxes and fees. So, many times will find a, say, $1900 ticket. However, $600 is the fuel surcharge which we write the cheqe for, even though the total cost is less than the $2000 limit.

    The Avion card is still better for me than a cash back card but I am more selective on which airline tickets I pay cash for and which ones go through the Avion rewards.
    #16
  17. mrmarkfr

    mrmarkfr Adventurer

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    The TD card is very similar to the Avion, but they don't have any surcharges you have to pay for, if a trip costs $1600, and you have the points to cover it, you can use all your points for the trip.
    #17
  18. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    Really?
    I see TD is pushing the Infinite at the moment. I'll look into it some more. It's got a bit of a points/miles advantage over the Capital One that I'm using but I thought it was tethered by the Aeroplan system.
    #18
  19. Dru

    Dru Hardly an Adventurer

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    Used points to pay for flights, for me, that amounts to $400 a year... Plus, it covers travel insurance and rental car insurance.
    #19
  20. Bill 310

    Bill 310 Poser Emeritus

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    I fly enough that I make some version of Aeroplan Elite Status annually which helps getting point flights.

    Trying to use points for business class is virtually impossible on a dependable basis if you are not a Super Elite or Elite Flyer.

    Using my TD Travel Rewards points we were able to ship my KTM 990 to Europe, pay for a few overseas trips.

    Aeroplan gets us to Europe twice year to ride (economy with the exit row seats)

    I have learned that if you are flying on a partner airline it pays to join all of their frequent flyer plans , never accumulate points on them but being a member allows you to buy the better legroom seats in advance something that does not happen via aeroplan.

    Right now there is a chance for those of us being shuffled to TD to score lots of free points.

    Here's how

    take the TD deal, get new cards and a separate card (more points) for your spouse TD

    40,00 aeroplan points

    Call CIBC don't take the crap ask to speak to a supervisor, get them to look up your spend and apply for a new card = more points

    We got new TD company cards as well and it all came out to over 100K in free aeroplan miles

    Alaska has a good program where your partner can fly for free once a year.
    #20