Thursday, April 23, 2015

Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® Review


This post is a duplicate of the actual review posted on the main Rewards Canada website.

After many years of being one of the very best cards in Canada, Capital One® changed up their Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World MasterCard® to the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® earlier this year. The changes while small were quite significant. The new version of the card has a lowered sign up bonus and the anniversary bonus totally removed but does see the addition of World Elite MasterCard Concierge Services.

Overview
Despite the loss of many miles in the sign up bonus and the anniversary, the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ Elite World MasterCard® still provides an all around above average travel rewards credit card. The card features a good earning ratio and provides the ability to book reward travel when, where and with whomever you like. Not to mention the insurance and benefit package that comes at a cost equal to or lower then other high end credit cards in Canada is a big selling point. Add to that, features like no fees for adding authorized users, and you can see why card is the second highest ranked in the Travel Points Credit Card with Annual Fee category. For those who do not need all the features and benefits of this card, Capital One® also offers the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ Platinum MasterCard®, which is a no fee travel card and has the same interest rate as the World Elite MasterCard.

Costs
The Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® comes with an industry standard $120 primary card annual fee. The card offers a 10,000 point welcome bonus with your first purchase which is equivalent to up to a $100 travel credit. Adding an authorized user is free which puts this card ahead of almost many of the Infinite/Platinum/Gold travel credit card offerings from other banks. The interest rate on the card is Prime + 16.8% placing it right in the middle of the pack of competitors. 
Please Note: A requirement of this card is a minimum personal income of $70,000 or household income of $120,000.

Earning
The Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® earns 2 reward miles for every $1 – on all purchases. This earning ratio puts the card ahead of most and on par to several other travel point credit cards.


Redeeming
On the redemption side, the miles earned with the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® can be redeemed for any travel that is booked with any provider. Simply put, you book the travel where you want and charge it to your Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard®, then call up Capital One® or go online to redeem your miles against that travel charge. This is the same feature found on several other cards in Canada like the TD Visas, Diners Club MasterCard and American Express Membership Rewards. Capital One® offers a set rate for redemptions up to $600, after that mark it is the cost of travel x 100 to figure out the number of miles required.
The redemption rates are as follows:
15,000 miles = up to $150
35,000 miles = up to $350
60,000 miles = up to $600
60,001 and above = cost of travel x 100
Using this chart above, if you buy travel at $150, $350 or $600 and up you will be receiving a 2% rate of return on your redemption.


Features and Benefits
As stated above the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® comes with an insurance package that competes with all the other high end cards. The card features your standard travel accident, baggage and car rental insurance that are found on almost all fee based rewards cards but it also includes some that are only found on a few select cards. These include, Trip cancellation which is only offered as a standard feature on four other travel rewards cards and Travel Medical insurance which only comes standard on about 50% of the cards in the market.
What is good about this card
This card has many great attributes, the earning ratio of 2 Miles per dollar, no fee to add an authorized user and the whole host of insurance including trip cancellation are the key features that make this card good.
What is not so good about this card
I can only think of two potential downfalls to this card, both of which may not even come into play for many people. The first is that this card offers no business class lounge access or at least a free membership into the Priority Pass lounge access program like some of the other high end cards. The second is that the 2% return is eroded on lower bookings based on how redeeming the miles is structured. See application for details.
Conclusion
The Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® did suffer a set back when it was converted from the World only branding due to the decreased first purchase bonus and removal of the anniversary. The good news is those that held this card with the World only branding were grandfathered and will continue to earn that anniversary bonus. That being said for people who don't have this card is can still make a good choice for a credit card/loyatly program portfolio with its relatively low costs, good earning ratio, benefit package and ability to book travel anywhere. In fact we would still have to rate this card as above average in the high end credit card market. If Capital One® chooses to bring in additional marketing tactics like limited time increased sign up bonuses or waiving the first year annual fee I think you will see a good amount of Canadians reconsidering what card they carry in their wallet and making a switch to this one.


Related Links:
Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® on Capitalone.ca
Rewards Canada's Canadian Travel Credit Card Comparison including the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World Elite MasterCard® 
“The interest rates, fees, rewards details, benefits and other details of the Capital One product(s) described in the article may have changed since the time of publication. Please consult the product information pages on the Capital One website for accurate product details. In the event of any conflict between the product details in this article and the Capital One website, the details on the Capital One website shall prevail.”

  

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