Credit card fine print
Know the perks of your card: There are more than 75 travel rewards cards available to Canadians, but not all cards are created equal. What might appeal to you in credit card perks will depend on what type of traveller you are. Do you spend your money on dining and entertainment? Then the Scotiabank Gold American Express card—with its 4 points for every dollar spent on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment—might be for you. Are you a business traveller looking to lounge before your flight? You might be interested in the BMO World Elite MasterCard, which grants holders access to Priority Pass lounges. Got a big trip coming up quick? With the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite Mastercard, you get 40,000 bonus reward miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months of opening your card. Knowing which benefits you’re looking for, as well as which spending habit you might be able to monetize, can pay off in the form of travel points.
Know if there are conversion charges: Using a credit card can sometimes be the easiest way to make purchases abroad, particularly if you’ll be heading to multiple countries and dealing in multiple currencies. But this can come back to bite you in the form of foreign transaction fees, small 2.5-3 per cent charges your card company might levy for converting from the currency you’re spending into your home currency. The Chase Marriott Rewards Visa Card is one example of a card that does not charge an extra fee for overseas spending, but unfortunately these fee-free cards can be few and far between for Canadian travellers, so it’s best to do research ahead of time and know where you and your card stack up.
These eight credit card rewards can help you travel, fly and stay in style—for free.