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#1 Langdon Algur

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:34 PM

My wife and I meet with our advisor at our RBC who was trying to convince us to sign up for teh RBC avion travel rewards credit card. For the $100+ annual fee I'm not totally sure its worth it, but I have heard of people traveling for free all the time on reward miles. Do any of you use credit card rewards for travel? IF so which ones and how do you like it? Anyone use RBC Avion or Westjet cards?
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#2 taxi

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:46 PM

You'll come out ahead on that card if you and your wife spend $10k or more. Reward cards are definitely worth it, however, I might try to find a better deal.

It's pretty easy to find a card with a 15000k sign up bonus. Also many cards will have promotions where they waive the first year of fees. I have a pretty good thing going on, where I sign up for free, get the bonus added to my aeroplan account and then cancel the car before the year. Sign up for a new one. Rinse repeat.

Be aware that everytime you apply for a credit card it puts a slight knock on your credit card rating. You can balance that out by paying lots of bills though (mortgage, car, insurance, hydro, cable, etc..).
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#3 AbbyNucksFan

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:48 PM

I use MBNA cashback Mastercard.. I get 3% cash back for all gas and grocery purchases, and 1% cashback for everything else.. I get a $50 cheque every month, and some months it's $100.. Got tired of saving travel points forever..
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#4 goalie13

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 01:53 PM

My folks do that.

They basically charge everything they can to their credit card and then they have enough points to take a decent trip every year. As long as you pay it off every month, it's win-win. Often, those cards have a higher interest rate. So, if you tend to carry a balance, you may spend more on the higher interest rates than you would have saved towards your travel.
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#5 J.R.

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:01 PM

Personally, I'm against paying an annual fee for CC's. Banks already make enough @#$%'ing money :angry: Unless that card's going to get me a free 1/2 sweet mocha when I want one any annual fee is a ripoff IMO.

I'd shop around and find the best rewards card you can get with no annual fee. Personally I like the cash-back one I have. No messing around with shopping for crap you don't need just because you feel like you should "spend" the points you earned. Nope, once a year I just get a few hundred bucks taken off my balance.
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#6 bolt

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:01 PM

I use MBNA cashback Mastercard.. I get 3% cash back for all gas and grocery purchases, and 1% cashback for everything else.. I get a $50 cheque every month, and some months it's $100.. Got tired of saving travel points forever..


yeah except MBNA got bought out by TD and they are slashing the cashback gas/grocery rewards from 3% to 2% on a maximum of $400 spent per month on G and G.

I signed up for the Capital One Travel Aspire card. $120 annual fee but you get a bonus $100 worth of points every year so its basically only 20 dollars. Its also good for travel medical insurance and cancellation insurance (probably worth 100-250 dollars if you travel) and has a 2% reward rate for purchases which is pretty good. Add that and a signing bonus of points worth $350 to start.

Edited by bolt, 29 October 2012 - 02:02 PM.

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#7 mau5trap

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 02:25 PM

Visa Infinite anyone ?

50 bucks a year, abuse it as much as you can while being reasonable. Saves you a lot of money on vacations
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#8 SterlingArcher

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 03:13 PM

if youre looking specifically for a travel card..

Ive personally been disappointed with bmo airmiles and cibc aeroplan as im never able to find a proper flight.

Apparently the scotiabank amex is the best travel card in terms of accumulating rewards points, medical insurance, hotel and rental card discounts etc.

http://banknerd.ca/2...xpress-line-up/

As for medical/travel insurance always look into the amount of coverage you will receive and how many days of coverage.

Edited by PabloEscobar, 29 October 2012 - 05:44 PM.

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#9 silverpig

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:11 PM

There are websites dedicated to exactly this thing. Try redflagdeals or fatwallet (they're US, but may have a Canadian section).

