Next Advisor, a leading consumer information website, announces its results of the 2012 Travel Rewards Credit Card Analysis. It arrived at its conclusions by surveying travel reward credit cards with the goal of determining the true value of the various rewards offered to consumers. It includes a review of 14 travel rewards credit cards and if you think you know who won top spot, you might be surprised.
One Rewards Card
Leading the pack is the One Rewards Card. Its rewards equate to a $2 flight and hotel redemption value for every $100 spent. This has long since been a favorite among consumers, partly because of its commitment to consumer satisfaction. Also worth mentioning is the recent kudos from MONEY Magazine. This card was named “Most Rewarding Card if You Crave Free Airline Flights”. This, coupled with the absence of foreign transaction fees and your first year of no annual fee ($59 every year after), makes it a great choice for many. You’ll need excellent credit to qualify.
It comes as little surprise that Discover made the list. This has always been a consumer favorite and for good reason. Discover’s commitment to excellence is delivered time and again and the happy customers can attest to that. Most everyone has a positive experience they can relay when it comes to Discover and the relationships it builds with its card members.
Card holders enjoy a 0% APR intro rate for fifteen months for both purchases and balance transfers and there’s also the impressive 20% cashback bonus savings when you shop online through the Discover network.
You’re also guaranteed access to a U.S. based account manager within sixty seconds of you calling and this guarantee is twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. The award winning Discover fraud liability protection keeps your financial history safe and you can request additional cards at no cost. There are many perks and if your credit scores qualify, it’s an ideal solution for those looking to save money on their annual fees but who love a great rewards card.
Starwood Preferred American Express
This co-branded card is being touted as the “best of both worlds”. Card members can quickly earn an additional 25,000 bonus Starpoints soon after receiving their card. Your very first purchase earns 10,000 of those Starpoints and your first $5,000 spent on the card, within six months, earns you another 15,000. This is enough to garner you two complimentary nights at several resort hotels, including the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the W Boston or any of the category 5 hotels associated with Starwood. Even better is the fact you can redeem your points for free nights or free flights, something many card rewards programs don’t give you: a choice.
There’s a $65 annual fee that’s waived the first year and you can choose to pay your balance over time. A competitive APR is the perfect finishing touch.
Determining the Best
This analysis allowed us to determine the actual value the rewards members earn when they use their travel credit card,
said Tasha Lockyer, senior editor at Next Advisor. She continues,
Sometimes this value can be murky because rewards are given in points or miles, but placing a numerical reward value on each credit card can help users compare the cards side-by-side.
The process looked at the costs associated with booking both hotels and flights and at various times of the year. To ensure fairness, the same dates and locations were used for every credit card that was considered. That included the busy summer months and the traditionally slower fall season. Finally, the value was based on the dollar amount the credit card user earns after spending an average of $100 on their respective credit cards. The rankings were determined by assessing the average redemption values associated with both flights and hotels with a consideration applied to how widely the credit card was accepted.
Other credit cards included in this survey included the Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards card from JPMorgan Chase and the United MileagePlus credit card.
We always strongly encourage consumers to carefully review the terms and conditions associated with any credit card offer. Be sure it fits your particular needs.