I wish someone had written an article for me that would have helped me guide my choice in credit cards…knowing it could help my travels. So here it is…
Note this article is specific to certain credit cards targeted to the traveller. If you are not a traveller, there may be others that would be more beneficial to you.
National Bank World or World Elite MasterCard
This card has permitted to get free tickets to Tanzania and Namibia. How did I make this happen? I purchase everythingggg with my credit card. Even a measly $3 purchase, swipe the credit card. Every purchase will earn you points, and the points are equivalent to dollars. So I wait till I have earned a good amount, and then exchange them for my plane ticket. Now, the card is associated with its own travel agency, hence you can call them directly to make the booking and point exchange, however I DO NOT recommend this. They will exchange the dollar amount at the ticket value that they have. For example, if their price for a ticket to Tanzania is $1400, they will redeem approximately 140,000 points. I get a kick out of searching for plane ticket deals, so lets say I found a ticket to Tanzania at $900, then I will be exchanging a mere 90,000 points instead. So you can book the ticket yourself wherever you find your deal, and then call the card company once your trip Is complete to exchange the points for the dollar amount that is visible on your invoice.
In addition to the redemption of points, these cards have the possibility of getting a certain amount of your costs of airport parking, seat upgrade and additional luggage costs. These inclusions vary depending on if you have the World, or World Elite. The difference between the two is the points system (you should determine which one is better for you depending on how much you usually spend annually with your credit card). Me and my fiancé have both. That way we can use the advantages of both.
When we were in Spain, our luggage was lost for our first two days in Sevilla (and unbeknownst to me, had my engagement ring inside! I can say my fiancé freaked out a little). The insurance with this card paid for a mini-shopping spree of $500 each for me and my fiancé, which was quiet necessary to get some basics and some extras (depending on your shopping budgets).
A real big bonus of these two cards, are access to the National Bank airport lounge at the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International airport in Montreal (can we say free food and drinks!). You can only access this lounge if you travel internationally (and this excludes the U.S.A).
Scotia Visa Infinite
Now I was a little confused with the Scotia Visa Infinite and its advantages. Why? Because there are many subtypes of the visa infinite. We personally have the Scotia Visa Infinite Momentum, which is an excellent card for every day life (as it gives you a percentage of cash back on gas, groceries, drug store and certain recurring payments). There is another “new on the market” Scotia Visa Infinite Passport. This one does not have the cash back option but instead a points system. On the Scotia Bank website, they advertise that this gives you particular privileges at the airport which I will go into detail about (which I do not believe the Momentum has, but it did work for a certain advantage which I will mention below).
The Passport gives you access to a Priority Pass (where if you are an International frequent flyer, you should already know about this pass…bonus explanation below) with six complimentary lounge visits for the card holder.
At the Pierre Elliot Trudeau International airport in Montreal, you will also get to access the VIP line when entering customs. This also worked with my Visa Infinite Momentum. And let me tell you, this was very handy on my last trip, when it looked like there was a whole village population lining up in the customs line.
Scotia Gold Passport for Business
I have this card for my business, and works with the same principle as the first card mentioned, in that we collect points. This card has earned me a free flight to Greece!
The passport for business as well as all the other cards mentioned above have additional travel perks such as medical insurance and car insurance.
BONUS CARD, THAT’S NOT A CREDIT CARD…..Priority Pass!
The priority pass gives you access to a ton of airport lounges all around the world. Note that once you purchase the pass, it is valid for a year. There are different packages:
-$99; You have privileged access to these lounges, but you and your guest need to pay $27US to get in.
-$249; You have 10 free visits to the lounge, and your guest must pay $27US
-$399; You have unlimited free visits to the lounge, and your guest must pay $27US.
Those are just a couple of travel credit cards that I am a fan of. There is an American Express card that actually also includes the unlimited version of priority pass. But the credit card has a hefty annual fee, and not a lot of stores accept American Express unfortunately.