We often get asked which is the best credit card for travelling and in the past we’ve shared a list of travel credit cards we use. However, the answer to choosing the best travel credit card isn’t a simple one. It depends on a variety of individual factors. I was recently at a Travel Massive event where I picked up some new tips on how to choose the best credit cards and I thought I’d share some of those tips with you. One of the brands I met with at the event was Ratehub, a free service that enables us to compare credit cards and insurance plans in Canada, to determine which works best for us. They’ve generously given us $50 to share with one of our Canadian readers!
When friends ask me to help them choose the best travel credit card in Canada, my first question is always, “Do you want a credit card that helps you earn travel rewards (for flights/hotels etc) or do you want a credit card that will provide extensive insurance during your travels? Two very different things and more often than not, they reply “both”. OF COURSE!
Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards
If you’re looking for a card that offers you the freedom to book any flight you want, you will want a card that offers this type of flexibility (we really like our RBC Avion card for that reason). If you usually only fly with one carrier (let’s say Air Canada), then you want to choose a card like the TD Aeroplan, which gives you better value on your redemption points for that airline. If you’re at the LCBO very frequently, or your bank automatically gives you AirMiles, then a card like the BMO World Elite Master Card may be a good one for you.
Just because we use one set of travel credit cards, doesn’t mean it’s the best for you family. Each family should take a closer look to see where they spend most of their money at and figure out a way to maximize the benefits of their expenses. For example, if groceries is your largest expense bucket, a cash back credit card isn’t a bad idea. Save up the cash to buy airline tickets when they go on sale and voila! You may end up with a flight quicker than waiting to rack up Aeroplan points or Air Miles. Some cards also offer better redemption options to certain regions. For example, if your family lives in Nova Scotia, it would be a good idea to review the redemption schedules for flights from your region to Nova Scotia to determine which card offers flights to Nova Scotia for the fewest amount of points.
Best Travel Benefits Credit Cards
For us, the most important feature of our credit cards, be it the RBC VISA Avion, TD infinite or BMO World Elite Master Card, is the insurance policies in place. Last week we were in Martil, Morocco and went to hire a car and the rental agency’s credit card machine was broken (it wasn’t an excuse, I too tried to get it running for the ladies). We could have paid the $25 in cash and been on our merry way but we didn’t. Why? Simply because we would not have had any insurance during emergencies. We rely on our credit cards’ car rental insurance to cover any damage to the vehicle in case of an accident and it’s a huge security blanket for us. Same goes for lost baggage, delayed flights (remember how we were stranded in Halifax and checked into a hotel while other passengers just sat around all night?) and any medical expenses on trips less than 14 days. Our cards cover each of those situations and we don’t need to worry about paying exorbitant bills.
Factors To Keep in Mind
Most cards worth their salt have a fee unfortunately, but it’s worth the expense in my opinion. In this world, you get what you pay for and while there are some great credit cards out there with no fee, the best travel credit cards we’ve found have a small fee attached to them. Compare annual fees and choose the card that gives you the maximum benefit for the lowest cost. You’ll also want to see which cards are offering sign up bonuses, that’s how we selected our BMO World Elite one!
Not to freak you out, but you may also want to think about credit limits, cards that help you build your credit score (if that’s an issue) and of course interest rates. When it comes to that last one, my advice is to PLEASE only spend what you can pay off at the end of the month. Spending within your budget is the prudent thing to do!
With so many factors to keep in mind, wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a way to easily figure out which card would be best for you? Well, there is. If you haven’t heard of Ratehub, you’re missing out! This free service compares the best credit cards in Canada and helps you save time and money! I discovered Ratehub when I was bored during my first mat leave with Little Monkey and forgot all about them until they were at the travel massive event where they had us run a scavenger hunt, which is where I learned that we had to also think about credit scores as well as the outlets where we spend our money when trying to find the best credit cards!
While I don’t have a simple answer to your ‘what’s the best travel credit card” question, I hope we’ve given you some things to think about before you select your next credit card. Be sure to check out those sign up bonuses that crop up often! Enter below for a chance to win $50!!! Good Luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway