I learned the hard way that cashing in on travel rewards isn’t always a – let’s put this diplomatically – straightforward process. Having left for Calgary from my hometown of Toronto in a move referred to as fleeing the nest, I felt confident that returning home for holidays would be a breeze – seeing as I had been using a travel rewards credit card for some time. Fast forward to that first fateful Thanksgiving: going on 8 months away from home cooked meals (and my beloved cats), I was eager to cash in on those points and fly myself in for turkey and mashed potatoes. After calling the hotline to redeem, however, I was gutted. Turned out, there were only two airlines I could use my points with – and both had booked up their limited rewards seating months prior. Needless to say, I had neglected to read the fine print that accompanied my card. So, I did what any aspiring young adult would do – I called home – and I begged.
Cash In With New Travel Reward Options
My experience is far from unique – travel rewards have long received a bad rap for stranding would-be travelers due to very limited seating, flight time blackouts and a generally frustrating redemption process. The good news? The credit card companies have been listening, and credit cards offering competitive travel redemption features have cropped up. If you’re an avid traveler – whether it be for business or the beach – picking a card (and understanding exactly how those reward miles work) can make all the difference when it’s time to book.
Want VIP Treatment? Pick The Right Card
One card that stands out from the rest on our site is the RBC Royal Bank Visa Infinite Avion Card. The BIG bonus here: you’ll receive 15,000 points on sign up – enough to take a short haul flight right away. There are no seat restrictions or blackouts with this card – and you can use your points on every airline. As anyone who’s been blindsided when booking can attest, that’s pretty darn amazing.
Plenty of Perks
Another great feature is cardholders are privy to Visa Infinite perks, which make you, well, kind of a big deal. You’ll be eligible for their concierge service, no matter where you are – think scoring tickets to a play, or finding a pizza place open at 2 a.m. You’ll also be able to book with their Visa Infinite Luxury hotels, receive invites to exclusive food and beverage events as well as access to a Visa Infinite member-only website. On top of that, you can travel with peace of mind – the card comes with an extensive premium insurance package that covers collision, emergency medical needs – even emergency cash services.
Big Bonuses – Every Day
Keep in mind though, with a minimum $20,000 limit and $120 annual fee, this card is for a serious traveler – but the perks really add up. First of all, you’ll be raking in points every day, with 1 RBC point earned for every $1 spent – and you’ll earn a whopping 25 per cent more points on travel related purchases. RBC further sweetens sign up with a 10-month introductory 1.90 per cent balance transfer and cash advance rates (after that they’re 21.90 per cent). The interest rate is pretty standard at 19.99 per cent.
Looking for even more great travel rewards credit cards? Check them out here.