Have a travel related question? Post it here, and I’ll do my best to answer it as quickly as possible.
While anyone can comment on regular blog post, registration is required in order to post a question in this space. Creating your account is free, and you'll be able to see when your question is answered, as well as like comments from other users. And of course, you'll earn status points for offering helpful answers!
This space is intended to be more of a community as well, so please jump in and share tips!
Minimum Target “Rebate” Rate?
I have recently received a Capital One Aspire World Elite that rewards 2% in fixed travel dollars back for every dollar spent. Having read your Start Here tutorial I realize there are more effective ways of accruing points. On a $100,000CAD average annual spend through my credit(s) and a $7,500 average annual travel spend (two 2 week vacations for family of 3 per year), what should be the minimum goal in terms of dollars earned? I.e., I can surely earn more than 2% of my spend – should I Target 3% or 4%? We fly economy but would be nice to upgrade to business and travel to Caribbean, USA (including Hawaii), and Europe. Where can I find specific recommendations on building a program to build my points?
Try getting a card that earn real points and not a camouflaged cash back card? Don’t worry you seem to be off to a good start by realizing Capital One is not very good.
[USER=1214]@PDMJ[/USER] – as to your last question, the answer varies by destination, when you want to fly and whether or not you’re ok with economy or want premium cabins.
If you’re ok with economy and can fly during off-peak seasons, American has some pretty good deals. Otherwise you’re probably better off flying a Star Alliance partner to Europe.
AA is also pretty strong to the Caribbean and British Airways Avios can help out there as that program is distance-based, so short, non-stop flights between islands can be had for fewer miles.
Flying to the continental US, it can vary by city. If your target city is an airline hub, there will be many more flights and many more seats available. For non-hub cities you may be more limited.
For Hawaii several different programs offer value, including Singapore Airlines (flying United planes). Part of your decision process there is going to depend where you’re flying from and whether or not you’re trying to get premium cabin awards.
I’d also suggest that for a Canadian perspective you check out fellow Boarding Area bloggers Pointshogger and Canadian Travel Hacking as they will be better informed about Canadian credit cards and can perhaps provide specific insight.
To add a quick note to the great advice you’ve already received: There is no such thing as a “minimum” rate. Most people will compare the value of the miles that they earn against what they might earn with a straight cash back card (In the US we have a couple of no annual fee cards that give straight 2% cash back on all purchases) so that is a handy benchmark but it is by no means universal. Try to think of what your travel goals are and then figure out the cheapest way to achieve them. If it simply to travel a lot and economy is fine a cash back card might be great. If premium cabin travel is a goal then maybe miles are a better idea. All this will also vary by destination, time of year that you plan to travel, etc. Feel free to keep asking for help when you need it :).