With most rewards cards, they are worth it if you spend enough on them.
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#10 greenbean30

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 04:21 PM

I love my Visa Infinite Avion card. I've flown to Vegas twice, Calgary a bunch of times and Mexico once, with another trip to Mexico planned in March. I use my card for pretty much all purposes and just pay it off so I gain points. It depends on if you are going to use the travel points, or just let them accumulate. If you use them, then it is worth it in my opinion.
Also with the Avion card it covers you for travel insurance.
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#11 qball

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 05:50 PM

I don't know what you're paying for your account service fees with RBC, but if you get the VIP package ($30 per month for 3 unlimited transaction accounts, 1 US$ account, free safety deposit box, plus other stuff I can't remember...) the yearly Avion fee is waived. We ended up paying less overall, by moving up to the VIP package when we got our Avion visa.
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#12 bolt

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 07:03 PM

Capitol one aspire travel rewards

2% reward payback vs 1-1.5% for Avon/scotiabank Amex

350 dollar bonus travel dollars for signup

100 dollar yearly bonus

Travel medical insurance up to 22 days including baggage/travel delays compared to 14 days of any other card
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#13 SterlingArcher

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:55 PM

Did some research on Scotiabank Gold Amex and Capital One Aspire Travel as both are very good in comparison. However take note Amex may not be accepted as widely as Mastercard in Canada.



Scotia Amex Gold:
Annual Fee: $99
Interest: 19.99% on purchases and 21.99% on cash advances
Travel Medical Insurance: $1,000,000 coverage for 25 days if under 65 years of age and 10 day coverage if over 65 years of age.
Trip Interruption Cancellation: Up to $2500 per insured person (Max: $10,000) when you charge at least 75% of trip expenses on card.
Flight Delay: $500 per trip limit for all insured travelers (Full cost of tickets on card)
Baggage Delay/Loss: $1000 maximum for all insured per trip
Travel Accident Insurance: $500,000 when 75% of trip charged to card
Rental Car Insurance:Upto 48 days when declining coverage offered by rental agency
Hotel/Motel Burglary: Maximum $1000 within Canada or the U.S.

Everyday Benefits:
Purchase Security/Extended Warranty: 90 day coverage and manufacturer warranty doubles for up to one year
Price Protection: $100 per item, $500 per year within 60days

Additonal Features & Privleges:
Low Airfare Alerts
Complimentary Concierge Services (Travel planning, to dininer and entertainment reservations)
VIP Airport Lounge Access with Priority Pass at 35% discount
Hotel Privleges - Receive up to 20% off lowest published offer at over 18,000 hotels worldwide
Luxury Hotel Privleges - Receive up to 20% off best available rates and complimentary room upgrade (if available)
Car Privleges - Recieve up tp 25% off qualifying rentals with 131 companies worldwide
Rewards:
Earn 4 points for every $1.00 you spend at gas stations, grovery stores, on dining and entertainment.
Earn 1 point on all other eligible purchases
Flexible Point Redemption (Use points to pay for taxes also/combine points and pmt)



Capital One Aspire Travel:
Annual Fee: $120
Interest: 19.98% on purchases and cash advances
Travel Medical Insurance: Up to $2,000,000. Coverage for 22 days if under 65 years of age and 8 days over coverage if over 65 years of age.
Trip Cancellation: Upto $1000 per insured person (Max: $5000) when 100% of your trip expenses are charged to card.
Trip Interuption: Upto $5000 per insured person (Max: $25,000) when 100% of trip expenses charged to card.
Flight Delay: $250 per day, limit of $1000 per trip for all insured travellers (Full cost of tickets on card)
Baggage Delay: $100 per day (Max: $300)
Baggage Loss: $1000 maximum for all insured per trip
Travel Accident Insurance: $500,000 when 100% of trip charged to card
Rental Car Insurance:Upto 48 days when declining coverage offered by rental agency

Everyday Benefits:
Purchase Security/Extended Warranty: 120 day coverage and manufacturer warranty doubles for up to two years
Price Protection: $100 per item, $500 per year within 60days

Additional Benefits:
$0 fraud liability
24/7 emergency card replacement/cash advance
24 hour emergency road service

Rewards:
2 points for every $1.00 you spend on all purchases
Lets you for taxes with reward points

Edited by PabloEscobar, 29 October 2012 - 08:59 PM.

