Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2015
Share the 2015 results!
Welcome to Rewards Canada's 7th annual Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards feature. We're proud to once again bring you the most anticipated and highly regarded travel rewards credit card ranking for Canadians. Overall the rankings from 2014 haven't changed dramatically although the Travel Points with Annual Fee card category did see the crowning of a new champion for a spot that was held by the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World MasterCard® between 2010 and 2014. That new champion in what we would consider to be the most popular category of cards for Canadians is the BMO Rewards World Elite MasterCard.What makes Rewards Canada's rankings different from the rest? At Rewards Canada, we are deeply entrenched in the loyalty industry, not just credit cards, so we take this into account for the rankings where it is applicable. Most other rankings on the Internet only look at the credit card itself and not the associated loyalty program or partners. For example, in the Airline Cards category we take into account what cities the airlines and/or their partners serve in Canada, whether you can redeem for premium class travel, what the redemption availability is like with their frequent flyer program and much more. For Hotel Cards we look at the elite benefits from the programs, how many properties they have, where they have those properties and much more. For Travel Points and Hybrid cards we look at the flexibility of redemption, where you can redeem, partnerships and other factors of course. This is why the Rewards Canada rankings are some of the most highly regarded in Canada with the media, loyalty programs and credit card issuers.
After a turbulent 2013 and early 2014 the credit card market in Canada settled down for the majority of last year until news broke that Visa and MasterCard were voluntarily going to lower the interchange rate they charge to merchants to an average of 1.5%. The change which is slated to take place in April 2015 had all of us looking at what the card companies were going to do with their rewards cards seeing that they are about to take a 10% hit on their revenues. Despite our prediction of 2015: The Year Credit Card Rewards Come Crashing Down to Earth (read more here) we have not seen this happen yet as it seems the banks are taking a wait and see approach to see how the change affects their bottom line. We now may not see any changes to rewards cards for perhaps 6 or more months and in most cases we believe it will affect lower end (no fee etc.) cards rather than premium cards.
What is the best card? Well it is practically impossible to give that question a perfect answer, however we do breakdown the market of Canadian Travel Rewards credit cards into five major categories and pick the best in each one. What category is right for me? Check out Rewards Canada's Guide to choosing a travel rewards credit card to steer you in the right direction.How do we come up with our picks for the best cards? We look at various factors including cost of ownership, rate of return, the associated loyalty program (co-brand), ease of redemption, card acceptance, partnerships, issuing bank and benefits. Couple this with nearly 14 years of research, answers to hundreds of email questions from readers, comments from our readers plus the charts and articles that we have written provides us the insight into the pros and cons of each card. As always this has allowed Rewards Canada to form an opinion as to which ones are the best. That's right, it all boils down to opinion. The top cards listed here, are in our opinion, the best cards for travel rewards in Canada. Will people agree? Some yes, some no. Do we make some credit card issuers mad? Yes. Happy? You bet. However, like we stated above it is nearly impossible to pick a single best card due to the vast majority of factors that can be considered when choosing one.
As we have stressed in the past, choosing a card is a difficult decision based on many factors including but not limited to rewards offered, benefits offered, cost and the issuing bank. We hope that with this seventh annual ranking, we will help guide consumers to finding the right credit card for them .
A few cards left us this past year but those were outnumbered by new cards so there are still well over 80 travel reward credit cards available to Canadians! Some are airline only cards that put miles directly into your airline frequent flyer accounts. Some are hybrid cards where you collect points that can be used to book travel through the credit card or put the points into a frequent flyer/guest account. Some are travel points cards, where the points are redeemed for travel through the credit card company's proprietary rewards program while a small number are hotel only cards that put the points directly into your frequent guest program accounts.
It is from these variations of cards that we have created the five main categories of cards in Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2015.
1. Top Travel Points Credit Card (with annual fee)
2. Top Travel Points Credit Card (with no annual fee)
3. Top Hybrid Travel Credit / Charge Card (with annual fee)
4. Top Airline Credit / Charge Card
5. Top Hotel Points Credit Card
To see some the factors behind the placements or movements of cards please see here.
To see all of the travel rewards credit cards that were considered for this years rankings please see here.
Care to comment on what Canada chose as the best travel rewards credit cards? Want to voice your opinion on the good and the bad of all the Travel Rewards Credit Cards in Canada. Share you views and experiences on our accompanying Blog post or on Facebook and Twitter for Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards 2015!
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Canada's Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards for 2015