As a budget travel expert I’m often asked what the best travel rewards credit card is. That question is a bit harder to answer than you would think. Every card offers different rewards and each has their own restrictions, so it really is a matter of preference.
Fortunately, Ratehub.ca’s credit card rewards comparison tool can help you pick out the best card for you, but there are other things to consider.
If you’re looking for something simple with the potential to gain a lot of rewards quickly, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is arguably the best card available. Not only is the card the easiest to be approved for since the minimum income requirement is just $20,000, but it also has one of the lowest spend thresholds of just $500 to get your full signup bonus.
What makes the American Express membership rewards points so appealing is the fact that you can transfer them to Aeroplan and Avios on a 1:1 basis. Points can also be transferred to other programs, including but not limited to the Starwood Preferred Guest, Asia Miles, and Delta SkyMiles programs.
Perhaps the most attractive feature is the fact that American Express points don’t expire, so you can transfer your points only when you need to.
Get your friends involved
One overlooked benefit is the American Express refer a friend program. If you’re a cardholder, you can create custom invites to send to your friends. Upon any approval you will get an extra 10,000 bonus points.
So instead of taking advantage of the free supplementary card, refer your travel companion to earn a huge amount of points fast. Here’s how it breaks down:
- 25,000 signup bonus points for cardholder #1
- 10,000 referral points
- 25,000 signup bonus points for cardholder #2
That’s a total of 60,000 points. With Aeroplan, 60,000 points gets you two return tickets to anywhere within North America (with the exception of Hawaii). Alternatively, that’s enough points for a single return flight to Mexico, South America, or Europe.
One other little known secret to maximizing your points is to take advantage of American Express transfer bonuses which they have a history of doing. Just recently, American Express offered a 25% transfer bonus to British Airways’ Avios points program. That 60,000 points could become 75,000 points, which is equal to three return flights from Toronto to Los Angeles.
These transfer bonuses promotions are becoming increasingly rare so take advantage of them when they’re offered.
Unlike traditional credit cards, the American Express Gold Rewards Card is a charge card. What that means is you have no pre-set limit on your card. This doesn’t mean you have unlimited spending. All your purchases are approved on an individual basis.
Charge cards also require the balance to be paid in full each month otherwise a 30% annual interest rate will apply to any amount owing. As appealing as the bonus rewards may be, it’s never worth paying interest charges in the long run.
If you’re interested in this card, apply now.