For the first time in years, I have travel plans this summer. In fact, I’m going on several trips just to make up for lost time. How exciting! Since I have so many flights and hotels to book, I thought I’d come up with a summer travel action plan. There must be a way to get something in return for all the money I’m going to be spending.
First things first, how am I going to book? I have several credit cards, and each offers a variety of rewards and points. Which one will serve me best for travelling? My travel plans involve several flights – including to Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver – a couple of train trips, a number of hotel stays and dinner in some nice restaurants. After looking through my wallet, I’ve decided that none of my cards really fit the bill. I need to get something that will offer me the most bang for my buck. After careful research, here’s what I found:
The American Express Gold Rewards Card is clearly my most ideal choice since it offers points back on everything – and when I say everything, I mean everything. If I spend $500 in the first three months (super easy to do since I’ll be booking all my flights on this card), I get a bonus of 15,000 welcome points. That’s enough for a FREE short-haul flight. Not only that, but my first year’s fee is waived as well, which amounts to an additional savings of $150
What’s cool about this card is that I get limitless travel rewards, which means that I can charge any travel to my card and then pay for it in points. Not only that, but I also get double the points on travel, gas, grocery and drugstore purchases. Travel purchases include flights, hotels and car rentals.
What does double the reward points mean? It means that for every dollar I spend I get double the points that I normally would. On everything else, I get one point for every $1 I spend. I can even transfer my points if I want to. Points are transferable to other frequent flyer programs or one-to-one to the Aeroplan program.
There are other benefits to using the American Express Gold Rewards Card as well. It offers travel accident insurance, trip interruption or cancellation insurance, travel medical insurance, and rental vehicle insurance. It also offers flight delay insurance and baggage insurance, making this card the clear-cut choice for this summer’s travel plans.
Other Important Card Details
|Annual Fee||$150 after the first year|
|Card Advance Rate||0.00%*|
|Minimum Credit Score||Good|
|Reward Return||Bonus 15,0000, plus up to 200 for every $100 spent|
* Please note this is a Charge Card. The balance must be paid off in full each month; otherwise, a 30% interest fee applies to the unpaid balance.
Why is this the Card for Me?
So I figure when I add up all of my flights – Winnipeg, Calgary and Vancouver – plus the hotel stays and car rental, I’ll earn no less than 5,000 rewards points. Since I’m new to the American Express Gold Rewards Card, and I know I’ll be spending at least $500 on the card in the first 3 months, I get that bonus of 15,000 rewards points. So I should have about 20,000 points to spend – enough to buy myself another trip somewhere come Christmas!
It also needs to be said that I have money set aside for my summer travel plans (as I mentioned, it’s been a while since I’ve been on a decent vacation!). So I’m only interested in getting the most rewards for my travel spend and then using my trip savings to pay off the card balance each month. If I was planning on using credit to fund my holidays, this card would obviously NOT be the right choice with a 30% interest rate on outstanding balances.
But for my travel purposes a charge card with rewards like this one, is just what I’m looking for. I might as well get the biggest bang for my money, right?
Happy travels this summer!