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#14 Langdon Algur

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

I don't know what you're paying for your account service fees with RBC, but if you get the VIP package ($30 per month for 3 unlimited transaction accounts, 1 US$ account, free safety deposit box, plus other stuff I can't remember...) the yearly Avion fee is waived.  We ended up paying less overall, by moving up to the VIP package when we got our Avion visa.


Interesting the girl at the Branch said the credit card fee could be reduced from $120 to $80 becuase of my current RBC account but geting it waived sounds better :) I'll look into this thanks.
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#15 inane

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:17 AM

Alaska Airlines Mastercard.

$75 annual fee. You collect points like any other card for travel on the alaska airlines network of airlines but the real kicker is the companion pass. Every year, regardless of how much you use your card, you get a $99 companion pass. You can only use it on Alaska airlines (not the network of airlines) but they go to Hawaii, Mexico, all over the states. So you want to fly to Hawaii with someone? First ticket is full fare or whatever deal you can get, second is $99. So half the total and you've got a sweet deal. I've been to Puerto Vallarta, New York and Maui with it.

And you don't have to fly on it either, I sent my wife and her friend to PV for spring break last year all in $450 each round trip.

Edited by inane, 30 October 2012 - 10:18 AM.

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#16 Langdon Algur

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

Alaska Airlines Mastercard.

$75 annual fee. You collect points like any other card for travel on the alaska airlines network of airlines but the real kicker is the companion pass. Every year, regardless of how much you use your card, you get a $99 companion pass. You can only use it on Alaska airlines (not the network of airlines) but they go to Hawaii, Mexico, all over the states. So you want to fly to Hawaii with someone? First ticket is full fare or whatever deal you can get, second is $99. So half the total and you've got a sweet deal. I've been to Puerto Vallarta, New York and Maui with it.

And you don't have to fly on it either, I sent my wife and her friend to PV for spring break last year all in $450 each round trip.


Westjet has a deal pretty much the same as this with RBC, debating between it and the Avion card. The companion pass does seem pretty sweet, especially if your usiing it on what would normally be a long and expensive flight.
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#17 Dittohead

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:37 AM

I have a RBC Avion card. I think it's great. any flight any time is real nice. I use my card a lot though for my business I probably put around $50-75 thousand a year on it though and pay it off every month so no interest charges. just got my statement yesterday I have 163,000 points. that's like 10 flights from Van-Cal 15,000 points ($500) easily around the world which I think is 90,000 points.

Use it to pay for all your bills but make sure you pay it off each month and it's worth it.

Edited by Dittohead, 30 October 2012 - 10:38 AM.

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#18 RiCHC3

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 10:52 AM

Capital One Aspire is the best for travel. The promo just for signing up is basically worth $600-700 in travel, but there is an annual fee as some have mentioned.
MBNA Smartcash is the best for groceries / gas and their payout is much earlier than most other cards.

Right now there's a $60 promo for signing up for the SmartCash card. Just disable adblock, sign up at https://www.greatcanadianrebates.ca/Register/111647/ (this is a referral link) then click on the big banner that says $60 MBNA cards. You need paypal to take advantage of this offer~

If you're interested in finances and all that, redflagdeals is the best place to be for those kind of discussions.
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#19 ronthecivil

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:20 PM

Personally, I'm against paying an annual fee for CC's. Banks already make enough @#$%'ing money :angry: Unless that card's going to get me a free 1/2 sweet mocha when I want one any annual fee is a ripoff IMO.

I'd shop around and find the best rewards card you can get with no annual fee. Personally I like the cash-back one I have. No messing around with shopping for crap you don't need just because you feel like you should "spend" the points you earned. Nope, once a year I just get a few hundred bucks taken off my balance


If you have so much as a plain jane RBC card you can use the RBC rewards points to buy vouchers for a TFSA. AKA cash for smart people.
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#20 J.R.

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 12:37 PM

If you have so much as a plain jane RBC card you can use the RBC rewards points to buy vouchers for a TFSA. AKA cash for smart people.


Annual fee?
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#21 ronthecivil

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:27 PM

Annual fee?


None and neither does my savings account have any annual fee or transaction limit.

However that might be a legacy thing for me since I have had the credit card for near a decade and the savings account since I was a kid.

