Which travel rewards program is best? An expert weighs in
Dario Balca , CTVNews.ca
Published Wednesday, April 15, 2015 11:24AM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, April 15, 2015 12:48PM EDT
With airfare and hotel prices on the rise, the only thing better than going on vacation is saving a few dollars while you do it.
Dozens of rewards programs and credit card companies promise huge savings on that next big trip, but travel expert and founder of rewardscanada.com, Patrick Sojka, says some programs offer more than others.
Sojka’s website ranks American Express’ Membership Rewards as the best all-around option for those looking to save on travel.
That program, Sojka told CTV’s Canada AM, is “the most flexible to use,” allowing users to redeem points for any trip regardless of booking or destination and to transfer points to other rewards programs.
Members gain points by using their American Express credit cards. They can use those points to save on airfare.
The next best option is Aeroplan, Sojka said, because it offers a chance to earn air miles almost anywhere you shop.
“If you can redeem those miles for business or first class flights with Air Canada or their partners,” he said, “you’re getting a huge return on your credit card spending or those miles that you’ve earned through hotel stays and flights.”
The downside to the program, he said, is limited availability of flights during busy travel seasons.
Other options that made the list included the Starwood Preferred Guest program, Air Miles Rewards Miles and RBC Rewards Points for Visa Avion cardholders.
But the best option is often a combination of programs, said Sojka.
“With Aeroplan, for example, you can earn a lot of miles here in Canada,” he said, “but then you might make Starwood your credit card, so then you have the option to redeem miles from your hotel stays.”
Ultimately, he said, travellers have to pick and choose programs based on their spending and travel styles.