So we’ve taken a look at a points collecting card in the American Express Gold, let’s now take a look at a Fixed Value Credit Card.
Now Fixed Value Credit Cards return points at a fixed rate regardless of what category you spend in and you redeem those points for a fixed rate as well. These cards are well suited for those that want to get into travel hacking but don’t want to dive into all the gory details so it serves as an excellent introduction into the game. On the positive side, you know exactly what you are getting but on the negative side, because your redemption values are fixed, you will likely not get as much value out of your points as other travel hackers. Here you trade ease of use for value in redemption.
Now I’ll be clear here. I find that fixed value credit cards provide an excellent backup way of collecting points and I have one in my wallet at all times. I often use these points to pay for hotels that aren’t a part of larger chains like SPG, Hilton or Hyatt (for which I have points).
Let’s dive right in and examine the Capital One Aspire World Elite Mastercard.
With the Capital One Aspire, you earn 2 reward miles for every single dollar you spend. Whether that be at a grocery store, dog track or hot air balloon ride, every dollar you spend nets you two Capital One Aspire Points.
Now the annual fee might be steep for some ($150) and I have never seen it waived, however you do receive 40,000 points (which is worth $400 in travel) if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months. Each point you collect is worth 1¢ so effectively you are returning 2% for every dollar you spend.
That sounds great but what can you do with these points?
Well that’s where this card is great! You can use the points to write off any travel related expense. What do I mean by that? Well, let’s say you found a sale for a flight from Calgary to Paris for $400. All you would need to do is charge the flight to your Capital One Aspire and apply the 40,000 points to the charge. This would result in a $400 credit on your statement which offsets your flight charges.
As I had mentioned, this can be used to offset all travel costs. Transit costs? Yep. Car Rental? Yep. Airfare including taxes? Yep.
In the screenshot below, I have a car rental charge for $26.20 from Avis. I could use 2,620 points to write off this charge and credit my card for $26.20. Alternatively, you could choose the number of points you want to redeem. If you wanted to, you could redeem 1 point and get 1¢ credit for your bill. While this is not a likely scenario, there are plenty of times when you might want to do this.
Say for example your employer was paying for your flight from Calgary to Tokyo but the maximum they would reimburse was $800 and the cost of the ticket was $900. If you really wanted to go, you could redeem 10,000 Aspire Points to write off $100 of the flight and still be left with an $800 charge your employer would reimburse you for.
The Capital One Aspire World Elite Mastercard offers fantastic benefits that can really come in handy. These include:
- Travel Emergency Medical Coverage
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Trip Interruption Insurance
- Flight Delay Insurance
- Baggage Delay Insurance
- Baggage Loss Reimbursement
- Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
- Travel Assistance
- Car Rental Collision/Loss Damage Waiver
Every Day Benefits
- Purchase Assurance (against theft, loss and damage anywhere in the world for 120 days from the date of purchase)
- Extended Warranty (doubles the manufacturer’s warranty)
- Price Protection (reimbursement of the difference if you find a lower price for your purchased item within 60 days of purchase)
- Concierge Service (free assistance with travel arrangements)
Personally, I have used the Price Protection benefit and have blogged about the experience. While somewhat painful, it would have been easier if I had included the proper proof in my original claim.
For a full overview of the card’s benefits, click here.
I carry this card with me everywhere because it is my go to card when my American Express Gold card isn’t accepted or if I purchase electronics due to both the Price Protection and Extended Warranty benefits.
I do NOT receive compensation for this card. It is simply a very, very, very good card and one I always recommend to my clients.