As an example I recently went in with the goal of setting up a joint account with the gf similar to my savings account and they would have nothing of it no matter how much I threatened to take my business elsewhere (an option I am now looking into because of their stupid decision over 10 bucks a month vs. keeping me loyal to them.)
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#22 ronthecivil

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 01:30 PM

My wife and I meet with our advisor at our RBC who was trying to convince us to sign up for teh RBC avion travel rewards credit card. For the $100+ annual fee I'm not totally sure its worth it, but I have heard of people traveling for free all the time on reward miles. Do any of you use credit card rewards for travel? IF so which ones and how do you like it? Anyone use RBC Avion or Westjet cards?


I wouldn't expect an RBC adviser to advise you on anything but how to maximize the amount of money the bank makes. I would say no to anything that has any fees above and beyond the very profitable interest rates they charge on any balances.
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#23 J.R.

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:15 PM

None and neither does my savings account have any annual fee or transaction limit.

However that might be a legacy thing for me since I have had the credit card for near a decade and the savings account since I was a kid.

As an example I recently went in with the goal of setting up a joint account with the gf similar to my savings account and they would have nothing of it no matter how much I threatened to take my business elsewhere (an option I am now looking into because of their stupid decision over 10 bucks a month vs. keeping me loyal to them.)


Well I have a no fee cash back card and already contribute to a TFSA...so I'm covered...lol

I got a pretty good rate when I renewed my mortgage through RBC when I threatened to go to Scotia (for my wife's staff rate). Made them beat what I could get there...they weren't happy about it, but they did it!
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#24 taxi

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:21 PM

CIBC is having a special starting November 1, where they are waiving fees for all of their credit cards for the first year. They have both travel and cash back reward cards. Many of their cards come with a free sign up bonus.
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#25 J.R.

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:35 PM

CIBC is having a special starting November 1, where they are waiving fees for all of their credit cards for the first year. They have both travel and cash back reward cards. Many of their cards come with a free sign up bonus.


Short term scammings...
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#26 taxi

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:44 PM

Short term scammings...


Just sign up for a year. Get the bonus. Then cancel. You take a very small hit on your credit rating everytime you apply for a credit card, but if you have a set of bills in your name, that should outweight the hit.
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#27 ronthecivil

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:57 PM

Well I have a no fee cash back card and already contribute to a TFSA...so I'm covered...lol

I got a pretty good rate when I renewed my mortgage through RBC when I threatened to go to Scotia (for my wife's staff rate). Made them beat what I could get there...they weren't happy about it, but they did it!


Ya I had them willing to waive the fees for a year but that wasn't good enough for me. And this despite the fact that I have an existing account and personal loan through them, paid off a hefty student loan in the past, and have a nice amount of money in RBC direct investing (which despite all being the same company doesn't count in their books).

So instead of gaining another customer (who happens to have more money than me and does have a mortgage already) they risk loosing on just as his credit rating is getting top notch and is ready to start taking out some pretty big loans himself. Foolish I tell ya.

Either way good on you for putting the screws to them. If you happen to have a credit card with them in addition to the mortgage you should have rewards points and for sure redeem them for TFSA dollars if you don't need the other stuff. Even if your full right now you get another 5k in space Jan 1 and regardless of what you happen to hold in whatever account you can open up a token account and then transfer it all to where you really want it a week later. Just go through the investor profile BS (they are forced to do this) and simply reply you want it all in cash. Then you can move it wherever you want.
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#28 J.R.

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 03:00 PM

Just sign up for a year. Get the bonus. Then cancel. You take a very small hit on your credit rating everytime you apply for a credit card, but if you have a set of bills in your name, that should outweight the hit.


Or I could just get a fee free card and not take any hit on my credit rating....lol
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#29 taxi

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 04:24 PM

Or I could just get a fee free card and not take any hit on my credit rating....lol


Except that if you are building credit, you will easily wipe the very small ding. Meanwhile, you get a signup bonus, which typically has a value of $200 on it for free. You can easily gain enough points doing this, to pay for either multiple plane rides within NA or 1 to Europe, each year.

I wouldn't recommend this for people with already poor credit, but those with exellent histories should definitely look into it.
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